A couple of days ago I asked for some help with the letter Q by inviting people to ask me questions…I would select a few and answer them in my post.
I got two responses 😂
The first response was not even a question… It was simply a word starting with the letter “Q” (coincidentally, a perfect description of the person who suggested it). The second response was a question I have no conscious recollection of ever being asked… “What makes you happy?” I have asked myself that question many times… But I don’t think I’ve ever really taken the time to properly figure out the answer.
It won’t always be the same, I think. If you’d asked me that question ten years ago, I would have said that Tom Hiddleston made me happy. If you had asked me twenty years ago, I would have said that my cat makes me happy. The answer changes, as you change and experience life.
So in ten years’ time, my answer will most likely be different again. The following are just a few things that qualify as an answer at present…
Work: I am happiest when I am busy. For those who may not know, I work as an administrator at a state primary school in Cape Town. I am constantly being lectured about the fact that I don’t earn alot, but I indirectly contribute to educating children – being useful in that way is more important than money right now.
Empowering others: a few years ago I worked with an intern for a year. One of the many things I grew to love about her was how thirsty she was to learn, and how keen she was to acquire new skills. She took what ever skills and knowledge I was able to offer her, and three months after she left us, she walked into a job as an administrator at a neighboring school. I hate lazy people, and I don’t like doing others’ work for them… But I love helping people, and I will always make the time to empower the next person if they want it.
Kindness: Random acts of kindness is the most beautiful thing in the world, and it is what makes me the happiest, even when I am only a spectator to the kindness.
Exceeding my own expectations: When I surprise myself in good ways. Most of these seem to be linked with my training these days (like the first time I picked up a barbell and did a back squat, and running my first 5km and then besting my time each week) but they have happened in other ways too. I have experienced this in other aspects of my life and it’s an amazing feeling to prove oneself wrong in this way.
I love seeing the people I love (and just people in general) win in life. There is more than enough success for everyone, and I celebrate harder than the person who has actually overcome the challenge, especially if they have prevailed against insurmountable odds.
My nephew, Hamza: I cannot explain how I feel when he throws himself in my arms when he sees me, or when he comes to ask me for hugs and cuddles… Or when he sits alone with me and feels safe enough to talk about the things that are bothering him. His love for me is unconditional and without agenda, and seeing him always makes me happy.
And then lastly, I love unexpected small gestures. For example: when I was in quarantine last year, one of my older nephews sent me a text message to check the kitchen. When I got downstairs, he’d left me a hot chocolate from my favorite coffee shop. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was feeling so low at that point… And it showed that he pays attention to the little things…and that was a very big deal to me.