As I mentioned before there have been several things in my life that have made me think about intentional joy and moments of happy lately. Happiness is made up of the tiny little things that make up life and each day. We tend to want to look at the bigger reasons for purpose, joy, and happiness that God has given us. These are important too. But God has made us beings that delight in the little things. As kids, this seems to come so simply and easy to us. As we grow older it isn’t quite as simple and takes more intentionality.
I was struck by the simplicity of this the other day. This summer I have decided to have nighttime adventure surprises for my three girls. What I do is tell them, at some point after dinner, that we are going on an adventure. Then I tell them in how many minutes we will be leaving and what they will need to bring. I use the word adventure very loosely because what makes it an adventure is the fact that it is spontaneous, fun, surprising, at night, and they don’t know what will happen next.
I have the girls get into the car without knowing where we are going. Then I either surprise them at each spot or I have them guess about what they think will happen. We have only done two so far, but I have been simply amazed at how this infuses a burst of happy into our day. So far, one adventure was going to a new candy store and going on a hike to see the sunset. Then adventure number two was doing what their Dad and I enjoyed together before they were born. We went to the grocery store to get Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Then we went to the park to eat the ice cream, watch the stars come up, and try to find the different constellations. Really simple, right?!
After our last adventure, the girls declared that we should do an adventure every night. Now, I am not sure about that. Somehow I think the adventure would lose it’s power. However, the point was very clear to me that doing something so simple could add a burst of fun to our day. Before our last adventure, I had been frustrated that it felt like I was pulling teeth to get the girls to do the things I asked. I was feeling a bit peeved with them. So to add a burst of happy at the end of the day was simply perfect.
What can you do to simply add a little happy to your day? I would add that there is something even more powerful to adding a burst of happy at the end of the day, to finish the day with a win.