How I Failed My First Online Challenge

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28th. Had I been persistent, like I thought I would be, today would be the 100th and the last day of my #100happydays challenge.

I told you all about the challenge here on the blog, when I announced I'd be trying to fulfill 100 days of happiness. I was aware, because I read that on their website, that many people quit at some point, because they claim not to have time. Not to have time to be happy?! Ridiculous! That's why I was sure it's a piece of cake. I mean, I do believe that happiness is small things. I am truly happy when I have my coffee, whether it be the one I make at home and enjoy while browsing internet, or the one from Starbucks when I stroll the streets of my town - or any other. I am happy when I talk to my friends. In fact, even sun and warm weather can make me happy! So all I needed to do is document it. 

And I was successful in the beginning. I looked forward to snapping the little things, posting them to Instagram and labeling #100happydays.

To be honest, I was quite lucky since many of my little things were actually big ones. I probably mentioned this loads of times before - my biggest joy in life is travelling, and less than two weeks after my challenge had started I moved from Finland to Germany, which was then followed by travelling to Switzerland, then home, then Belgium and France. So many wonderful cities, so many joyful moments with friends and family, so much happiness!

Oh, it happened to me once that I forgot to post the photo. It was on the day I moved to Germany. That whole day was very emotional and exhausting. Firstly, I hadn't slept properly for two days before; I had to pack, leave what I learned to call home, spend several hours at Helsinki airport, fly to Germany and finally come to my friends' place where I'd stay for the weekend. I was just so overwhelmed with everything that I forgot about my happy day.

I felt bad, though, when I realized this. Later on I tried really hard to be committed little challenge participant.

But then at some point in April I had troubles with my mobile data. It started in Paris, where I could only rely on public wi-fis, and trust me, it's no fun - usually the only wi-fis you can connect to are the ones in the cafes and restaurants. When I got back from Paris, I was supposed to top up, but I wanted to buy another SIM card instead (Vodafone gets a big thumb down from me!). Somehow, however, I haven't had time for that, so I kept taking photos and planning to post them later. It took some time, I was some 10ish days behind, and when I finally posted the photo of the current day, I just didn't feel like doing it the next day.

So I gave up. It wasn't an easy thing to do, but I realized that this whole "you-must-post-one-happy-picture-a-day" thing makes me feel under pressure. I ended up not concentrating on being happy and grasping the little moments of happiness, but on finding something suitable for instagramming. And I don't think it's the point of the challenge.

A day or so after my decision, I found myself at the Potsdam Railway Station. I was on the escalator, and in front of me I saw an old man with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. For some reason this old man made me really happy, but I knew that taking a photo of him from behind would be inappropriate, plus that photo wouldn't look nearly as nice as it made me feel. And happiness is about feeling, isn't it?

There are also some feelings you cannot possibly make a photo of. Like the joy I felt when listening to a song I loved back in Joensuu while riding a train to the university. Or seeing horses in the distance while riding the same train. Or just enjoying the warmth of the sun on your face - it definitely is a little thing that makes me happy - but how can you transfer it to a two-dimensional picture?

Maybe it's me. Maybe I just wasn't persistent enough and now I'm looking for excuses. But as long as I really feel happy, no matter the modality, it's fine with me. I still love the idea of the #100happydays challenge. But happy is supposed to be about what you really feel, and not about having to show it to others. Maybe I challenged somebody to look for the little things in everyday life that would help him or her to get through the day - and that's nice. I know that I'll continue to seek them anyway. And that's what counts. Hopefully. :)

Lots of love,


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