Hey! For the handful of people who reads these updates, I'm happy you are here! 🙂
It's time for another update of my personal happiness journal. This update will be about:
- The beautiful Autumn colors, and how I'm trying to spend as much time outside as possible.
- A little bit about my current situation at work (my day job as an engineer).
- How a small fever hit me.
- What made me happy this month!
- What made me slightly unhappy this month.
This is how I rated my happiness over the last 31 days.
I was pretty happy in October! The average rating was 7.81, which I consider to be good especially since I was hit by a small fever!
Let's dive right into a journal entry that provides a pretty good look into what October looked like for me. I wrote the following on the 8th of October, and I rated this day with an 8 on my happiness scale.
Today was pretty busy at work. Woke up at 5:30 and started working at 06:30. I had another deadline due, so I spent the entire day rushing and trying to finish a document that was due by the end of the day. Even though I was feeling pretty productive, I hope my work doesn't continue like this. I've been rushing from one deadline to the other, and it's getting on my nerves.
I made dinner as soon as I got home. I made a frittata filled with asparagus, with salmon and vegetables on the side. Why I am writing about this, I have no clue. Maybe because my mum would be proud of all the vegetables that I'm (voluntarily) eating.
When my girlfriend got home, it was clear to me that I wasn't the only one feeling exhausted. She had a loooong day as well, so we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and taking things slow. We went for a long walk, and just hung out on the couch until bedtime.
Where is this weekend???
When the weekend finally arrived, my girlfriend and I finally had time to enjoy the things that we actually enjoy doing.
This included many trips to the nearby woods, enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather in the Netherlands!
One of the nicest ways to spend a Saturday or Sunday is to take a long 2-hour walk through the woods. At least, that's how my girlfriend and I think about it. Nothing beats the relaxing nature of just walking, without having to worry about anything. No traffic, no crowds of people, no interruptions, just quality time together in the fresh air!
Just like last year, the Netherland is now in that short period where the weather is still nice, and the leaves on the trees have a beautiful gold-brown color. This period usually lasts just a couple of weeks at most, because it only takes one storm to blow away all the leaves. My girlfriend and I are trying to make the most of this wonderful time.
I looked like an idiot trying to take this picture.
I spent a good 5 minutes taking pictures of mushrooms, all kneeled down like I'm some kind of professional photographer. I wasn't the only one though!
Here's another journal entry of the 27th, another typical October day. I rated this day with an 8.5, one of the highest ratings of this month!
What a great weekend day. After sleeping in, we had a nice breakfast and found out that the clock was turned back an hour (daylight savings time). So even after sleeping in, we still had a lot of time to relax and do the things we like to do on our weekends! So what did we do? We cleaned the entire apartment and did groceries for the week... lol.
I went to the local indoor skatepark, and it was fucking awesome again. I'm getting noticeably better every time! Even I keep bailing every once in a while. Both my knees are scathed again, and I landed on my right hand again. As a result, the palm of my hand - right under my pinky - is blue again. Ah well. I still really like it.
Back home, my girlfriend and I went for a long walk again. We had vegatarian saugages for dinner, with a bottle of wine and The Lion King 2 on Netflix. Good times. Today was a great day.
I notice now in my writings that, from an outside perspective, it may seem like all we do is go on walks haha. Well, what can I say? We just really like to be active together and not stuck in our apartments. It definitely beats watching Netflix all day, and it is good for our health! 🙂
Positive happiness factors
Here are the factors that had a positive influence on my happiness in October.
Here are some comments, in random order, that come to mind when I look at this graph:
- I've become an uncle for the first time in my life!!! I didn't expect how much I would like this. I had never held a baby in my hands, but it was unreal to hold this small package in my hands knowing that she was my family. Awesome!
- My girlfriend has - as usual - a massive positive influence on my happiness. I REALLY enjoy our long walks after a long day at work, and spending a relaxing weekend together does wonders for my happiness.
- My parents-in-law brought me along with the family on a weekend trip to Deventer, a city in the west of the Netherlands. Those were happy days, with lots of good food, shopping and good times together!
- Skateboarding cracked the top 3 factors! I'm ready to call this official: skateboarding is my biggest hobby at the moment. I'm getting better and better at kickflips at well, which is great. And I'm EXTREMELY close at landing a 360 flip! Hopefully, I can share a video of that trick before the end of the year (as per my own challenge). 🙂
I've been skateboarding on a very old deck, that was actually my brother's deck about 15 years ago. He stopped using it, and so I "stole" it and have been using it ever since.
Unfortunately, it broke 2 weeks ago. After landing a boardslide down a rail, I landed with all my weight on the tail, and that's when it had enough. It was a relatively small board, and it couldn't handle my fat-ass so it snapped!
Luckily, this local skatepark also sells boards. So I'm now the owner of a new board, which is properly sized for my length and weight! I have no problem spending money on things that I know will make me happy!
Negative happiness factors
Here are the negative factors that influenced my happiness in October 2019.
I got hit by a small fever in October. 🙁
I have the feeling this happens every year. As soon as it starts to get colder, usually in combination with soaking rains, I catch a cold and get hit by a fever. It's really fucking annoying, that's what it is.
As a result, my job becomes even more stressful, because - you know - these deadlines do not take into account personal illness. So I spend my time at home feeling shitty, hoping that the next day will be better, but it always takes me soooooo damn long to recover. This was kind of a bummer last month. Especially since I transferred my flu to my girlfriend. Ugh.
It's funny how unhappiness can be contagious like that as well...
- There is some drama at work, which is causing quite some issues. TLDR: the workload on my team is growing, but my team is having trouble growing with it. This has been an issue for over a year already. In fact, one of the members of my team gave notice and was leaving for another company. This was the final drop in the bucket for me, so I'm now ready to force upper management into taking actual action. Either I leave or these problems are fixed once and for all. This resulted in quite some interesting discussions with my managers, but I'm hoping that I will be better off because of it. This is still ongoing, and will hopefully be resolved somewhere next month!
- As of right now, my job is only having a negative effect on my happiness. I hope that will change...
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That's enough for this month's update. This year is quickly coming to an end, and so far it's definitely been an interesting year! I can't wait to see how this year will compare to 2018 and all the previous years!
Who runs Tracking Happiness?
My name is Hugo, and I'm from the Netherlands. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, a passion for data and statistical analysis and am an expert in happiness.
I've tracked my happiness every day for 5 years in a row. And I'm now using my knowledge to inspire you to prioritize your happiness. You see, I'm a strong believer in what gets measured gets managed. I want to show you what I - and many others - have learned while tracking our happiness.
My Happiness Essays have reached thousands of people around the world and have been shared in many places.
With my data, I have inspired hundreds of others to also track their happiness. And I'm hoping this number will only grow more!
I spent an absolutely fantastic weekend in Marrakesh, Morocco with my girlfriend. I want to show you how this event, and the rest of January, influenced my happiness ratings. This report will go into great detail about what made me happy and what not!
Time for another quick update re: my happiness in September 2019. This post is about the final days of stress in Russia, a fantastic holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina and finally returning to the Netherlands to continue my normal life again.
I was very stressed throughout December, but still managed to be equally as happy! How so? I managed to focus on the bright side of life! Spending time with my girlfriend, friends and family all did an exceptionally great job at maintaining my happiness!