What Makes Human Beings Happy?

Hi all! Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing a few of the interviews and images from the new page I created Our Happiness Narrative. If you have a moment to like the page, I will be eternally grateful:

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1). What is happiness?

“It’s like having a fullness of joy, complete joy.”

2). What was the happiest day of your life?

“Getting married.”

Below is a description of the page:

As someone who is fascinated by happiness research, I also wanted to share a new project and Facebook Page I have just developed known as Our Happiness Narrative, where I hope to share photos and interviews with people from various parts of the world, asking them how they define happiness and what the happiest time in their lives was. As I mention in the description I share below, this project is very much inspired by Humans of New York and my own Bucketlistories.

If you are interested in this type of page and have a moment to like the new page/help get it kick started I will be very grateful and happy to return the favor for any of your own pages or sites! 

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Our Happiness Narrative

Hi all!

I hope you are doing well and enjoying what is for some of us the start of some warm weather 🙂 I know it’s been ages since I’ve last written! Now that I have just completed the first year of my master’s program (one more to go!), I hope to dedicate more time to blogging this summer.

As someone who is fascinated by happiness research, I also wanted to share a new project and Facebook Page I have just developed known as Our Happiness Narrative, where I hope to share photos and interviews with people from various parts of the world, asking them how they define happiness and what the happiest time in their lives was. As I mention in the description I share below, this project is very much inspired by Humans of New York and my own Bucketlistories.

If you are interested in this type of page and have a moment to like the new page/help get it kick started I will be eternally grateful and happy to return the favor for any of your own pages or sites! Below is a description of Our Happiness Narrative:

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Beth’s Bucket List

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A photo of Beth (right), found on The Leaf-Chronicle.

Just came across another great article about inspiring teenager Beth Borens. The piece discusses how Beth, who is currently battling cancer, decided to start a bucket list that currently has 14 items on it. According to the article, “at the top of the list is a toy drive for the Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville.” When Beth and her mother go to the hospital each week for Beth’s weekly treatments, they also drop off the toys she has collected. According to the story, Beth is collecting the items until January 31st and ” if anyone would like to donate, the items may be dropped off at EZ Money Pawn and Gun, 698 Hwy. 79, Dover, 37058 [in Tennessee]… Anyone preferring to send a check for a toy purchase may mail it to the same address, attention Beth Borens.”

Below are the remaining items on her list:

2. Mistletoe kiss

3. Go on a treasure hunt

4. Meet Jen Arnold

5. Orlando trip with Hanna Elyse Borens and Allie Stafford (with an adult, of course)

6. Go on a Disney cruise

7. Go to New York

8. Go to Mall of America

9. Drink milk from a coconut

10. Go gem mining

11. Go on a big picnic

12. Change the world

13. Be in a pageant

14. Go on a date

To read more about Beth’s story and her progress, definitely read the article about this incredible person in full.

Spread the word about Beth’s mission by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter!

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Pay it Forward: Thank You Kind Man at Subway

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Dear Kind Elderly Man Behind me in Line at Subway,

I just wanted to say thank you for the tuna fish sandwich, SunChips®, and apple juice you bought for me earlier today after I got to the counter, only to realize I had left my wallet in the car. Although I left the stuff I ordered at the counter, then ran out to my car – conveniently parked directly behind Subway – to get my wallet, when I came back in, the cashier told me you had already paid for my meal. But you already left the store so I never got a chance to tell you that you are awesome, made my day, and we are lucky to have kind people like you in the world.

That is all 🙂

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Bring Roller Skating Back!

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“LET’S GO SKATING!”

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I woke up to those three glorious words a few weeks ago when Chelsea, one of my best friends from back home in New Jersey sent them to me in a text message.

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In a previous post, I mentioned how I bought a pair of roller skates several months ago in Raleigh. My interest in roller skating was initially rekindled after I had looked for fun activities to pursue in Raleigh and discovered the Carolina Rollergirls roller derby league. I thought, “I can do that! Roller skating and ice skating are among the very few sports I’ve always been good at!” Eventually, my ambitious dream of becoming a roller derby champ faded after reading about the time commitment the sport requires and hearing from numerous people upon mentioning this aspiration, “Uh, I don’t think that’s for you Christine. You’ll never survive.” Although my professional goal was shot down, I decided I would still purchase a pair of roller skates. What’s a better and more fun way to exercise than roller skating?

One Saturday afternoon, shortly after I had gone for a run, I set out on my quest to find a pair of skates and headed to Jellybeans Skate Center. Not only did I not realize how far of a drive it would be, but after making the 45 minute trek to Jellybeans, I realized that because I had taken my apartment key off my wallet for my run, I wound up leaving the key on my desk and locking myself out of my apartment. Before heading home, I texted my roommate asking if he would be there to let me in or whether I could meet him somewhere to borrow his key. When I finally got back to our apartment, he asked if I had been out running errands. “Well, sort of,” I said. “I went to buy a pair of roller skates!” I proudly declared. He began cracking up. “So not only did you wind up locking yourself out of our apartment, but you’ve been out all day buying roller skates?”

