HAPPY LIST

 

I was going through Pinterest this morning and I remembered reading in passing a line somewhere where which talks about “things that make you happy”…well, considering I was not in a state I will define as happy this morning, I skipped past that line without giving it a second glance.

Shortly after, my phone buzzed and the display showed it was a Facebook call from my brother-in-law. I walked out of my shared office space to receive the call.

While we were still exchanging pleasantries, my phone buzzed and the Facebook call was abruptly ended by the call coming through…caller ID showed “dad” calling. I received the call and we chatted some. He had dreamt about me last night and thought he should call to “check on me”…well I am fine and so the call came to an end…

I called back my brother-in-law and we continued…

When I got back to the office, I suddenly realized I felt happier and while thinking what could have caused the change in my mood, that line from the Pinterest flashed back to my mind and then it clicked…I became happy because I just spoke to family!!  Then I thought to myself why not make a note of what makes me happy so I can refer to it next time I feel the need for a boost and lift in spirit…

As I made the note, another thought came to mind…why not just make a post about it and who knows, it might put a smile on someone’s face or someone might read it and be happy/happier or better still someone will get challenged to make their own “Happy list”.

So here is my random happy list…It is by no means exhaustive. It is also not listed in any order…just a list of the first 10 things that came to my mind which makes me happy.

 

  1. Family – Of course you know I had to start here right?

 

  1. Companions – They are friends…but more than just friends. This is a small, crazy and tightly knitted bunch at church who meet every Wednesday for a very informal meeting. It creates a platform to open up and be vulnerable without feeling judged. I am a happy dude every Wednesday cos I am sure to get a full refill of my happy-tank.

 

  1. Kitchen – (Disclaimer: I am not an excellent cook!!) I don’t cook often…I sometimes could go on for weeks without cooking a meal. But I have found out that whenever I step into the kitchen to make something – could be simple stuff like a cup of tea or a complex like a new recipe – I get a shot of ‘happy steroids’! so every now and then when I find myself in the kitchen, I am a happy Z. 🙂

 

  1. WritingI mean informal writing, I not only love writing but I get a ‘happy pill’ in my system whenever I do. I sometimes wonder why I don’t get the same thrill when I have to write my thesis and other scientific/academic stuff that I do often…topic for another day? maybe? maybe not? 🙂

 

  1. MusicMusic is life!! Let me just leave it at that… I love music and music loves me. Music kinda gives the bro an overdose of “Happy hormones” which hits me straight at that spot and takes me to cloud number Z! Oh and let me through you back a few years. by inviting Pharrell Williams to say it musically..HAPPY!!

 

  1. TravellingI am on an ‘adrenaline rush’ each time I start planning for a trip, it does not matter if it is to a new place or somewhere I have been to before, just the act of planning for a trip and mentally knowing I will be packing and going away for some time is all it takes to hit my “happy buttons”. I count down to the day and I am like on a sugar rush when the day finally comes. I love travelling and so glad my wife also share this love with me. We’ve got lots of happy memories we share on our trips. The happiest me is the travelling me!

 

  1. Looking good – “Looking good is serious business” who said that? I don’t know but I do agree. I don’t always look good because sometimes I think it is too much work and effort, but when I take the time to try look good, it gives me a shot of happiness. One of my favorite radio personalities Pearl Modiadie is fond of saying “If you look good, you feel good” I couldn’t have said it better!

 

  1. KidsI usually walk around with a serious, sometimes scary face I have been told. If you observe me out there and all of a sudden see my face break into a wide grin…look in the direction of my eyes and you most likely to see a kid. That says it all! 

 

  1. DogsI have written about my love for dogs before, if you missed it, you can read it here… I can live in a world of dogs and I won’t miss a lot. Not sure there is any creature that comes as close in cuteness and ‘pure-heartedness’ as a dog. Dogs, especially puppies give me what I call the ultimate super turbo-charge of happiness.

 

  1. Social MediaThis post started from my visit to Pinterest this morning right? need I say more? This appeals to my inquisitive side a lot more…I regularly pop into Twitter and smile away. I have gained a lot from my time on social media. I am still learning a lot though and with each day, I find out new things…one thing that has remained constant in my learning curve on social media though is it makes me happy.

 

So here are Ten random things that make me happy…I have made a note and next time I feel like in need of a happy pill, I know where to go…I will keep building the list in my journal too…it is my responsibility to keep me happy! You should do same… drop a comment of what makes you happy…I am always open to learning new stuff and I just might pick a new happy pill from you.

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CANINE LOVE

Episode 1: Welcome to my Dog worldFighting my demons bulliesDogs

Yesterday I had a lazy day…and what I do on my lazy days is to browse and surf the internet…I do that for most of the day (up to 16 hours on a very lazy day) and spend the rest of the day feeling bad for having waste the day. Just before falling to sleep, I always do the same thing…I cheer myself up…one of my guiding philosophy is “never go to bed with sadness”…especially on a lazy day. I am myself’s best motivational speaker and I often times do a very not so good job of it. Yesterday was one of such days and I needed to give me that pep talk before sleeping and this is what made me smile again.

I made a quick mental scan of all I browsed on the internet and I found myself stuck with a story I read sometime in the afternoon. It was the story of Figo, a police dog which lost its Partner Police officer Jason Ellis. Jason was shot and brutally murdered by yet to be identified men a few days ago…but that wasn’t what made the story go viral. It was the grief of Figo the dog. Figo was so heartbroken and was videoed during the funeral rites looking sad as it joined others in paying respect to a departed friend. The police had to retire Figo and now Figo will leave the rest of its life with late Jason’s family. You can read the full story here.

