10 things that made me happy - The other 'F-word'
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10 things that made me happy

03 Aug 10 things that made me happy

Another Monday is here and it is the first one for August. Personally, I believe this summer (and year) is zooming by and I get dizzy thinking about all the changes and events that occurred in my life in 2015 so far. The good thing is that most of these events were indeed happy occasions and I chalk the speed of time’s passing to their sheer abundance. Time flies, when you are having fun after all. So here are the things that contributed to my good mood in 2015, specifically the 10 things that made me happy this this week.

1. Family ties

My beloved brother was in town this past week and we managed to squeeze in a lot of time together. Another bonus of being a freelancer is that you can schedule your work around your life, to a degree. After years of doing it the other way around, it was refreshing to experience this flexibility. So I exploited my newly found freedom to make time for dinners, days out and random meetings with the most important person in my life. Blood runs thicker than water and all.

2. Parental approval

Getting a call from my very protective and frankly, controlling father still makes me nervous at times. I guess we never stop being children for our parents and that attitude rubs off. No matter how mature and accomplished you are, the slight tone of disapproval in parents’ voices can send your stress levels sky high. Or maybe it’s just me…

In any case, this week I got a call from my father, who finally got a whiff of and fully understood my career changes and life goals, as they stand. To say I was nervous to answer would be a huge underestimation. To my surprise, shock and delight, he displayed his most understanding and supportive side. Him egging me on and praising my choice to cut out irritants out of my life and follow my passion came as a balm to my soul. I still find myself wondering if regret will ever come to haunt me. I do hate being wrong, you see…The fact that the most authoritative person I have ever crossed paths with agrees with me on this meant a lot. He did not pass up an opportunity to squeeze in a little of “I told you so” but since he was 100% correct, I did not dwell on that too much.

3. Fun in the sun

So I tried a new activity last week, namely, riding quad bikes (or buggies, as you please). Taking full advantage of my flexible timetable and my brother’s visit, I joined a few high school friends in their regular quad bike day out. This year saw me try on a few messy activities, but quad biking takes the cake on that front. Kilo’s of dust consumed aside, it was absolutely exhilarating and I can’t wait to do it all again. I took scores of terrific pictures and am thinking of doing a separate post on this tremendously beautiful and exciting day trip. This one is for repeat performance, for sure.

It-begins 10 things that made me happy

4. Work in progress

This week I also ‘sealed the deal’ with a local media group and am now officially a marketing copywriter for the magazine they plan to release in a few months. It is an exciting addition to my resume and a lovely new title that I am proud of. Not to mention the fact that the magazine will cover an event I can’t wait to attend (in a dual function), namely the Health and Beauty Forum/Expo. As a beauty blogger, I would not miss it for the world but now I will be attending as a client, affiliate blogger (for Purelogicol and Nanobionic) and a marketing content writer for the organisers. If this is not an exciting professional development, I don’t know what is!

5. Stay-cation

As I have done my fair share of traveling this summer, which you may have read here and here,  I was a little concerned about the lack of any trips in the near future. However, what I did not anticipate is that my lovely little island can still surprise me with terrific secrets of its own. Our quad biking session took place in a very popular spot, which I had not previously visited, the Akamas peninsula. To say it is picturesque is a huge underestimation. Not since Croatia have I witnessed waters so clear and azure and even in Croatia I did not get to see sandy beaches so white and pristine. For a second I thought I am in the Caribbean or some other exotic destination, but clearly this was the case of laziness on my part.

6. What are friends for

Doing a good deed pays off threefold, they say. Well I got a free lunch and scores of Starbucks in return for a friendly gesture and what a lunch it was. Nothing beats freshly caught, grilled to aromatic perfection sea food. But if you serve it at a restaurant that sits pretty on a sandy beach, you are going for gold. All I had to do to be treated to this was spend a few hours in IKEA with my dear friend that has finally taken the plunge to move out of the parental nest. I am almost convinced that I was invited due to my formidable upper body strength (none, whatsoever) and impeccable taste in interior design (not that I am aware of) but given the rewards, I must have been semi-useful. Never one to leave a store empty-handed, I walked away with some storage solutions for my ever-expanding makeup collection, too.

