This #happychallenge has been interesting for me.

I’ve been home for the past few days, which means I didn’t get out and around as much as I do when I am in NYC. The past few days were great, but great because I was home. Normal days. Sleeping late, eating good food, spending time with family.

It’s hard to pin-point at the end of the day what in particular made me happy without being too cliche.

I could have said “Family” every single day this week, and it would have been completely true. But I didn’t want to be cliche.

What I did notice over the past few days is how very much I have and how easy it is for me to forget.

When something goes wrong, it’s so easy to be angry. To feel as if nothing ever goes your way. As if  everything is slipping away, and it will never come together.

Over the past few days, my eyes have been peeled for something happy. And I discovered a lot. Mostly tiny things.

Things like:

Waking up in the morning, healthy.

Warm water to wash my face and plumbing so that I can use the bathroom in the comfort of my home, down the hall from my bedroom.

Enough clothing for me to have to decide what to wear.

Having enough food in the house that it’s a challenge for me to choose what I’d like to eat for breakfast.

Car’s at our disposal, so that I can go somewhere with my sisters.

I have not been forced to flee my home. When I leave tomorrow, it will not be against my will (although I’d love to stay home a little longer!), and I will not be heading to a shelter with thousands of other people, where there are crying children and adults having nightmares.

I do not wake up in the morning, wondering where my next meal will come from.

I have sweaters and scarves to keep me warm when the weather outside dips below 50 degrees.

I have parents who try their best to support my dreams.

I am not afraid to express myself. I am free to practice my religion. I have friends that I am so grateful for. I am going on a trip across the country next week. I have a good job. I have hobbies and so many interests.

I have so, so much.

And it’s so easy to take all these things for granted.

The moment dinner doesn’t work out, or it rains when I had a big day planned, it all seems to crumble, and all these things become barely a priority.

This #happychallenge opened up my eyes to all of these things. Bubby opened up my eyes to all these things.

It is so much easier to focus on the bad. And I will be the last one to say that the bad should be ignored. No. The bad in the world must be transformed into good. But instead of focusing on the bad, why don’t we just push it away by bringing more good?

A teacher once taught me that the way to get rid of a bad habit is not to abstain from the habit, but to start a good habit and eventually it will push the bad habit away.

If I have a problem with the education system, it will do no one good to listen to me putting down the administrations and curriculum’s. It will do good if I network with those who can make a difference, and we just make change.

I don’t want this #happychallenge to end. But it’s not that helpful for me to just keep posting about the happy in my life. I do need to keep seeing it though. But I need to do more. More for my Bubby, and more for me.

I don’t have any great plans just yet.

But thank G-d, I was given a brain and a heart, and by putting the two together, and combining them with the rest of all of yours..I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do something pretty awesome.


Day 3 of the #Happychallenge

I’m tired. Today was the third day of Chanukah, and the first major party that I took part in.
Today, what made me happy was my family.
I have them. My parents. My siblings.
They’re all here, and healthy, thank G-d.
Most of us are home for the holiday, except for two, and their spouses and children.
Family is incredible, and I don’t know how people live in the world without their family.
It made me so grateful for the family that I have, knowing that so many people are suffering now, as a result of worldwide terror.
I love you, family.
#happychallenge is easier than I thought.
Bubby, I hope you are watching me try to find the good in each day that comes. This is for you. I’m writing something happy.

Day 2 of the #happychallenge

Day 2 of the #happychallenge:
Today was a long day. But throughout it, there were so many moments that I found the happiness.
I started my day in New York, and I’m ending it in my hometown.
I journeyed in an uber, 2 buses and my fathers car to get here, in time to be home for the 3rd night’s menorah lighting.
Let’s start with one of the first things that made me happy.
My grandfather, who is in his 80’s, asked me to help him on the computer. I followed him up the stairs which he went up quickly, and I found myself not being to believe that this man was in his eighties. Thank you, G-d.
Second thing that made me happy was when we were driving over a bridge, in the uber, on the way to the bus station, I saw a wall covered in graffiti letters- not an uncommon sight in NYC. But this time it said “Smile, you’re beautiful”
Graffiti is always a work of art, but this was an especially beautiful one.
The third thing that made me smile was when I was finally on the last leg home, my sister and I joined the rush hour crowd on our second bus.
As we neared our stop, and the bus emptied, we overheard the conversations between the passengers. They were asking each other about their lives, being that they see each other every day.
Stranger camaraderie makes me happy, always.
The fourth thing that made me happy, and I mean laugh until I cried, was being home with my family again, and spending time with my sisters.
There is so much good in this world. We just have to tell others about the good, instead of only telling about the bad.

#HappinessChallenge DAY ONE

Hey, Bubby, I’m writing something happy. (reference to prior post)

#happychallenge Day 1:

I started off Chanukah not feeling super excited. I wasn’t home with my family, I didn’t have any big parties to attend. I also had work to go to the next day, and I couldn’t take a break from my responsibilities. I had a phone meeting scheduled with one of my teachers to talk about my progress in the online course that I’m taking. In my lazy, un-interested, un-holiday like mood, I sat down for the meeting, ready for it to be a quick, protocol call.
Somehow in conversation, I brought up the fact that it’s Chanukah and that my schedule would be a little up in the air.
My teacher, although not Jewish, was so encouraging about me spending time with my family and not worrying about school this week. He asked me questions about the holiday and related that he had a childhood friend that was Jewish, and he was always so jealous of all his late night parties, for eight days straight.
I grew up, and continue to grow, in a world that is filled with antisemitism.  I don’t have to elaborate and make this depressing by mentioning all the incidents. Wherever I go, I feel a slight fear that someone will call me out for my religion, or hurt me for it.
It was nice to feel Jewish pride instead.
I never mentioned blatantly to my online teachers that I was Jewish. I didn’t find it necessary, and what if they hated Jews and would fail me on my course for that reason?
The positive reaction from my teacher filled me gave me the Chanukah cheer that I was so desperate for earlier.
The world has hope. We just have to find all the people who put love before hate.
This is my first day of discovering the happy amidst the sad in honor of the holiday of light.