Figo

Figo’s story moved me, but since I am not one who is easily moved to tears, 🙂 I tried to shed a few tears only not to cry. It also got me thinking of some classic movies featuring dogs. Haichi and Dog Jack are two movies based on true life stories centered around dogs who I call heroes…if you have not watched either…place it on top of your “to watch list” now.  It is no secret I love dogs. I am not sure when my love for dogs started. I remember growing up in a house full of dogs…literally…different breeds. It was not difficult describing our house…“that dog house” is enough. That special status came with its up and down sides the up side is everyone within 50 km radius of our house will give you directions to the “dog house” so you can’t get lost.

The downside however, was that no one will bring you to the house!!! That was how terrified people were of our dogs…it was so bad even car owners dread driving past our house as the dogs “rise up in arms” to defend their territory. The commercial bike men popularly called Okada men will NEVER bring anyone to our street talk-less of the house…it doesn’t matter how much you are willing to pay…it was simply a no go area and that was it..they know the house but won’t take you there…they will tell you upfront that you will be dropped a street away and no further take the deal or leave it. Now with the house located just off the street, confrontation between the dogs and road users was common place. To make matters worse our house was not fenced so there was no restriction of any sort as the dogs proudly roamed around their territory without hindrance.No bad days with dogs

Ok, so before you start hating on my dogs, please know that they are lovely and honestly they were all bark and no bite. There was never an incidence of a “bite”…they were only doing their job – Guidance and Protection. 🙂 . Now if like me you grew in a house where you are sometimes surrounded by more dogs than humans you can’t help but fall in love with dogs. It’s that simple so I think this was how my special bond with dogs developed and over the years, the bond has only grown stronger.

I then had a special love for my dogs for many reasons among which is how they helped me climb the “respect ladder” back in primary school. I was among the smallest and youngest in the class so as you would expect, I became a natural target for bullies. I had a small body but my spirit was so huge. I quickly reached my tolerance limit and I could not take the bullying any more. I knew I had to evolve strategies to fight back somehow…I came up with two options; First, I befriended one of the bullies…it was easy, I was that intelligent 🙂 and I used that strength to get him to fight my battles while I pay him back in kind like helping out with class assignments and feeding him with stories that were half true half fiction enough to get him hooked and ask for more…that did the trick…a very symbiotic relationship developed.

This partnership didn’t last long however…it had a lot of loop holes. First, my bully friend was not always around me so the other bullies could target me when I am away from him. This happens more often than not as I was a free spirit and love roaming around. Secondly, he had his ‘off days’…you know what I mean….employee-employer crisis 😀 so some days he became the bully. To this day I still wonder what attracted those bullies to me you know.

Now that led me to evolve option B…the Dogs!! And a dog’s love, no man can break. Most of these bullies live around my area so they always had to use the main street which passed right in front of our house and from my vantage position from the window, I can see everything and everyone who walks pass…even when the dogs are taking an afternoon nap (Yes they get tired too you know!!! It is real hard work running after cars, bikes and people in the day while keeping vigil at night… :-). I stand sentry by the window and wait patiently for my time to shine.DogLife

When I see the bully walking pass my house, I give the war cry marshal my dogs and head for the confrontation…usually I make this move “coded-ly”- yes I have watched enough James bond movies even at that age to know how to make some “below the radar moves” J. I could not afford to foil my project at this stage by drawing the attention of my parents and/or siblings. I had developed a special bond with the dogs that all I need to do was make eye contact with one and the message is passed it…it was that simple and worked efficiently… 🙂 I then match walk with my troop of goons and confront my bully…I demand for two things: An apology and a promise to never bully me again…that wasn’t much to ask and usually we agreed quite quickly (The dogs made sure of that…you know what I mean). Any resistance or reluctance to sign the deal gave the dogs an opportunity to motivate the bully….I won’t bore you with how 🙂 . Yes, that was how I overcame my bullies at that stage of life.

But as I was soon to discover, in my life, bullies never really stop coming. Bullying is like a continuous process…you either bully or get bullied on one front or the other. It is same with me… I still face bullies in various aspects of my daily life. These bullies are sometimes not physical so I cannot fight with my trusted dogs but I had to face them each day and fight them anyways. I miss my dogs of those days. I wish I can still see them but like Agnes Sligh said “Dog’s lives are too short…their only fault, really”; I agree with her…now I can only think back with great fondness mixed with emotion of the nice times we spent together as all the dogs of that era have since died and moved on…and so have I…in some way that it…Yes, I am no longer a small bodied primary school boy. I have moved on from that stage but I have not moved on from my love for dogs…I still love and adore them completely.

PUPPY-LOVE-VALENTINE-POSYER-CUTE-LOVE-QUOTE

I currently don’t own a dog of my own because I stay in a “no-pet apartment” and also live a super busy and highly mobile life, but all that will soon change. In the meantime however, I have a couple of dog-friends I keep track of…dogs I love specially. The one is called Jack…he is my sister’s 1 and a half year old best friend and secondly there is Simba who is on top of my “to meet” list. I however read a lot about Simba and his numerous adventures and stunts. You can read one of his stories here…and if you want to know more about Simba, and keep abreast of his adventures, just subscribe to “Longer, Harder”; the blog of Simba’s  owner or “ father and poo packer” as he puts it…who I think is a terrific and extremely hilarious writer…one of my favorites.

For Updates on Jack and my other Dog- friends, stay right here as I will dish out all the stories and adventures.

Yes, Welcome to my Dog world. 😀Glad you are back

Zeal