Weekends In Belgium – Monthly Happiness Report – July, 2016

Weekends In Belgium – Monthly Happiness Report – July, 2016

In the last report, I wrote about how I went to Rock Werchter, a festival in Belgium. What was supposed to be a great weekend, turned into a major disappointment. The weather was absolutely terrible, which made it really difficult for me to enjoy myself. The rest of July was actually great. I continued to enjoy my life, and went on a fantastic weekend trip with my Girlfriend during the last few days. I want to show you exactly how these events influenced my happiness.

Let’s take a look at the monthly average happiness data.

My happiness was a little lower than before. The previous month was absolutely fantastic, so I’m not surprised that July was not equally as good. Still, an average happiness rating of 7,77 is pretty good in my opinion! 🙂

Monthly happiness

The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness looked like throughout the July, 2016.

As expected, it was very hard for me to stay happy during my time at the rock festival. The bad weather was simply too much.

I want to cover what happened exactly during these days and the rest of the month. But first, let’s have a look at all the happiness factors!

Happiness factors

The table below shows all the happiness ratings for July, 2016.

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Suffering in terrible weather on a rock festival in Belgium…

We arrived at the end of last month, and had to set up our tent in the pouring rain. The entire festival ground was also covered in a thick layer of mud. Not a great start.

If you didn’t watch your step, you would sink ankle’s deep into this shit.

One of the worst things in life: wet socks. Wet socks can really ruin my day.

Alright, I may be exaggerating here. But it’s true: having wet socks really is pretty terrible. Well, my feet looked like shit each and every day on the festival. Every morning, after stepping outside my (soaking wet) tent, my socks would last about 30 seconds before they were completely soaked again. Oh, my god…

Muddy feet during Rock Werchter, 2016
What my feet looked like all the time…

We were also hit with a couple of big rain showers. It’s hard to enjoy a nice day at an outdoor festival in weather like this.

Additionally, my nights were rather short and I slept infrequently. I know that is to be expected during an outdoor festival, but it still didn’t make me feel any better. It was a though weekend, both mentally and physically.

I was constantly thinking: “I’m too old for this shit…”

And I was probably right. I could think of many better ways to spend my time.

To add to the misery, this festival was not cheap. It might have been totally worth its price tag if the weather was good, but in these conditions? Hell no. I was paying above average for a holiday, to basically live like a pig.

I’ve analysed all my expenses, and this festival was not an expense that positively influenced my happiness.

Enough complaining! There were still some positive experiences to be had!

Great music!

I got to see Paul McCartney live! It was by far the best moment of the festival, as I’ve been a long time fan of his work and music. The guy is getting old, but it doesn’t seem to effect his presence on stage. Hearing his solo performance of ´Blackbird´ on the acoustic guitar was super nice. It made me forget about the rain. 🙂

Watching Paul McCartney play live definitely brought a smile to my face!
Watching Paul McCartney play live definitely brought a smile to my face!

I also really enjoyed the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They had just released their latest album, which made them a favorite of mine again. Tame Impala was also fantastic, as well as Rammstein and several other great acts.

But this great music was not enough. I was quite unhappy during my time at the festival.

As a result, I swore to myself to never go to another festival like this. I could think of better, more efficient ways to spend my money. I actually wrote it down in my happiness tracking journal. “Never go to another rock festival!”

Another excerpt from my journal

The rest of July was actually really nice. I want to give you a better idea of what my life looked like at the time, by showing you an excerpt from my happiness tracking journal. So I wrote the following on the 25th of July, 2016. On this evening, I wrote about the previous couple of days, because I hadn’t written in a while. I continued to rate my happiness, though, and I rated this day with a 7,75.

I had a fine weekend. Friday was actually pretty busy at work. Went to my friends afterwards, and had a nice evening. I even went out to run before seeing my friends. It’s still FUCKING hot. And it is starting to influence my mood.  I also feel like I’m sleeping worse with these temperatures. I want running again on Saturday, and it was just frustrating. It sucked.

Went to Feyenoord that evening, which was nice. Sunday consisted of mostly relaxing with my girlfriend. Had a double date at a sushi restaurant, which was nice as well. 

Today at work was busy again. But everything is going alright. However, I was pretty stressed and moody when I got home, and it has affected my relationship. Not good.

So I went to run, and this time it was actually fantastic. I did a half marathon, and it went crazy fast. A new personal best. I don’t believe it. I didn’t even feel like running! Even better, I think I went faster than my brother :D. I’m shocked. 01:39:46, according to Runkeeper. NICE.

Off to bed now. Two days left until the weekend to Ghent with my Girlfriend. Looking forward to it. I hope it’s going to be perfect. 

As you can see, my life was pretty normal back in July, 2016.

It was a very warm summer, which actually negatively influenced my happiness. The high temperatures were terrible during my runs, and it caused me to become pretty frustrated with running on some occasions.

Oh, and by the way: please forgive my swearing. 😉

I tend to not hold back when writing about my days. It is still my journal, right? 🙂

A great weekend trip with my girlfriend in Belgium

I went on a great weekend trip with my girlfriend at the end of the month, to the beautiful city of Ghent, Belgium. We had booked a hotel within the city center, and spent 3 days exploring the many beautiful areas.

Ghent is truly a great city to spent a couple of days in. There are dozens of nice cafes in the city squares and lots of sights to see. Needless to say, we really enjoyed our days together, and  my happiness ratings were extremely high as a result! 🙂

The beautiful city center of Ghent, Belgium
The beautiful city center of Ghent, Belgium

I started the month with a terrible weekend at a rock festival in Belgium. And I ended the month with a beautiful weekend city tripping through Gent in Belgium. It was quite a contrast. 🙂

Let’s see how these experiences translated into the positive happiness factors of July, 2016.

Positive happiness factors

The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of the month.

My girlfriend

My relationship was – like so many other months – on top of the list of positive happiness factors.

Things were going great at the time. We enjoyed spending time together, and tried to do as much fun things as possible.

Sure, we still argued sometimes, but it was never a big deal. Minor arguments are normal in a relationship, and it didn’t really bother us. We knew our relationship was strong.

I’ve analysed the exact influence of my relationship on my happiness. The results might surprise you. 🙂

Running

It was the middle of the summer, and temperatures were very high. Even though this was pretty frustrating sometimes, I still really enjoyed running. My third marathon was scheduled at the end of September, so not running was not a possibility! Despite a couple of frustrated runs, it was still one of the top happiness factors in July.

I will eventually analyse the exact effect of running on my happiness in my ‘Happiness through…‘ section!

July was a great month for me, with a lot of different positive happiness factors. Yet, there were still some negative happiness factors, which I want to discuss.

Negative happiness factors

The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of July, 2016.

This list of negative happiness factors might not be surprising to you. It is very similar to many other months in the past. However, there is one happiness factor that does not belong on this list!

Running?!

How could running be a negative happiness factor for me? It is one of my biggest passions, for crying out loud!

You might have read it in the excerpt from my happiness tracking journal. It was just too hot to enjoy my runs on some days. I wanted to run long distances, to prepare for my marathon. But running long distances in these high temperatures is very frustrating!

As a result, I didn’t enjoy some of these runs AT ALL.

Closing words

That will do it again for this Monthly happiness report. July was another good month for me personally. August was going to be another great month, as I was going on a holiday with my girlfriend. Surely, this would further increase my happiness, right? Let’s find out in the next Monthly happiness report! 🙂

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer you!

Cheers!

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