Wednesday, April 25, 2012
"Everyone deserves, and should have, one thing or activity that makes them completely happy. For some that happiness comes in the form of prayer, perhaps playing tennis, maybe sitting and talking with your mom, or even just waking up to the smell of coffee. However, everyone should have one simple activity, which makes you completely happy. I’d like to explain something that I do that makes me completely happy, and that thing is garage sale-ing, as is the proper name for it. Garage sale-ing takes me to a nostalgic place - perhaps the reason why I’m so blissfully happy when my mom asks me when I wake up on a Saturday morning, “want to go to a garage sale?”
Let me explain.
For as long as I can remember, my mom and I wake up early every Saturday morning during the summer and go to local garage sales. Sometimes it’s just one, but on the jack-pot weekends we go to five or six. Thursday’s afterschool my mom and I scan and scrutinize the local paper for upcoming garage sales and then map out each of our stops. We decide which sales we will hit first based on its relative closeness and how good the description of its goods sounds. A garage sale ad including items like tools, furniture, car parts, etc. gets low-priority, but ads with descriptions like household goods, knickknacks, and miscellaneous are bound to get a top spot.
My mom began garage sale-ing with her mom when she was a kid, and so it was with my mom and I. Garage sale-ing has become a type of tradition, with each ritual being carried out every Saturday morning in the summer.
Garage sale-ing is more than finding a good deal on something; it’s finding the gem amongst piles of rubble and the surge of excitement you feel when you know you’ve found something good. I can’t imagine the thousands of dollars we have saved by garage sale-ing, but the best is coming home with each new good and finding a way to repurpose it in our house. As I look around my kitchen, I notice all of the things we have collected over the years and putting them all together to create a home.
Part of the happiness and joy I get from garage sale-ing comes from the fact that I get to spend so much time with my mom and doing something that we both equally love. The other part comes from the excitement of buying an old antique item with a story behind it or just finding something really unique and interesting. One of my best finds was an old, engraved jewelry box with oriental details marked at $6. It wasn’t until a few years after I bought the jewelry box, I discovered a small gold and jade ring in a hidden compartment of the box – a true deal-busting find.
Even if I were a multi-billionaire, I’d continue to garage sale, and that’s simply because I love doing it. So, readers, what’s that one simple thing that brings you happiness? Happiness can be such a complex word with so many different meanings and connotations, but it’s pretty simple to sense the joy in going to a garage sale with your mom on a summer Saturday morning."
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
This might be a relatively unnecessary post in relation to my other blogposts, but I spent about two hours trying to choose a better theme, layout, and background for this blog yesterday.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Of the 18 countries that were surveyed, about 15% of the population in the top ten wealthiest countries were suffering from or had been diagnosed in the past with depression. On the other hand, only about 11% of the population in the developing countries suffered from depression.
- Japan: 6.6 percent
- Germany: 9.9 percent
- Italy: 9.9 percent
- Israel: 10.2 percent
- Spain: 10.6 percent
- Belgium: 14.1 percent
- New Zealand: 17.8 percent
- Netherlands: 17.9 percent
- United States: 19.2 percent
- France: 21 percent
From Low- and middle-income:
- China: 6.5 percent
- Mexico: 8 percent
- India: 9 percent
- South Africa: 9.8 percent
- Lebanon: 10.9 percent
- Colombia: 13.3 percent
- Ukraine: 14.6 percent
- Brazil: 18.4 percent
In addition to the wealthier being more prone to depression, women are generally twice as likely than men to be prone to depression. There is a direct relation between gender inequality and women’s depression, as shown below in a 2010 chart projecting the percentages of women depression.
Living in the western world, I can definitely see the effect of competition: everybody wants to be THE best. However, this is obviously taking a toll on people's mental health, and even physical health. While being the best might be important, it's also important to realize when competition is taking over your life and happiness.
Here's my two-cents: Even if you believe in reincarnation, you're going to live THIS life once: YOLO! So don't make it miserable. Re-evaluate your decisions in life. Is what you're doing making you happy? If not, then friends, you're doing life wrong. Change your thinking. Do YOUR best. Someone is ALWAYS going to be smarter than you, prettier than you, [insert adj here] than you, but no one is going to be YOU. As my grandma tells me, "You don't have to be THE best, just do your best, and be happy with what you have." That doesn't mean don't stop trying. It just means the only person you should compare yourself and try to be better than is the person who you are today, and be happy with your best.
P.S: If you truly are the Western person described in the study, and the above doesn't convince you, then the following quote might: "The best revenge is happiness, because nothing drives people more crazy than seeing someone actually living a good life."
