Here's an investment with guaranteed returns.
For $1.00, make a child's day with a box of colorful chalk. Leave the box on her bed with a love note. And that child's charming artwork will bring you far more than $1.00 of happiness. Take photos and your returns will double in the years to come when you both reflect on those sunny days of childhood.
We haven't been able to fit in a family portait in years. At this point, I'm counting on Charlotte's artwork to catalog our family make-up. In fact, I dream of assembling a coffee table book of her artwork to help me endure an empty nest. I thought of naming the book 'I Love You, Mama' as this is the tag line on most of her drawings. My latest thought, however, is to name the book 'A Spoonful of Charlotte' as this mighty book is bound to help the medicine go down—the fleeting of time, a deterioration in health, vision issues—whatever is in store for me should I be fortunate enough to make it to a beautiful old age.
I'm planning out my happiness.
In fact, I've been giving a lot of thought to mindful happiness the last few years. I've been assembling my children's traditional keepsakes (artwork, report cards, photos, etc.) into files for their easy retrieval as adults. When I started, it struck me to include more meaningful things as well—bits of wisdom when they come to me, a love note for my far-off descendants—and my take on happiness and how to foster it. The more I move on it, the more convinced I am that everyone should leave such a guidebook for their kiddos. What to do, what NOT to do. I mean, isn't happiness the thing?
So far, I have a handful of essays. Gosh, 'essays' sounds so—so what? Collegy? So far, I have a handful of studies. What's the word here? Though some stories are typed up, not everything is written out yet. I scribble down notes and test out my theories regularly. Some experiments are spiritual, some are physical, some are silly. Really, these are all excuses to be mindful about happiness because I believe mindfulness can make for powerful results.
Code name: Hello Happiness.
I made a list the other night of some of my sillier experiments with happiness and I realized that I should be including you guys in this. For instance, why have I not posted about my Cleaning Crown? Or video-taped a Family Dance-Break for you to laugh at? Though I did post about taking a Clogging Class with my friend, Sarah, and learning to Make Yogurt, I did not revealed my intent nor my impressions.
The colored chalk was a simple plan to make the lessons I teach at my church a smidgeon more fun for the ladies. I wish I had thought to get an extra $1.00 box for Charlotte and leave it on her bed with a love note. That idea didn't crystallize till after we divied up my teaching supply and enjoyed a few minutes of scribbling on the driveway together.
I'll have to surprise Charlotte with a new box of chalk in a couple of weeks when these others are worn to nubs.