7. Red tape

The most epic news of the week was probably the fact that my brother is shortly to become a Cypriot citizen in his own right, following mine and our mother’s suit. The reason this is truly ‘epic’ is that the application for said citizenship was lodged a good 7 years ago (yes, government agencies really work on their own schedules). The wonderful and nothing short of magical, frankly, thing is that the authorities reached out to us, after we have pretty much given up hope on the whole ordeal. Out of their own volition… You have to understand from the dramatic tone of this paragraph that normal laws of nature have been somehow subverted in this case and I am truly speechless (almost). Anyway, a 7 year wait that culminates in a positive outcome is truly a reason to celebrate!

8. My girl wants to party all the time

Well ‘this’ girl does and not ‘all the time’ but when it counts. I had a chance to revisit the setting for my youth’s party scene this week for a wonderfully fun night on the town. Going to the same bar we used to frequent every weekend, with pretty much the same crew we used to party with, listening to familiar tunes, seeing friendly faces is what contributed to a great night out. So much so that the next morning, instead of feeling the punitive pain of a hangover, I felt a sudden surge of energy that made me do the craziest thing to-date: go cycling in the heat of 40°+. Way to celebrate the first of the month! I blame an excess of endorphin…

9. Leaving on a jet plane

What is the best kind of email one can receive? For me, it is a notification of a booked flight. Nothing compares to the joy of seeing that subject line, no matter when and where to it is to take place. And when said notification states you are booked to go to Paris, well that is pretty much reason to jump for joy. I have previously rambled on about my ‘soft spot’ for the French capital (you can read a little about it here) and you can fully expect a few more posts on my favorite city in the world, as I prep for my October trip.

10. Pizza

Because I do not need to say more. Though my beach lunch was delicious, pizza is king. But I will share another seafood delight photo with you to help you stay on track with healthy eating!

10 things that made me happy

This is it for this week’s installment of 10 things that made me happy and I am off to collect further mementos of this exciting year for my ‘happy list’.

  • preoccupied

    Hi, How have you been
    Again very nice to see such optimism and happy events.
    I am really jealous to see you visiting Peninsula :/
    Parents are always amazing in understanding us.
    Yeah your bro is a big factor in happiness

    • Hi! Long time no speak. How have you been?
      The views on that trip were fantastic. I had no idea there are such beautiful places at home:)
      Family is an important factor in happiness, for sure.

      • preoccupied

        Yes 🙂 . I saw your comment on Georgia’s post and that reminded me of your happy and refreshing discussions.
        So I turned here and read one 🙂
        Don’t tell me about trip. Ssssshhhhh
        Yeah really.
        I saw your pics appearing in right side “Instagarm slider”. Oops, that’s very sexy look

        • Yes my website is fancy now, I have slide shows and stuff 🙂
          I have been a little busy so not keeping up to date with Disqus, but things should get better now 🙂
          How is ACA going?

          • preoccupied

            Absolute fancy. This is very much improved and one will sure like visiting it.
            Woow you remember that. My articles are going very fine. Still 2 years 11 months remaining 🙁 .
            How about you? Still not joining big4?

          • No, I have decided to be a full-time writer 🙂 I will always remember that time fondly. Big Four is a great school of life !
            How could I forget my first ever dedicated commenter 🙂 Tell your friends to read up, too 🙂

          • preoccupied

            Will “full month writer” be a career? Are you leaving accountancy world?
            O yeah, thanks. Happy to see that 🙂
            I have got some 260+ followers, maybe they will see if I recommend your discussions. I’ll try that.

          • That would be terrific. And yes, I made a move outside of finance. 12 years were sufficient for me. Time to try something new and make space for newcomers 🙂

          • preoccupied

            I haven’t ever seen someone leaving the profession in such young age. You know the reasons better, best of luck 🙂 . You aren’t old enough to start thinking like that
            Yeah I wish that.

          • I will simply thank you for the ‘young age’ comment 🙂

          • preoccupied

            Hahaha isn’t that true. You can’t be more than 30. Am I wrong?

