happiness health and wellness tips relationships

Happiness Hangover

I looked at the phone today.  I made a wish for my best friend to call. She did. We chatted. We became nostalgic. We marveled at the time gone by, the wonderful experiences shared. We recalled specific instances and I felt the tangible connection between us, the deep love and affection.  Friends, what a blessing!

An old colleague got in touch today, just like that, out of the blue. But it was like taking up a conversation we left off yesterday and we got lost in catching up on the years. What happy nostalgia, remembering people we both knew and doing the “where are they now” routine. After a lot of bantering and teasing, we called off, promising to meet up. I do look forward to that!

A close friend I had lost touch with for fourteen years, whom I recently connected with, phoned. Another marathon conversation, laughing, smiling, crying, as we took a quick trip down the timeline. We met at an aerobics class and instantly became friends. We’d go see a movie every Sunday.  If it looked like we’d miss a Sunday, then we’d meet on Saturday.

I got an email from another very dear friend today. We met in 1986, when I joined an advertising agency. Friendship at first sight. Still cherishing each other’s scintillating company in 2012. We share the same taste in music, humor, books, movies and a whole lot of other stuff. Even when we moved from the advertising agency to take up different jobs, we made it a point to meet at least once a week for lunch or coffee as long as we lived in the same city. Today we continue to share the same relationship, only stronger. 

I often wonder – we seem to fall short of time, all the time these days. Where did we find the time to actually meet our friends and spend time with them? But we did. We even visited each other. We had jobs, hectic ones. Yet we found time for family, outings, holidays. These days, it has become so hard to juggle our schedules. 

When I suspected this happening to me, I quit while I was at the top. I just shifted my focus. And was not surprised to find that the world went on as comfortably as it did before.

 All I want from life now is happy relationships, the chance to make lives better and travel and see places. 

My Non-Negotiables

I love that phrase, don’t you? I am thinking about all the things I must do on a daily basis to stay happy and sane. At first I thought my non-negotiables would cover only a few things, but then, as I jotted down my list, I found it growing – and growing. There are things I just cannot miss, no matter what.  So I’ve made an affirmations list for myself:

  1. Wake up early and pray. I swear my prayers are answered most of the time. So I have friends calling me to pass their message on to the Higher Power. Because you see, one can never tell – the Higher Power may only listen to me.
  2. Go for a walk with my family every evening.  That time is precious. We laugh, we share jokes, we scold each other, all in good spirit. And yes, I’ve become addicted to watching the skies and the birds. There’s a dream like quality – magical in the evening. My twilight zone, if you will. Plus, it is exercise. Amen to that!
  3. Maintain silence. This one is easy for me because after my folks leave at 8 am, I have the house to myself. Sometimes I practice just sitting and doing nothing. I figured that would be a good time to meditate. Calms the mind. Feels good.
  4. Get enough sleep. I am working on this. Really. And I am sure I’ll do it as soon as I successfully stretch the day to 28 hours. As if. 
  5. Play a game. Crosswords count, right? Joining the dots? Battleship? Noughts and Crosses? Yes, they count. I wouldn’t give up the laughter I share with my son during these wonderful hours.
  6. Read. Oh yes. This has to be a favorite. I read a lot of superb blogs and I love the range of emotions they evoke in me. Plus there’s Twitter and Facebook to amplify the message. Yes, I like to share. I also enjoy digging into a couple of books at a time. I am a parallel reader.
  7. Talk to a neighbor every day. This one is easy. Add talk to children. Nothing like the rush of creativity that surges within after a discussion with a child.
  8. Day dream. Ah, a habit.
  9. Eat healthy. .
  10. Drink lots of water. 
  11. Ask myself, did I make at least five people smile today? Affirmative.
  12. Kill gossip. No meaningless conversations.  Shhh….voices in my head.
  13. Be happy.    
  14. Eliminate negative thoughts and things you can’t control. Channel energy on living in the moment.
  15. Smile more. Laugh more.
  16. There’s no need to win every argument. It is okay to agree to disagree.
  17. Focus on doing good
  18. Let go of expectations
  19. Remember that no matter how tough a situation, it will change
  20. Stay in touch with friends.
  21. Do the right thing. I listen to my heart.
  22. Simplify.
  23. Dress well.
  24. Give something good, of value, every day.
  25. Don’t overdo anything. 
  26. Don’t worry.
  27. Don’t feed your fears
  28. Believe in yourself
What’s so unique about this list? Is there anything you didn’t know?  🙂 Yet, we need to be reminded of the simplest and most obvious things in life, especially when we are rushed off our feet.

