Hey there, kind internet stranger! Let me welcome you to yet another month of my life. This post is going to cover the very relaxing October of 2017. I was enjoying my simple life in the Netherlands at the time, and didn’t have to worry about anything. It was a good life, and time was going extremely fast. I have tracked my happiness throughout this entire month, which is exactly what I want to show you.
How did my relaxing October influence my happiness?
As always, I’m going to start things slowly, by showing you my average happiness rating of the month, compared to the previous period.
An 8,02! This is pretty great.
My previous month – September – was quite special. It was actually one of the most interesting and best months of my life. Still, my happiness data shows me that I was happier in October. How come?
Well, September started off REALLY BAD. I had a terrible infection from my wisdom tooth removal surgery, and it was KILLING me. I rated one of these days with a 3,0, which is VERY low on my happiness scale that runs from 1 to 10.
The rest of September was simply magical. I went on an epic 3,5-week road trip through Scandinavia with my girlfriend.
This trip actually extended 2 days into October. I spent the first 3 days of October traveling.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and have a look at what my happiness looked like exactly.
The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout October, 2017.
This is quite a beautiful chart. My happiness was VERY consistent throughout the entire month. I rated my worst day – the 6th – with a 7, which is actually not bad at all. However, it was still below average. This was caused by quite a bit of stress at work.
You see, I dived straight back into my work after my perfect 3,5-week road trip. I was hoping that I could ease back into the busy projects, but that was never going to happen.
In fact, I was actually called from my office while I was still traveling back to the Netherlands from my trip through Norway. I was waiting for my final flight from Oslo to Amsterdam, when the project called and asked whether I’d be in the office tomorrow?!?!?
It was around this time that I knew it’d get busy… This busy period resulted in my “worst” day of the month on the 6th of October.
Anyway, I want to give you a better picture of what other factors influenced my happiness. Luckily, in addition to tracking my happiness, I have also been tracking every single one of my happiness factors. These are the factors that had a significant influence on my happiness!
The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in October, 2017.
If you have a look at the table, you will see exactly why this month was pretty relaxing.
Apart from a couple of stressful and exhausting days at work, October was really great. I enjoyed pretty much every single one of my passions.
As you can see, I spent a boatload of time on the road running in preparation of my #5 marathon. I had finished the Paris marathon in April, and wanted to complete another one before the end of the year. It was one of my goals for 2017, and I was determined to succeed. I had already signed up for this marathon in the city of Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The marathon was scheduled for December, so I had to ramp up my weekly mileage!
My relationship was also great at the time. My girlfriend and I had a BLAST in Norway and Lapland during our huuuge road trip. We continued to have fun together in October. As it happened, my parents were doing the exact same road trip through Norway, but then in reverse. My girlfriend and I had driven THEIR car all the way up North, and they were driving back during the month of October.
So my girlfriend and I temporarily lived together in my parents’ house. We spent a lot more time together, which had a positive effect on my happiness. 🙂
My happiness tracking journal
Before I explain what the rest of October looked like for me, I want to show you another excerpt of my happiness tracking journal! This entry show you how I felt during the month, and how it affected my happiness. I wrote the following on Monday, 23rd of October and I rated that day with an 8,00. This was a pretty busy day at work, in the middle of a couple of very nice days.
Today was quite an unusual Monday because I spent the entire day offshore on one of the vessels. All the junior engineers of our department (that includes me) were invited to look at some processes on board. I liked the idea.
Our transfer left at 07:45, and I thought I needed about an hour for the drive to the port. NOT.
I eventually arrived 15 minutes late, after having driven way faster than what is accepted by the Dutch laws. It was not a good start of the day, especially since the department manager was also waiting for me… I probably won’t get far in my career if I perform this trick more often…
It got me thinking though, as I currently have quite a bit of savings. It helps me place my job in perspective. Even if I’d been fired on the spot, I wouldn’t worry for a moment. No way. It’s nice to know that I already have a little bit of FU money.
