Welcome! This post is one stop along the trail on a Happiness Blog Hop, where we’re discussing scrapbooking as it relates to happiness. Links to the other participants are at the bottom of this post.
To enter the giveaway from Scrapworthy Lives (the host of this blog hop), be sure to comment below and tell me what makes you happy. You can earn one entry per blog. This means that if you visit everyone’s blog and comment on each, you will have 14 entries. All entries must be posted by Friday, June 3, at midnight Central Standard Time (Chicago, IL, USA). Stephanie will ship the prize anywhere in the world. The winner will be announced on Sunday, June 5, on Scrapworthy Lives.
When I was five and my brother was four, we had the most wonderful opportunity. Because my mother’s friends knew what a great teacher she was (and still is), they asked her to take their children and teach them at our home for their kindergarten year. There were eight of us who gathered in our basement to learn together for a half day three days per week. I loved it.
One of my many strong memories of this year is the morning ritual we followed. Each day after getting to our assigned seats and settling in we stood, turned toward the U.S. flag displayed in the corner, placed our right hands over our hearts and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we turned to face a fabric poster that Mom had hanging from a thumb tack on the left wall. It was made of a light-weight burlap and had pastel smiley faces tumbling down the sides, framing this poem:
“Begin the day with friendliness,
Keep friendly all day long.
Keep in your soul a friendly thought,
In your heart a friendly song.
Have in your mind a word of cheer,
For all who come your way,
And they will greet you too, in turn,
And wish you a happy day!”
But we didn’t recite that poem; we sang it. Mom tells the story that one day as she was reading through the poem a tune just poured out of her to go with the words. So eight four- and five-year-olds and Mrs. Daquila raised their voices in unison to sing this happy little poem to that happy little tune. What a fantastic way to start the school day!
All these years later I can sing that little song, and I instantly feel happier. When I talked to my brother on the phone yesterday I started singing the song to him out of the blue, and he joined in with me. Good memories and good feelings go hand-in-hand. We scrapbookers already know that, don’t we?
But another lesson that I’ve learned from thinking back on that story is the power anchors have in our emotional lives. I’m referring to anchors as stimuli in our environment that our brains associate with and then use to trigger a specific emotional response in us. You know, like when the smell of onions and garlic sautéing takes you back to the Thanksgiving mornings of your childhood, when your grandmother would get up early to start making stuffing for the turkey. The emotional response to that smell is likely to make you feel pretty good (even if Grandma was a wretched cook)!
Why does a particular blanket make a child feel more secure in an unfamiliar situation? Because his brain connects for him the times his father brought him that blanket and then told him a story before tucking him in. Just having the blanket can make him feel that way.
Scrapbooking is a happy part of my life. I love to read about scrapbook trends, look at others’ creative work online, talk about scrapping, plan my next layout in my head and shop for supplies. And I really look forward to my scrap time! But I recently realized that when the time arrived to go into my craft room and create, I had some negative anchors associated with it. I would go into my little room and feel my energy drop. I’d start to feel overwhelmed and angry at myself for wasting this precious time. Not really productive emotions, right?
Then one day I walked into our office to find Matt watching a video of a little boy playing the ukulele and singing Jason Mraz’ “I’m Yours.” I watched it over his shoulder and said, “That song just makes me smile.”
That’s when it hit me. I could create a list of songs that have that effect on me, put them on my iPod and play them when I’m ready to start scrapping (and whenever I feel down, for that matter). And you know, it worked!
So, let’s sum up what I’ve learned here:
- Make time to do things that make me happier, such as taking photos, recording family stories and using pretty paper to pull it all together.
- Find triggers that help improve my energy level and feel happier when I need it.
- A happy little song can make a big difference.
- Begin the day with friendliness.
Remember to comment and tell me what makes you happy to be entered in the blog hop giveaway.
TO GO TO THE NEXT BLOG ON THE HOP:
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ALL THE PARTICIPATING BLOGS:
1200 Some Miles
Take a Picture and Remember This
Scrap Your Life
My Life in Photos & Words
This Kalil Life
The Constant Scrapper
Pie for Breakfast
Scraps & Sass
Abstracts Mixed with Extracts
Resources covering the relationship between music and mood: