2018 ends tonight. This was the year I aimed for happiness. Looking back, happy isn’t exactly the word I would pick to describe the year my marriage officially ended. I like data, so I went back to that happiness quiz that I took a year ago. At the beginning of January 2018, my happiness score was 3.24, which was slightly below average. I took the quiz again and got 5.21, which is very happy and above average. The skeptic in me says this must be an anomaly because it’s Christmas vacation and the data lover in me thinks I should take the quiz over several days or weeks to get an average. But I’ll conclude that my happiness has improved over the past year.
I only made it through nine months of my happy 2018 plan, but I’m happier now than I was a year ago. I still have moments of sadness and anger. I’ve learned through my year of pursuing happiness that it isn’t about being in a constant state euphoria. Negative emotions still exist. I’ve learned to let myself experience the bad, but not dwell and ruminate on it. As difficult as going through a divorce was, it taught me that I can do anything and that the only person that controls my happiness is myself.
Scrolling back through 2018, I learned a lot about myself and developed healthy strategies for coping. When my feelings get the best of me, I now want to meditate, go for a walk, or journal. Depending on the strength of my emotions, I may do all three. I’m on 231 consecutive days of meditation although I may have fallen asleep during some of those. Meditation has become an essential part of my life and out of all the happiness strategies I’ve tried this year, it is the one that’s stuck and is the one that I turn to when life is overwhelming.
The other thing I learned is that pursuing happiness it is a constant journey with no destination. It’s like exercising, you can’t workout for a year and then stop and stay fit. So my happiness journey will continue.