Welcome back to another one of my silly, weird, awkward, and mildly confronting monthly updates!
September 2019 is already over, and I luckily finished the most stressful period of my life. I spent the rest of the month recovering, relaxing and enjoying my normal life again. This update is about:
- My remaining days on the project in Russia
- Going on a 10-day holiday to Bosnia and Herzegovina with my girlfriend
- Continuing my normal and relaxing life again
Here is what my happiness looked like in September 2019:
As you can see, my period in Russia came to an end. Thank God.
The last days on the project were – luckily – uneventful. I still worked long days, but at least nothing terrible happened. Was I happy? No.
My days still looked exactly the same:
- Wake up at 16:30
- Breakfast/exercising untill 17:00
- Work untill 09:00
- Sleep at 10:00
Every. Single. Day.
Needless to say, I was extremely relieved when I entered the plane back home, just grateful that this period was finally over.
This meant I finally got the chance to do some sightseeing in Russia! (I’m being sarcastic here).
As soon as I was back home, my happiness slowly restored again. The 11th was the first full day back home.
Finally, I could do the things that I actually enjoy again:
- See my girlfriend
- Skateboarding (yup, I’m still doing this!)
- Playing guitar
It was great to be back again.
Holiday to Bosnia and Herzegovina
On the 14th, my girlfriend and I hopped on a plane to Bosnia and Herzegovina! We both really needed some time “outside the loop”, outside the constant madness of our working lives. We rented a car for 10 days and planned an extensive road trip through the mountainous South of the country.
On the 16th, my girlfriend and I drove a big stretch through the coutry, crossing mountains, villages, nature parks and rivers. It was a typical day in one of our holidays, a day that we both really enjoyed. I wrote about it in my journal, and rated this day with an 8,75!
This was a lovely day. We woke up peacefully in our hotel, with a breakfast and hot coffee. We then drove through the Blidinje National Park. It was beautiful. Not so much the extreme views or the crazy heights, but more so the calmth and the quietness. It was an extremely peaceful area.
We stopped at a nice restaurant on the side of the road to enjoy a coffee and a piece of pie. We also climbed a small hill with a beautiful view over a lake and a large valley.
Our final destination of the day was Mostar. We decided to take the “long way” and not the highway. This road went straight over the mountains, down into a remote valley. This is where we first saw a danger sign that warned us about possible landmines! It was a cool drive and I really enjoyed it.
We finally got to Mostar and are now inside a really nice studio. Just finished dinner with some drinks, and now we’re ready for bed. It was a beautiful day. I hope the rest of this holiday will be similar!
Our holiday was just what we needed.
- We spent 3 days relaxing in Neum, the only coastal village of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- We visited the Sutjeska National park and spent a full day hiking there. This was perhaps the most beautiful day of the holiday!
- We spent 2 days in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo. This city impressed me in a way I didn’t expect. The signs of the Bosnian War are still visible on every corner of the street: bullet holes, cracks in the pavement, deserted buildings and a lot of memorial sites. This and the kind-hearted spirits of the people left me very impressed.
- We eventually flew back home on the 24th of September. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an amazing country, and I definitely want to go back sometime!
Positive happiness factors
Here are the factors that had a positive influence on my happiness in September.
Here are some comments, in random order, that come to mind when I look at this graph:
- My girlfriend has – as usual – a massive positive influence on my happiness. It was great to be back together after my period in Russia, and we had a really good time together on our holiday!
- Skateboarding is in the top 5 of factors! This thing is really becoming a BIG hobby of mine, slowly but surely. I am extremely glad that I decided to try this again. I still want to land a clean 360 flip before the year is over, and I’m literally trying to skate as much as possible these days.
How good am I? Here is one of my kickflips, so you be the judge!
I actually found an indoor skatepark in my city, so I went there for the first time on the 29th. I rated that day with an 8,75 on my happiness scale! There are dozens of 10-year-olds there that put my own skateboarding skills to shame, but I don’t care.
My point is that I FREAKING LOVE skateboarding, and I am extremely happy that I gave it another try after all these years.
And remember when I said 2 months ago, that I would land a 360 flip before the end of 2019? I’m trying very hard to land this trick, and I’ve come veeeeery close on a couple of occasions. So if I don’t break a leg, then I think I can actually do it!
Anyway, what else?
- I’m back at my usual job, working in the office. I’m trying hard to take things easy. I talked with my manager(s) about my experience in Russia, and I think my message has landed: I don’t ever want to go on such a project again.
- The summer is over… Even worse, the weather in the Netherlands has been awful. It’s rained pretty much every single day, which has been a bummer. As a result, my girlfriend and I spend less time outside on our long walks together. 🙁
Negative happiness factors
Here are the negative factors that influenced my happiness in September 2019.
Pretty much every negative happiness factor was a result of my time in Russia.
Since I worked the night shift in Russia, I had to re-adjust to my normal rhythm. I tried to “outsmart” my jetlag, by slowly transitioning back into a normal cycle. 3 days prior to my departure, I extended my days with 4 hours. That meant I was staying awake 4 hours longer, without really sleeping more. So instead of staying awake 17,5 of the 24 hours in a day, I tried staying awake 21,5 hours in a 28 hour day.
Did it work? I honestly don’t know, lol. I was pretty tired during this transition and still felt a little jetlagged once I got back in the Netherlands. At least, I didn’t experience sleepless nights. Whenever I was ready to go to bed, I slept like a baby.
Anyway, that’s it for this month! The weather is finally getting better here, so I’m actually going out for a ride in a couple of minutes! 🙂 Fingers crossed that I don’t break something!
Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 6 years.