I hope your weekend was relaxing, revitalizing, jam-packed, smile-inducing—or whatever you hoped it would be.
Besides running around Boise all day Saturday, and meal prepping like a mad woman on Sunday, I spent a lot of time thinking about big life changes ahead—about the career path I’m embarking upon, about where I want to live once I’ve finished grad school; about the goals I’ve set for myself… I feel as though I’m standing on a launch pad, preparing to propel forward. Right now is an exciting time of preparation, however I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it’s a bit frightening as well.
As I was thinking about the changes that lie ahead, I came to a realization. I realized that I’ve have spent a lot of time in my life counting on change to make me happy.
When my weight changes, THEN I’ll be happy. When I switch jobs, THEN I’ll be happy. When I get that new car/house/outfit/promotion, THEN I’ll be happy.
Guess what? I sort of believe that certain changes and things like that can indeed bring us happiness.
For example, these things definitely made me happy over the weekend….
Sweet and salty. 😉
Perfectly seared scallops.
Finding the new Carrot Cake Luna Bar—finally!
And devouring it in the car two minutes later.
Stocking up on spring-like nail colors. I couldn’t decide, so I bought them all. Welp.
Going nutty for my (second) favorite nut butter.
Saturday night partying–James Bond and Sophia Champagne with a sippy straw 😉
Selfies in Sephora with my gal pal, Meg!
Yep, all those things brought me LOADS of happiness!
They did not, however, bring me JOY.
The way I see it, happiness is variable and fleeting. It goes up and down based on our external circumstances, on what’s going on in our lives at any particular moment. In other words, all of those superficial changes and things we desire probably can bring us a certain degree of happiness for a certain span of time.
But joy is another story. Joy is steady and constant; joy is an unwavering sense of contentment and peace, and it doesn’t depend on if our circumstances at the moment are easy or difficult. Even when we’re unhappy, we can still feel the sense of peace and safety and hope that comes with joy.
There was a time I thought that losing weight or changing jobs or moving to a new city would make me happy. And actually, many of those things did happen and they did have an impact on my happiness levels.
But what I was actually searching for through all of those changes wasn’t happiness at all; it was joy. Now I realize that joy can never be created by a change in the external; it comes from a deep transformation of the internal. It has less to do with our circumstances and more to do with our perspective. It can withstand both the good and the bad changes that come our way in life.
Understanding this fundamental difference between happiness and joy means that I can pursue changes in life that I know will be positive for me without relying on them for my ultimate fulfillment. I can withstand the ups and downs of my happiness while constantly maintaining a deeper level of joyful satisfaction.
When we focus solely on happiness, we can become prisoners to the next change in our lives. We’re constantly waiting for this to change or that to happen. But when we instead turn towards joy, we can anticipate changes with excitement without requiring them to sustain us. <3
Before I go…
Meal Plan Monday
I’m going to start posting my meal line up (mainly dinners) for the week because I think it’s fun to share and exchange recipes and prepping ideas! I’d also love to hear what you’ve made or are planning to make, so please feel free to link up to any recipes in the comments!
- Chile-Lime Chicken Burgers with Guacamole and Cheddar
- Spinach, Parmesan, and Caramelized Onion Crustless Quiche (similar to the one I ate on Christmas—ahh, that was a good day of eating!)
- Crockpot Tex-Mex Chicken Lettuce Wraps (beautiful photography!)
- Wild Salmon Burgers (I buy these from Costco–so convenient, and really good!)
- Coconut Flour Crust Pizzas
- Hard boiled eggs (I boiled 16! I go through them that fast)
- Chocolate Protein Bars
I tried out a new recipe over the weekend that knocked my socks off. Seriously. They tasted like healthy chocolate cake.
And when topped with coconut peanut butter?
Bliss. Okay maybe not bliss. But about as blissful as a homemade protein bar can get. 😉
I’ll share the recipe soon!
Have a marvelous Monday! Be sure to check out the other MIMM posts at Healthy Diva Life!
I want to know…
What things brought you happiness over the weekend?
Can you relate to my past experiences of waiting for things to change in order to be happy?
What do you think is the difference between happiness and joy?
What are you looking forward to making/eating this week? Do you meal prep each week?