After proudly declaring to the social media world that I had bought the pair of skates, my friend Chelsea texted me, “OMG I WANT TO GET ROLLER SKATES TOO. THEN WE CAN GO SKATING TOGETHER!” Shortly after Christmas, I asked her what her favorite gift had been. “Definitely my new roller blades!” she said. We were ready to roll.

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The day after New Years, we went to the park where we skated for about an hour and a half. “Hey! My mom used to own a pair of those,” the man who took our photo commented, pointing to my “diner girl skates.” The weather was beautiful for January, a herd of deer were grazing in the nearby field, the sun was setting, and a group of ten-year-old boys began cracking up as a tripped over a rock and fell during the last few minutes of our skating adventure. It was perfect. It was only appropriate that we ended our adventure with a trip to Sonic to get ice cream.

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The sun setting at the park that day.

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Cheers!

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “What ever happened to roller skating?” or even, “Why doesn’t anyone go outside anymore?” or “I wish there was a more fun way to workout,” I hope that you will help us in the movement to bring roller skating back.

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What do you guys think? Do you have any fond roller skating memories? Anyone own a pair of skates or have kids who do?

 

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19-Year-Old’s Bucket List Inspires Thousands

Hi all,

I just came across this news article about Kaileigh Fryer, a 19-year-old girl who passed away in a car accident in Sydney, Australia last April. In her journal, Kaileigh wrote a bucket list with 49 items on it.

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Photo of Kaileigh taken from http://www.standard.net.au.

According to the article, Kaileigh and her list “has now inspired countless people around the world through a Facebook page which has almost 10,000 members. Only eight of the 49 items on the bucket list remain uncompleted, but at least two of these are on their way to reality.”

To find out more, check out the full story on Kaileigh and her list. You can also request to join the Facebook group honoring Kaileigh!

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Indoor Skydive

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When I first mentioned to someone I was going indoor skydiving, he responded,”You’re brave to go diving without a pool at the bottom.” Jokes aside, his quip offers a helpful distinction between outdoor (or, the jumping from a plane type) skydiving versus indoor skydiving. Rather than falling from a significant height, as with jumping from a diving board or out of a plane, indoor skydiving is like flying.

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The scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie and Grandpa Joe begin floating into the “fizzy lifting room” and are nearly sucked into an exhaust fan offers a helpful image of what indoor skydiving looks like – though ideally, without that horrifying outcome.

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I’ve been fascinated with the idea of indoor skydiving ever since I was introduced to the term, though my renewed interest in ticking this item off my list arrived with 2015. While the end of 2014 was filled with shamefully few attempts at blogging about crossing off various bucket list goals, I hope I can say something different by the end of 2015, thanks in part to one of my favorite gifts that my parents got me for Christmas this year:

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While looking over my activities and adventures list and writing down some of the items I hope to complete this year, I decided to research options I could pursue in North Carolina and was thrilled when I discovered an indoor skydiving location about an hour and a half away from Raleigh called Paraclete XP SkyVenture.

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My friend taking his turn!

To provide a better definition of indoor skydiving and what it involves, I’ll cite some of SkyVenture’s responses to FAQ:

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When asked “what is body flight?”: “Indoor body flight is the development of a skill, allowing you to fly your body in a controlled manner in a wind tunnel. SkyVenture wind tunnels are the perfect environment for the quickest development of this skill due to the professional instruction and quality of the airflow.” Before flying, my friend and I watched an instructional video, then were asked to demonstrate the proper body position.

When asked whether it is safe: “SkyVenture’s unique design, with its wall to wall air column and professionally trained instructors, allows flyers to safely enjoy their flight session. Your flight instructor is with you through your entire flight experience.” As I mentioned to my friend, our instructor had a calming manner, something that for me, who fails at most activities involving motor skills others describe as “extremely easy,” was largely reassuring.

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When asked whether it is scary: “SkyVenture is not scary; there is no jumping, no falling and there is no experience needed, you are simply floating on a column of air. There is no sensation of falling or anything that would make you feel sick from motion sickness.” One of the most relieving things SkyVenture does is offer images of children participating in the sport on their website. This technique provides a similar feeling to that of noticing a large number of children in line for the roller coaster you are about to go on and fosters thoughts such as, “If they can do it, so can I!”

If curious about the price: 2 flights of 1 minute each (the equivalent of doing two skydives from 13,000 feet), a flash drive video, and a t-shirt are $64, though there is significant discount if you go back! If you do the “buddy plan,” you get 3 flights of one-minute, a flash drive video, and two t-shirts for $89 each.

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If you’re looking for a fun gift for someone or to use some Christmas/holiday money on a fun experience, I’d definitely suggest looking into indoor skydiving.

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We made it!

If you are still nervous about going, I hope to offer some reassurance by reminding you that as someone who often shocks friends and family members with my extreme clumsiness and lack of motor skill (two recent examples include breaking a  glass mug, as well as knocking over an entire container of red sauce that spilled onto my parents’ white tile floor), even I was able to grasp this sport and had a blast doing it! In other words, you will be fine 🙂

Has anyone gone indoor skydiving before or hopes to go? I’d love to hear about your experiences or any additional questions you have!

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