With all that said: please don’t fire me, current employer…
Anyway, the rest of the day was nice. I spent the whole day on-board, which was interesting and nice. It was 19:15 when I got back to my car on the pier. I raced back home and worked on my site for 1,5 hours before going out to run.
It was a nice day after all, even though I felt like I lacked a bit of time. The running made it a lot better.
This excerpt from my happiness tracking journal shows you a lot of what’s going on in my head during the days. I not only track my happiness to collect data on myself, but also as sort of an outlet. My happiness tracking journal really means a lot more to me than just a bunch of numbers and words. It’s a place where I can vent at the end of a long day. It’s another place where I can open up about my feelings. And this excerpt is quite a good example of that.
Let’s see what all the positive happiness factors looked like in October.
Positive happiness factors
The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of this month.
My relationship was really great at the time! It positively influenced my happiness on 20 days!
My lovely girlfriend
My girlfriend and I have been very happy together. It’s something I’ve analysed using 3,5 years of happiness tracking data. October was another great month for us together, and it only solidified the strong relationship we were in. Especially after having experienced a PERFECT road trip through Scandinavia together.
We have experienced quite some challenging times together, mainly in the form of long distance relationship periods. These challenges were really hard, and even had the potential to end the good relationship that we had.
Luckily, these periods were far in the past, and we were happy to enjoy each other’s company in October. We made sure to do as much fun stuff together as possible: going out on date nights (we suck at bowling but both like it!) and exploring the Netherlands together.
I really valued this time with my girlfriend, as she was going to be away on a 3-week trip in November. That meant that I had to get through November without my single biggest happiness factor…
Anyway, October was a great month for me and my girlfriend, and I was REALLY happy about that.
Friends and family
I also spent a fair bit of my time with my friends and family. Even though I’m an introvert by nature, I really enjoy these social gatherings! My friends and family made me happier on 12 days of the month!
A good example of this is the 19th of October. I went to a concert of Ausgeir Trausti with my brother and it was a LOT of fun.
My brother and I had already seen this beautiful Icelandic singer before, only 2 months earlier. But this night was still great. Not only did I enjoy the concert, I also enjoyed spending quality time with my brother. It certainly had a positive influence on my happiness! 🙂
This should give you a nice idea of the things that made October a very happy month for me!
With that said, it is time to continue to the negative happiness factors!
Negative happiness factors
The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of October, 2017.
If you’ve been reading some of these monthly happiness reports lately, then these negative happiness factors shouldn’t surprise you.
I was tired on 7 days in October. Work was a bit busy and stressful as well. Even though I knew I was tired too often, I couldn’t get my sleep habits under control. I’ve analysed exactly what kind of influence sleep deprivation has on my happiness. I knew I needed to do better here in order to become happier!
But apart from that, my happiness wasn’t really negatively influenced that much! I’ve experienced far more difficult times! As long as the good far outweighs the bad, I will never complain!
Oh, I did go and see two games of soccer in October. You see, I’m a big fan of Feyenoord: the biggest club in Rotterdam. You can imagine my excitement when they got to play the group phase of the Champions League after becoming the Dutch champion the season before. I was going to visit one of their group matches, which was pretty great. They played Shakhtar Donetsk on the 17th, and even though they lost the game, I still enjoyed the match!
It was different 5 days later when they played their biggest rival – Ajax Amsterdam – in the Dutch national league. They played one of the worst matches of the season, and got their asses kicked in a 1-4 home defeat. It was SUPER painful to watch.
As much as I hate to admit it, this match had a pretty bad effect on my happiness. It wasn’t so much the result that bothered me. No, it was the amount of wasted time and the terrible performance that really got to me. I thought of many BETTER ways to spend my time during the weekends… 🙁
Ah well, I guess you can’t have everything, right?
And with that said, I want to end this monthly happiness report! October was a very relaxing month, and it had a great influence on my happiness.
I hope these posts give you a general idea of what tracking happiness means to me. Because I’m tracking my happiness ratings and factors every single day, I am fully aware of what I need to do in order to become as happy as I can be. With that said, I hope I can somehow inspire you to also start tracking your happiness. 🙂
If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer you!
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 7 years.