Monday, February 27, 2012
When it comes to two people really liking each other, I’ll literally be the first person rooting for the couple-even if I don’t like them very much, or even if they're fictional characters-but I feel like there’s nothing more wonderful than when two people have that mutual feeling. On the other end, there’s also nothing more painful, even for me to watch as a spectator, for those two to break up. (I’m not even kidding-I seriously won’t want to watch a movie with that plot line.) For me to watch the loss of something that was so special and intimate, it’s just painful.
The situation is grim and depressing, so when you say you’ll never be happy again or you feel your world is ending-I feel ya, but as Rick Ross put it,”Regardless of how it goes down, Life goes on.” Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Honestly, I hate clicheed quotes thrown at me like this also; I don’t feel they help at the moment, but they do have some value when you take a few minutes to analyze it.
You can choose to mope, be sad, or simply wait patiently, in remembrance of a person, but if happiness is your goal, that most probably won’t be the best way to achieve it. Also, it helps to take life a day at a time. Let's say today was the last day to live, would you want to spend it happy or sad?
The path to your goal of happiness is strength. It takes strength to overcome grief. It takes strength to acknowledge your feelings from any type of loss:unrequited love, death, heart break, etc. Some people don’t want to find that strength.
For those who think this is the end-that is not true, in fact, it’s time to write the next and most beautiful chapter in your life yet. It might take time to realize you want that strength and finding that strength may be difficult, but the best thing you could do for yourself is learn to grow from your experiences. Think of things that might have gone wrong. Acknowledge that you and your significant other are human. There might have been mistakes made and it’s OKAY to make mistakes; it’s the only way you’ll learn not to repeat them in the future. This will only make for a better future for you! :) Strength also comes faster when you have a great support system. To get out of your low mood, get out there and enjoy a great time with your friends and family. Take up dancing or painting classes, read, give yourself a treat to the spa-Take care of yourself, improve yourself and have fun! Keep yourself surrounded and busy! Do things you love! Focus on yourself rather than anyone else, because you can do that best. Most importantly-Carry yourself with confident swag. Find your style and don’t be afraid to be who you are. Smile and let your confidence radiate and shine! Let everyone know, including yourself, that you’re happy no matter what and your happiness is not dependent on anybody, but you!
Monday, February 20, 2012
You could count me in on the bandwagon: To a certain extent, I, too, believe that Valentine’Day has become a “Hallmark Holiday”.
Don’t get me wrong, I guess it’s a great day for couples to rejoice and go through the ritualistic motions of giving flowers, candy, presents, and going on a romantic date. Besides the fact that such emotions, sentiments, and expressions of love shouldn’t just be an annual event, I don’t think it’s that bad of a day for couples necessarily, but the over-excessive bombardment of the idea of “being with your significant other” makes the day almost blind to the many other lovely people in your life for many people.
One of the most complaints I hear of this day, is how especially aware people are of their relationship status if they’re not in a relationship-resulting in joke of a day, “anti-valentine” sentiments, or a straight-up “kick-it” night for those who can’t handle the idea of being single on this day or are made especially lonely by this hallmark holiday. This money makin’ scheme might have succeeded, but it seems to me that this holiday has become depressing for those who aren’t in a blossoming relationships-and no, I’m not only talking about “the single ladies.”
Besides funny statuses like, “RIP to all the virginities to be lost tonight LOL” and “hopeful” statuses like, “God looked down on you and said I’m saving this one for a special someone,” it was interesting to hear a different perspective. My mother, a nurse, works at a nursing home and told me how she found one of her geriatric patients crying on Valentine’s Day. She was crying in remembrance of the past and how she used to spend every Valentine’s Day together with their children, always planning something special for the six children. Today, it’s been years since her husband passed away and her six kids have dumped her at a nursing home, rarely calling-even on annual events like Valentine’s Day, which was a special family event for her.
Stories like these are what makes me think that Valentine’s Day has turned into more of a selfish event than the selfless day of expressing your love. It’s become more about the “significant other,” than your family, your friends-and when the day gives single people to really care for those other loved people in their lives, they feel especially depressed and lonely about not being “loved,” blind to all the love that truly surrounds them.
Some, who can’t deal with the fact of being single, go on and decide to get themselves into some bad…sh-tuff. For those souls, I’d recommend watching this video. Actually, it's a good one for everybody-watch it.
So folks, I urge you to be thankful of what you have. Imagine those friends, those family members, those people around you and evaluate the impact of their existence in your life. Now imagine if they were not in your life….Exactly, you most probably can’t. So, go on and appreciate the people around you. Just send a card or you can even by them flowers, like a nice member of our class did for the whole class. It’s just a wonderful thing to do and it will make you feel nice too.