Challenge #20

Well I failed on my own challenge for yesterday. Instead of being creative, I stayed in bed until the late afternoon, and then basically did nothing. I’m quite sick, so that is my excuse. But I suppose not every day can be a success—though I hate the feeling of wasting a day. Also, disclaimer: following is a bunch of late night, sick girl rambling. Feel free to skip right to the challenge, I won’t be offended!

I very rarely watch movies. They often make me feel like I have wasted two hours of my life. But today I was in the mood to cry, so I watched a movie that my mom suggested. Has anyone seen the Fisher King? It is the story of a guilt-ridden man and his attempt to free himself from the guilt by helping a homeless man. It is strange and intense and did make me cry. It also made me think about guilt, the crazed, love, and the strangeness of happiness. Happiness is an emotion that is so very affected by one’s psychological and mental state. I know a girl that is unhappy in whatever situation she is in—nothing is ever right. Yet the homeless men in this movie are able to be happy scrounging for food and talking to the fantastical ‘little people.’

I think the majority of life is spent chasing happiness. I think people do things like search for a lover or a better job until they get to the base level of happiness—the one that they could handle living at. Then they spend the rest of their lives in an attempt to reach that next level, the one that they think will make them even happier. I think everyone has a different base level, a different spot that they can accept settling with. It seems that the homeless characters in this movie have reached that level of minimal yet acceptable happiness and are content with staying there. They’ve found happiness and then they stopped searching, stopped chasing.  Maybe we could learn something from them? Something about contentment or finding happiness in every circumstance. Maybe we are the crazy ones—always searching from something that we could find with an alteration to our psychological state.

I once got a fortune cookie that read ‘Stop searching forever, happiness is next to you.’ I kept it in the back of my cell phone for years. If you’ve read the About section of this blog, you’ll know that contentment is something that constantly defies me. I tried to used this fortune cookie as a reminder—one that the homeless men in this movie certainly don’t need. This is something I definitely need to work on.

Well now I am rambling and not making much sense. At least I didn’t get into my thoughts on guilt. As an ex-catholic, I’ve certainly got some of those! Anyways, here’s the challenge.

Challenge #20, January 20, 2011: Be happy today. Find good in bad circumstances. Smile if you want to frown. Tell yourself today is a happy day, and make it that way.


Cheesy? Maybe. But sometimes I like it that way.


About onechallengeaday

I am searching for nothing and absorbing everything. My eyes are open--I am wondering, I am wandering. I was made to run, to think, and to write. And that is what I plan to do.
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20 Responses to Challenge #20

  1. arlene1027 says:

    Nice post, I’m into it too, this “postaday2011” challenge!

  2. Sckewi says:

    Very nice post!

  3. Stef says:

    Amelia, a few thoughts for your consideration:

    1) If you are sick, I think you can hardly consider the day as “wasted”. Sometimes resting, recovering, restoring are *exactly* what we need – and meeting ourselves where we are, and giving ourselves what we need, is hardly a “waste”. (In my opinion, anyway.)

    2) I continue to be a little “wigged out” at how in synch I am with you. Last night I read this post – which speaks *exactly* to the notion of happiness and searching (or not) that you describe:

    3) I’m all about finding a smile every day; in fact, that’s the whole point of my blog (

    4) I hope you feel better soon! Take care hon.


  4. aka gringita says:

    Happiness is illusive and situational. We can chase it forever, because it can’t really be caught. Contentment, choosing to be satisfied with what we have (even while we work toward an even-better future)… that is steady and possible in virtually all circumstances. Great post, thanks for sharing. (And I’m sure you were creative yesterday. Just maybe a little more “internally” than usual is all. Being sick does that. Feel better!)

    • My mom is the most content person I know. In any situation, she can be just fine. I find my inability to be that way both a curse and a blessing. In one sense, the act of chasing can bring people to really neat situations. In another, maybe they will always be chasing happiness. Good luck finding contentment 🙂

  5. Kelly says:

    It seems like ‘finding happiness’ is the theme of my life today. Even though I haven’t been searching for it, posts like this keep finding me. Earlier today, I rec’d this tweet, which I think corresponds – “Happy people continuously change; and b/c they change they become more and more happy; and then more and more change is possible.”

    So the very act of being happy allows you evolve – which leads to more happiness.

  6. This is something that I often struggle with. I find myself constantly trying to make other people happy so that in return, I can be happy. Really, it’s the reverse. You should strive to make yourself happy and that will reflect on others, making them happy. This is a hard lesson that I’m trying to learn.

    With that comes trying to be happy in everyday life. Finding the little things is easy to me, but I am always looking at the big picture and hoping that things will get better, even though they are good right now. I have nothing to complain or be angry about (except recently fighting with my best friends) but that is something that will heal over time. Meanwhile, I need to focus on the things that make me happy right now and not dwell.

    This is a great post as per usual.

    • I agree that it is much easier to find happiness in the little things than it is to find it in the big things. The big things are the things that are *supposed to* make us happy, but I think that maybe the big picture, the big circumstances are really just a platform for all the little things to sit on. If the little things can bring happiness, does it matter how the big picture looks? I wish it didn’t–but I’d be a big ‘ol hypocrite if I claimed to live by that rule…

    • Sy says:

      hey, Matt, I like your blog and I’m definitely with you on the pizza and scotch, although with me it’s tequila first, scotch second.

  7. Pingback: Post #21 post2011 Challenge Links/Tags « Post A Day 2011 Wordpress Challenge

  8. rochelle0704 says:

    You never cease to amaze me……………….once again thank.

  9. Awesome blog…I’m enjoying reading them, they are very inspirational for me! 🙂

  10. dumpling says:

    Hope you’re feeling better, Amelia!

    (Isn’t it amazing how much clarity can come from being sick?)

    ♥ dumpling

  11. Judy B. says:

    All we really have is the exact moment we are in. There are no guarantees that we will see the next moment — ever. Being aware and present, rather than chasing the elusive dream of the happiness that awaits us when we get whatever or accomplish whatever, is truly where happiness can be found. That is not to say that we shouldn’t go after our dreams and what it is we want for our lives. But, it’s all about the journey … not just the destination. Be happy in the journey! Awesome post. Even sickness can be inspirational!

  12. postadaychallenge2011 says:

    You really know how to share come great interesting thoughts. I love the daily challenge writings. Live for today as it is all we got! Great blog! Your buddy Jackie

  13. cho says:

    i am going to take this one as my everyday’s challenge. i am a type who usually believe that bad day is truly exist. i hope this challenge could cure the bad day spell. 🙂

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