There is this wonderful little children's picture book that you may have heard of, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, by Carol McCloud. I think this is a wonderful book for kids (of any age) and adults alike. (Check it out here, if you haven't already: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?) The basic idea in the book is this: We all carry with us an invisible bucket in which we tote our happy thoughts and feelings. Our bucket is filled when others say and do nice things for us, as well as when we do and say nice things for others. When we are hurtful to others we dip into their bucket (and ours) and take away some of those good feelings. When our bucket is full, we feel happy. When our bucket is empty, we feel sad. So, when you do and say nice things to other people you fill both their bucket and your own. Lesson: Make filling people's buckets a daily goal and everyone will be happier.
I love this concept, and think it's so true, but I like to take that idea one step further with this: you can also fill your own bucket when you say and do nice things for yourself and when you fill your day with the things (and people) you love. This idea is especially important for those of us who spend so much of our time caring for others' needs and sometimes forget our own. It is also important for those who sometimes mistreat themselves with negative self-talk...that nasty habit definitely dips into our bucket and takes away some happy. And it stands to reason that the fuller our bucket, the more our day is filled with happy, the more able we are to share the happy and fill other people's buckets.
Now, these concepts aren't exactly groundbreakingly new. I'm relatively confident that you already knew that doing/saying nice things for/to others and yourself increased the overall happiness level for everyone involved. But, do you make it an intention each day? Do you start your day with the goal of seeking out ways to bring a smile to someone else's face? And how about your own? Can we all make it a goal to bring on the happy?
...Because I'm happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof....
So, really, this week's top ten list is simply a reminder for all of us to stop for a moment and remind ourselves of the things we love, the things that bring us joy, the things that fill our hearts and our buckets, the things we can do for ourselves to increase the happy...and then make sure we fill our days with those things. So here's a list of The Top Ten Things I Love to Fill My Day With. If I can get most of these things into each and every day, well, then, life is pretty good.
Top Ten Things I Love to Fill My Day With
9. Good coffee
8. Good food
7. Good wine
6. Good friends
5. Good sleep
4. Good conversation
3. Good music
2. Good laughter
1. Good lovin', good hugs and good cuddles with my babies
Until next time, go fill your day with the good stuff. And then share the happy with others. Fill your kids' buckets. Fill your spouse's bucket. Fill your neighbor's bucket. Fill the checkout clerk's bucket. Fill the person on the street's bucket. And fill your bucket.