A few years ago I read somewhere that keeping a daily log of things that make you happy can help raise your overall happiness, even if they are little things such as “great weather today!” and “the TV show I watched last night was really good.”
I did this for a while when I first moved to Japan as a way to document the things happen around me as well as the aforementioned. After a few months I fell out of the habit as things become more mundane around me and my life in Japan shifted from “a new adventure!” to just being my daily life.
When I neared the end of my time at my previous school my mood had declined. Summer was on its way out, my routine had gotten rather dull, and I was having a hard time just looking at the happy side of things. On October first I switched schools and found myself looking forward to the new start, and with it came a desire to start up my old project.
I bought a cute little notebook from Central, my favorite stationary store, on a day that just so happened to be one of their biggest sales. Already this was a book for happiness! I began filling it with random things until the first of October, when I decided to bring back my daily happiness memos.
Now that October is ending I have a month’s worth of happy things that I can read whenever my mood tips. I've decided every month to share a selection of these Happy Things so that I have a more permanent log and maybe inspire others to look for happiness in the small things.
I won’t be sharing each thing I wrote down, as some are personal and others too boring (“School lunch was tasty!”).
10/2/2014: The principal talked with me for 20 minutes about how I feel at the new school.
10/6/2014: First lesson that wasn't a self-introduction went really well. The students paid attention and had fun.
10/7/2014: I learned a few new warm-up games from a company meeting (which are working well in class now).
10/8/2014: I had my first really great lunch with 2-5.
10/10/2014: I got my schedule for the next week with plenty of time to prepare before Monday rolls around.
10/11/2014: I met some nice people at an English seminar and learned that a male friend defines himself as a “Boob Girl” rather than “Boob Man” (a man who likes boobs).
10/14/2014: I had a pleasant interview with a graduate student who is writing a paper about foreigners who work in Japanese public schools teaching ENglish and ways that Japan can improve their English curriculum.
10/18/2014: Museum trip plus burgers plus housewarming party plus impromptu bar trip equals a fantastic Saturday!
10/22/2014: I was really stressed about a split class I was going to have where teachers may be present (first half of the lesson in one class and second half in another) but it went much better than I anticipated.
10/23/2014: One of the teachers I work alongside told me that I always have very interesting ideas for activities that he has never seen before.
10/24/2014: The first special needs class with all of the students present went really well. They all seem really excited about learning English and catch on quickly!
10/26/2014: The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It was great to walk around the city and look at all of the autumn colors.
10/27/2014: Watching the vice principal and one of the receptionists battle the flies that have taken up residence in the kitchen area was one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.
10/31/2014: The fact that I can spend Halloween with so many of my friends while dressed as Sailor Moon (thanks to my mother for the costume) is a great way to end the month!