Serving up Happiness

If you read my book or some of my other blogs, you will know I do a bit of geocaching, hunting for containers hidden by others who do the sport.

On the trip from Wellington to Napier, I was prompted to stop at several points of interest because there were geocaches to find. There was a lunchbox behind an 1870’s horse and cattle trough, a plastic bottle under the tiny 10 by 10 red wooden store from last century, and a screw top jar at one of the lookouts. I found a hidden picnic park, a rest stop with wild chickens, and sculptures carved out of tree stumps.

I had so much fun in the journey and found places I had passed many times without noticing. I was having a great day, but there was an underlying sadness that spilled out into tears on a long stretch where I had too much time to think.

The Memorial
One relationship has been tough lately and I am trying to keep busy and not think about it. I am trying to concentrate on what is going right in my life, and I am generally happy, but sometimes it hits me all at once and I am sad again.

While I was feeling sorry for myself I stopped at the next geocache. It was near a large monolith type memorial to our fallen soldiers. It was very remote for such an imposing structure. I took out my camera but something didn’t seem right.

It was sadly neglected and full of waist high weeds. I know how much I personally benefit from the freedom that I have. Much of that is thanks to those who were willing to go out and fight for justice and freedom.

Then I thought of the goals I had just set for myself. “Health” “Wealth” (I just need an income not a fortune) and “Contribution.” I want to contribute more. Do daily good deeds. Show more kindness.

I got to and pulled some weeds, glad I was in my usual casual explore clothes and shoes and wishing I had some gloves with me.

It was hot work. I cleared away all the larger weeds but left the small ones; there were just too many. I took away the empty yoghurt pot, but left the weeds to rot into the grass. It wasn’t a great job, but the memorial looked a whole lot better when I took the photo.

What surprised me the most was the change in my attitude.

Just ten minutes before I had been having a little cry over a problem I was having. As I left the memorial I was smiling and happy. I was also energised.

Contribution is not just about helping other people. It is about bringing out the humanity in myself and being a better person. It is about getting past my own troubles and realising I am luckier than most. It is about being connected to others and less introspective.

I have heard many times that we love those we serve. I have noticed we also love ourselves more when we serve. And… we are happier.

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