Life is a school. I am here to learn. Problems are fine. I can work them out. The lessons I learn will be life’s gift to me.  I am thankful to wake up to a brand new day, every day, full of hope.


What are you thankful for? 
What gives you a “happiness hangover”?

Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.

Cheers!

Vidya

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    June 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I love your non-negotiables! And the fact that you call them that! Making people smile, meditation, believing in yourself, it’s ok to agree to disagree. So much good advice here! You are such a shining light, my friend! I adore you.
    XOXOs

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      I am in love with that phrase, Terri! 😀 Thank you so much for being my friend! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Paige | simple mindfulness
    June 27, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I laughed when I read about how your friends give you messages to deliver to a Higher Power – just like one of the characters in the book, The Help. That’s awesome!

    I love your list. What would the world be like if everyone practiced just five things from this list? Beautiful! Like you!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Oh, Paige, my folks find it super-amusing. Particularly when they’re around, and am on the phone about such a request. 😀 All because a couple of major things came true. I take it seriously too, purely because of the faith. You and I both know what makes things happen 😉 Hugs! I have a far longer list – and I enjoy seeing it grow!

      I just got “The Help” and am looking forward to reading it!

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    June 27, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    My favorite part of this wonderful post is what you said about how we made time to make friends. So why don’t we make time to spend time with them? You really got me to thinking about that! I’m going to call several friends today and make some plans to get together.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      🙂 Did you get together (yeah, by the time I am replying, I am hoping that has happened!). But seriously, I can’t help wondering how we physically managed so many things – while now, when we have technology to simplify our life (telecommute)- that things are tougher. Still, I am glad to say I do manage to enjoy face to face time with friends – and feel blessed. Nothing equals the joy of picking up the phone, deciding an impromptu meet and having fun! Thank you so much for being here today! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Julie | A Clear Sign
    June 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Vidya,

    I love it! You also fulfilled #11 with #1, which made me laugh outright 🙂

    That’s a lot of things on your list! I can’t think of a single one to leave off though…in fact, you have me well beat. I love the games and walks and I do believe I would add much to my life if I put them on my list.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      🙂 Yes, No.1 does sound comic, does it not,Julie? 😀 I am not sure when it turned into a non-negotiable habit – it feels like I’ve been doing it forever. Somehow, the days are shorter 😀 probably because they’re crammed with to-do’s.

      I’d love to see your list!

  • Reply
    Betsy at Zen Mama
    June 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Vidya,
    We were just discussing the fact that we seemed to do so much more when we were younger! Maybe that’s just how our brains work. I love your list! I think I do nearly every thing you mentioned or at least try to! I’m reading a lot this summer and tying to walk or swim in a nearby lake daily. I don’t do too many crossword puzzles so maybe that is something to work on.

    Thank you so much for the reminders! Thanks for being one of my teachers in Life’s school. I’m going to print this out!!

    Hugs!!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      😀 Thanks Betsy. I find that just shutting the computer down helps me achieve a whole lot of things. Of course,that takes a lot of planning:D – but it is worth it! Glad you liked the post!

  • Reply
    Lori Gosselin
    June 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Vidya,you are a ray of sunshine! “Happiness hangover” – I love it! Lately I’ve been feeling a happiness hangover often. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal since the first of the month – maybe that is to blame ;-)I see and appreciate the miraculous balance I’ve achieved in my life and I’m so enjoying every moment!
    Crosswords count! And reading…Just started reading 11/22/63 – 850 pages of a wonderful read! Yes, there is much to be grateful for!
    Lori

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      😀 Thanks Lori! Oh,a gratitude journal is a fabulous thing. I keep one myself. Except I write on slips of paper and put it in a jar so I can pick one up at random anytime i want and read it. Sometimes it is hilarious. Don’t you love going back and reading it? I love how it magnifies the joy of everything. I haven’t heard of 11/22/63 – and 850 pages sounds like just my kind of volume! Let me get hold of it – I’d love to have a conversation with you about what you thought of it when we’ve both read it!

      I am so happy to see you here!

  • Reply
    Fran Sorin
    June 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Who else but you, Vidya, could come up with the phrase ‘Happiness Hangover’. I’m aligned with you about having clarity when it comes to non-negotiables. It makes life so much sweeter and more meaningful.