          • You can’t possibly expect a woman to tell the truth on this, do you?:) besides, a gentleman never asks haha

          • preoccupied

            Hahaha then you are the only one who will resist telling me then “Don’t ask age of a woman and salary of a man”. First half of this quote isn’t valid anymore. Come om, be confident :p

          • Haha nice try! You can’t trick me:)

          • preoccupied

            hahhaa you that isn’t fair, not at all

          • life isn’t fair:p

          • preoccupied

            But you aren’t life.
            You are my friend. You should be fair :/

          • Haha I can NOT believe you are trying to guilt me into telling you :)))

          • preoccupied

            hahaha I surrender
            I am done with it

          • Oh so soon 🙂
            I am 32 years old.
            Typical woman, huh? Make a big deal out of something and then let it go nonchalantly 🙂

          • preoccupied

            This may also be a tactic. You couldn’t get it. hahahha
            Truth is, I thought to let it go. Because I don’t over expect 🙂
            Ahemm 32, Thanks for telling 🙂
            So you started career at age of 20?
            :O Typical woman?

          • Yup, I started working right out of university and have been at it for more than ten years now.
            Typical woman that enjoys making a big deal out of something for fun 🙂

          • preoccupied

            Hmm I started it at 21. You were sharp girl 😉
            hahaha I couldn’t see you typical woman yet

          • I am being silly, really. No two women are alike to be called ‘typical’, we are much too diverse 🙂
            Sharp is right. I had my head firmly on my shoulders from a young age.

          • preoccupied

            Sorry girl. “Silly” doesn’t fit on you 😛
            Yeah, well said. But there is a general attitude which makes a “typical woman” or “a typical woman”. In my perception of typical woman, you are not typical.
            Hmm I can see that intelligence 🙂

          • Thank you, I do hope our interaction to date has been such that it supports your good opinion of me 🙂
            I do not like generalizing as well, so thanks for not doing that to me either 🙂

  • stormee

    I think there is some Rita Hayworth in you. She was a very practiced and disciplined dancer; you dance with your words and will make an even more inspiring writer. Your poise and posture and class are inside your ink. I asked a great man how to write. He suggested I take out a piece of paper and a pen and start writing. I did, and he said, “Now you are a writer.” I laughed. His point of course was that the more sheets of paper we write upon, the better writer we become. I learned that my friend’s greatness came from being able to take a lot of criticism and learning from it rather than being disheartened by it. You have a lot going for you. 🙂

    • Though you give me great credit on my writing with your comment, I can’t actually put in words how you have made me feel now:)
      I absolutely love the expression ‘dancing with your words’. I am an avid dance enthusiast and thus, that phrase combines two of my passions. It is as if you have read me like an open book.
      Your encouragement means a lot, as I have taken quite a risk to walk away from what I know what to do through experience to try and make a living from something I do intuitively, still learning.
      Your friend sounds like a very wise man and reflects my attitude to life, which I discovered this year. If you do not make the step and try something, you will never do it and stay in perpetual stasis. Action, no matter how small, is what brings results.
      P.S. Another terrific compliment on Rita Hayworth. W-o-W 🙂

      • stormee

        Thank you for saying of my friend he sounded wise. He was an incredible Physicist nominated for the Nobel Prize. Now, you see, you have also struck a nerve with me. He was wise because he was appropriate in every circumstance, giving an apt reply when it was called for. When I was a young college student, we were in line at a grocery store with a Freshman Physics student standing in front of us embracing some preposterous notion about the universe; I began to move toward him to dispel his idea, but before I took a single step, my friend kicked me in the leg. I knew he meant for me to stop, and I did. He suggested to me later that discouraging someone was counterproductive, that people’s ideas change, and that my attitude was arrogant and without grace. Talk about reading someone like an open book.

        The best advice I ever received was from Richard Feynman. “We never know whether we will ever succeed in life. We only know that the instant we give up, there is a 100% chance we won’t.” So, you are right: “If you do not make the step and try something, you will never do it and stay in perpetual stasis.”

        I wish you the very best—and BTW, your compliment on Rita Hayworth was meant for you. 🙂

        • You seem to have met so many interesting and profoundly intelligent people. How did that come to be?
          I agree that discouraging a thought process, no matter how misguided, can do more harm than good, very often. This is how we stamp out independence and uniqueness out of masses, I believe.

