November 6, 2019

Swimming outdoors gives me all the happy vibes.

I used to swim outside in Gabon all the time as a kid. The community pool was a short bike ride away. I still remember the feeling of the warm terracotta tiles under my feet.

We visited the deserted white-sand beaches regularly on the weekend. I was afraid of potential crocodile attacks when swimming in the lagoon though. And I was terrified to meet a water snake in the local lake. 

But I loved splashing around and diving for treasures. I loved to pretend I was a mermaid. I also loved to float on my back as a perfect starfish. I would dip my ears under water so all the sounds would fade out and watch the blue sky above me. 

Swimming outdoors still gives me all the happy feelings. Summer. Childhood. Nostalgia. Endless holiday breaks. Freedom. Happiness. 

Creative dream list #4: check

I discovered that swimming at my local lake in summer, gives me a similar happy careless holiday feeling to what I remember from my childhood. So that’s why ‘swim outside regularly (in summer)’ became #4 on my creative dream list.

This summer, I went swimming almost every week. I would usually go on a weekday, after working for an hour or so from home. Then, jump on my bike. Jump in the lake. Swim. Enjoy the sunshine for a moment. Take a shower. And go back to work feeling energised from my mini vacation. 

Swim outside lake pier

Do your accomplishments make you feel good?

You have a list of achievements you desire to accomplish some day. Because you think they will make you happier. More often than not, when you do finally achieve that success you’ve dreamed of or worried about for 2 years, you don’t really feel that different after all. You’re already planning your next goal. And you imagine all the good things this next goal will bring you.

What if, you didn’t start with a list of goals? 

 photo Swimming_outside_towel.jpg

Start with asking yourself how you want to feel.

And then analyse what experiences make you feel that way.

Turns out, I don’t need to fly to an exotic far-off location and spend all my savings to feel like I’m experiencing summer to the max. For 3 Euro and 1,5 hour per week, I get to experience all the happy holiday feelings on a weekly base for an entire summer.

 photo Swimming_outside_lake2.jpg

That gave me some food for thought.

If attracting all these warm feelings can be so simple, perhaps I could become more creative with inviting happiness in my life. 

There might be cheaper and easier solutions to finding sparks of happiness in my everyday life than the big hairy goals I set for myself. 

And perhaps sometimes, happy is only a bike ride away. 


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