    Your list is inspiring and full of wonderful choices Vidya. With love, Fran

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      🙂 I loved your post about 45 ways, Fran. Yes, life is sweet! 🙂 Thank you for being here today! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Hajra
    June 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Isn’t that a little list…. eh? 😉

    I love the phrase Happiness Hangover! You certainly have us hung on now!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Hajra!:D Yes. It is a wee list, isn’t it? 😀 I like the happiness hangover status.So easy to prolong it!

  • Reply
    billdorman.me
    June 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    That’s all you could come up with?

    Great list; sometimes I get in such a routine I have to purposely shake things up and lists like this are a great reminder to remember what is important.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      😀 Bill, I can just visualize you asking me “That’s all…?” 😀 Naah, I withheld the crazy part of it! Much as a routine is necessary, I find it hard to follow the same sequence too! Okay … so I don’t work at night and sleep during the day – but yes, I like to shake it up too! Thank you for being here!

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    June 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I need to be reminded of the simple things all the time. Lately I have been neglecting exercise and I need it. I need to remember that it’s a non-negotiable.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Same here with the exercise, Claudya. Gosh. I am paranoid about being overweight 😀 Oh but those potato chips sure taste good.

  • Reply
    Sandra /Always Well Within
    June 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I really enjoyed your musings over where did we find the time to connect with friends? As I am moving more out of solitude and connecting with more people, the question of time comes up quite a bit. Deciding on non-negotiables like this is a perfect way to commit to making time to what’s important in life like friends! Thanks for sharing this fun and useful tool.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      🙂 Thank you, Sandra. I am conscious about staying in touch with friends. Who else, aside from family can make us feel great? 😀 Now, if only I could stretch the day into a few more hours! 😀 Glad you dropped by!

  • Reply
    Ken Wert
    June 29, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Absolutely love this post, Vidya! You are an inspiration! You’ve said this elsewhere before, but I love the idea of being dedicated to making 5 people smile every day. I have no doubt your answer to that one is affirmative just about every day. And what luck to have such a friend to whom our Higher Power listens to so exclusively! 😉

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Ken, SO happy to see you! Making people smile is such an easy goal, that the logistics automatically become a pleasure to work out. And yes, doing it is easy for me. 😀 Do let me know what you’d like from Ms.Higher Power. (yeah, she’s a lady!)I will be very happy to have a special chat. 😀 Oh, but it is good to see you!

  • Reply
    Evelyn Lim
    June 29, 2012 at 5:59 am

    So can I send you an email to ask for your help to pray too LOL?

    I enjoyed reading your post tremendously. I love your attitude about making time and creating more happiness.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Anytime, Evelyn 😀 Thank you! You know you’re always welcome!

  • Reply
    Aileen | Kaizen Vision
    June 29, 2012 at 6:14 am

    “Sometimes, you need to step outside,get some air, and remind yourself who you are and who you want to be” I LOVE that!
    & I love your list of non negotiables.

    My happiness hangover comes from dancing and the days I don’t dance there’s an obvious difference. So meditation, a daily walk and dance are my non negotiables. Too often everything else feels like the priority, and it can be a challenge to stay true to self.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Aileen, I do that literally. Just drop everything and go up to the terrace to gaze at the clouds. And I feel calm again. Dancing is fun! With my two left feet…well. But I do enjoy a good blast of music from the 80’s :-)and singing along.

      Meditation is great, isn’t it? Happy you are here!

  • Reply
    Rahul Bhatia
    June 29, 2012 at 6:41 am

    A lovely read, Vidya:) Two things which stand out are nothing like catching up with old friends and those affirmations which will make every day a happy sunshine day:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      True Rahul! You know how I enjoy your blog posts!:-) Old friends are wonderful!

  • Reply
    Vetrimagal
    June 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Yes, Making friends and chatting with old friends!
    That is happiness hangover:-)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      June 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Pattu, what fun it would be to meet up some day and enjoy a filter kaapi and chat!

  • Reply
    thoughtstomull.com
    July 4, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Oh, this is a beautiful post! And relationships are the big thing in my world… relationships with myself and so many others! All those wonderful people, and not one is the same as another! Isn’t that amazing?! Love this post, Vidya!!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      July 14, 2012 at 6:00 am

      Hugs, Janet. I agree with you completely! Yes, amazing is right!

  • Reply
    Nikky44
    July 14, 2012 at 5:50 am

    It’s a great post, thank you! What makes me happy is the smile of my children and connecting with my friends

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      July 14, 2012 at 6:00 am

      I am with that, Nikky! So good to see you again. I worried about you. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Lets Be Friends - Vidya Sury
    June 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    […] Ah, the moments shared and those happiness hangovers! […]

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