          • stormee

            I did not expect your question—a question which veers a little off topic—but I know you are curious or you wouldn’t have asked, and so I will summarize what I believe came my way, not by accident, but by intention.
            We are all very unique and gifted in life. Some people have potential contributions they are yet unaware of. Years ago I would have called it luck, or chance or destiny to have met such a very great collection of people, some who became highly influential in my growing up. Yes, it is true that some of them are very famous and gave to humanity in bold and wonderful ways. I was part of that. I met Steven Hawking, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, and other Nobel Prize-winning physicists at an extremely early age. They were men that swept people off their feet and formed a burning desire inside of me to know stuff—the stuff of what the world relates to. There was more passion, more beauty, and more wisdom in them than words can describe. Yet, their intense appreciation of what the world relates to slowly and imperceptibly moved me in a direction that caused me to wonder about things that were not so world-related. I began through a great deal of suffering to “see” things not of this world, and the God I initially hated and was defiant against, became my very best friend, and blessed me in ways that people from a worldly perspective could not see. Now, my view of things makes me consider that our Physics of the universe is only a local science, and has reduced me to what God calls, “less than nothing”. That is very humbling to be called by a God less than nothing, but what God does in a person’s life who is willing to allow it, is give him a brand new heart. No, not a changed heart, or a repaired heart…but a new one, transforming the difference between what people see on the outside and what you know is on the inside, into something that has no difference. The Nightingale is a bird that loves to sing. If you watch her on a perch, she sings. If you put her in a cage, she still sings. The nightingale is who she is regardless of her circumstances. A person who knows God is also a person whose circumstances will not allow him to be tossed about by the wind—one minute one way, and the next, another. Whether slave or free, God can make our heart the same, through and through.

          • It is true that I am very curious. And in afraid I’m even more curious now than I was before. But now this seems like a story about personal pain and suffering and I will not ask to intrude any deeper on the Internet forum that we use.
            I will leave it to the fact that you have been exposed to beautiful minds at an early age, where one is easily influenced and it helped you form an agile mind, too. And that discovering God has helped you to grasp that which is not easy to understand on the scale of things.
            I hope I got it semi-correctly and your writing is beautiful, to say the least. Thank you for sharing that here.

          • stormee

            I am never quite certain whether curiosity kills the cat or that the cat lives nine lives. I wish the Internet had better ways of interpreting how people communicate. No sound, no body language, no hand signals, no intonation. Just words, and while words have opportunity, they lack strength. Words never sent a man to the Moon or built toasters. Words have so little precision. So I am afraid they are very limited in how they behave. Even to look at the number of them simply attests to how inadequate they are in making a point—a point I am sad to say I could not really make with you. I bet you are a very gracious host when you entertain guests or friends because you certainly are here. Nevertheless, I sincerely appreciate your compliment regarding my writing skills. In college, my friend told me my writing was so far in left field, I could barely hope to accomplish anything. While I did manage to have published a poem (poetry is something I always thought one should write in order never to be understood), I cannot find it. They tell me it is sitting on some dusty shelf at Barnes and Noble, but I chalked that up to one of the nine cat lives. I guess building toasters is a respectable job. 🙂

          • And now you tell me you are a published author. I am quite literally in awe.
            Many things are subjective in life and your college friend probably has learnt the value of that by now. Publishing even one work is a tremendous achievement and should be treated as such.
            And I would not discount toaster builders, as for all my writing ambition and artistic flair, I very much appreciate anyone, whose profession helps the likes of me to live a more comfortable life 🙂

          • stormee

            You are being too kind now.

            Can you share what kind of dancing you love and what kind of writing appeals to you?

          • As a child, I was into competitive ballroom dancing and since then have dabbled in salsa and hip hop. Almost any kind of dance appeals to me, I will gladly watch ballet, for example.
            Writing poetry is something I have only tried in school and was not terribly great at it, though I appreciate other great authors. My favorite is Lermontov (throwback to my heritage). And I will read almost anything, except existentialism, as that one does not appeal to me.

  • Your post makes me feel like reflecting what makes me happy too 🙂
    I love your writing and your pictures! I TOTALLY understand what you mean when you say you’re still a bit nervous around your dad – me too! And how it feels when he gives you the OK 🙂
    Please don’t stop writing!

    • Hi Lacey!
      Many thanks for the kind words, they give me lots of encouragement!
      It’s truly amazing how our parents can influence us log after they are done bringing us up! I guess old habits die hard:)
      You should absolutely reflect on what makes you happy regularly. Even if not in writing but mentally. It really helps stay mindful of the good things. And personally I find staying mindful a difficult task at times!