Things that make me happy

I was talking to Sander about how I used to use money to make me happy. I worked to spend money irresponsibly. There was that thrill of new ownership and I chased it every paycheck. In some ways, having no income has done wonders for my mental health. I no longer rely on consumerism to make me feel happy. Now, I take two weeks to reason with why I want something. This has resulted in more “happy moments”.

I feel better about who I am for the first time in a long time. It’s been years since I felt comfortable in my own skin. And that’s saying something. For me, the absence of income allows me to feel better about who I am as a person.

I decided to think about what’s been helping me keep positive as I get ready to finish my Dutch Integration process.

  • Opening all the windows in the morning to let the light in
  • Sitting down with the dogs to have breakfast
  • Sipping iced tea and watching the world go by
  • Socializing with good friends
  • The fresh evening breeze
  • Taking the dogs out for a 10pm walk
  • Enjoying delicious food with my loved ones
  • Re-watching my favorite movies
  • Opening a book for the first time
  • Watering my plants and watching them grow
  • Seeing the beautiful Dutch landscape
  • Lighting candles in the evening
  • Finishing a book and loving it
  • Putting on an outfit that makes me feel fantastic

It’s close to 3 years since I gave up working to move overseas and create an online space for myself. The instant gratification of endless spending did not follow me. It’s pushed me to reach out and think about why I sought that buyer’s high. I’ve come to terms with my life. Why I grew up the way I did and why I think the way I do. It’s a relief to know I’m not the only one who is recovering from the places I used to be. I’ve taken a step in a positive direction. I make myself happy instead of filling my life with useless things.

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