I believe that life is in the details. That is why I always make sure not to get caught up in the roller coaster of life, pause and enjoy the moment. To join the festivity of the new year, I decided to start the 31-day happiness challenge and make this year count.
You will find part I of this challenge here while below is the continuation of it:
16) Compliment a stranger.
That challenge was no piece of cake! I lost count of how many times I postponed it, waiting for the right time. Usually, I compliment everyone at the drop of a hat (from friends to acquaintances to strangers) whenever something is worthy of a compliment. This time I struggled to do it, though. However, an honest compliment can lift someone’s spirit up and make their day. It might even be just what they needed at the moment (you never know). YOU hold the power to just make someone smile, the ball is in YOUR court, so hit and score at the hearts to grow fonder! It is a small act of kindness that I hope to spread among our community some day.
Nowadays, there is no such thing as Picnics in Cairo. Thus, to me, the closest thing to having a picnic was having breakfast in bed (which I have been doing for 3 years now haha). Every morning, I prepare my breakfast on a tray and enjoy it in bed whilst I watch something on my laptop. So, a breakfast tray is number one on my wish list.
18) Celebrate “Bad Poetry Day” by writing a poem about something that makes you smile.
Well, I wrote a cheesy poem, no big deal! I tried to write about other things but none of them worked, so I ended up writing about what makes my heart truly smile: Love.
Love is a beautiful thing
It is something that makes my heart Zing
Love is ticklish at times
It makes my heart giggle sometimes
Love makes my heart go warm
I am sure it will come in handy during a storm
I see it every day, in movies and in shows
I don’t see it in the streets, what went wrong
Love is a beautiful thing
It is something that would make the whole world Zing
Love is ticklish at times
It would make the whole world giggle sometimes
Love would make the world go warm
I am sure it comes in handy during the storm
Spread the love around the world
For love, will help the world feel the warmth
19) Explore your city and go somewhere you’ve never been before.
My mother likes to take shortcuts to avoid the busy roads of Cairo. Those shortcuts always happen to be among apartment buildings/villas. Mum and I have a habit of pointing out beautifully designed buildings or villas, villa doors, balconies, …etc. The other day, mum took a shortcut back to home and we ended up driving down a side street in Heliopolis. It was a quiet street, with trees and buildings on both sides. The apartment buildings were beautifully painted, royal gold-ish and white. It is nice to notice the beauty around us, from time to time.
20) Play a game with family or friends.
The other day, my brother was so fascinated by how good I can rap Eminem’s part in Love The Way You Lie (can you imagine it has been 6 years since the song got released?!). Today, we played a game: Who can rap it better? Of course, I won, but he wanted to try so bad and it was funny watching him try to nail these lines hahaha.
21) Donate to a charity of a cause you believe in.
You don’t have to leave home to donate. Here is a list of 7 Egyptian charities you can donate to by sending a simple SMS.
22) A list of 5 things you are grateful for.
I’m thankful for the wisdom that comes with age. I’m thankful for knowing how to enjoy the simple things in life. I’m thankful for the existence of skincare products (not thankful for how ridiculously expensive they are, though). I’m thankful for having a home. Of course, I’m thankful for my friends and family.
23) Donate unwanted items to charity.
I’m sure there is at least one item in your wardrobe that you don’t wear anymore. You don’t even consider that item when you can’t decide what to wear in the morning. Take this challenge as a chance to donate that unwanted item to someone who needs it instead.
24) Perform a secret random act of kindness.
They say it’s much better to do a good deed in a way that no one knows about it. I find it hard not to share that “good deed” with my mother, but today I decided to hold my tongue. But, here are some ideas you can do: prepare an extra breakfast meal as you prepare yours and give it to the first poor person you see. Find an old pair of gloves in your wardrobe (or wherever you keep them) and give it to a needy child in this cold weather. Lastly, donate 10 pounds of your allowance at the nearest mosque on your way back home. Of course, there are many other acts of kindness that you could do so be creative and don’t think twice about it!
25) Do something artistic or crafty.
If you know me well enough, you’d notice that my colors always match. I cannot wear a pink veil on a blue t-shirt or a dark red veil on a white and black outfit. I just can’t! The color of my veil must match the shades of my outfit. This is just who I am! I am all about matching colors. So, to break the habit of being myself, I decided to color the mandalas in my coloring book in non-matching colors. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something not so Nour. I wanted to go wild with the colors (I tried to, at least). I wasn’t (still kind of not) convinced with my choice of colors but I did it anyway. That’s how artistic I got!
26) “Hug your Boss Day” celebration.
Since I don’t have a boss, I changed this challenge to “Hug your Mother Day”.
A few years ago, I barely showed any kind of love or affection to my mum. I grew out of my teenage years to find myself the complete opposite version of who I used to be (which I’m glad about, by the way). Showering my mum with hugs and kisses every now and then was one degree of the 180 degrees change. Weird enough, the hugs and kisses somehow strengthened our mother-daughter relationship. We are now more bonded to each other and less angry with each other. So, let us start a campaign for children to hug their mother more often (I know I’d want my children to). #HugYourMother
27) Celebrate “Global forgiveness day” by pardoning someone for their wrongdoing.
Here is the thing about me; I am incapable of forgiving. I don’t forgive easily. I thought of a few people whom things didn’t end well with and I tried to mentally forgive them, but I just couldn’t do that. Weird enough, a few days later, I stumbled across this hadith about the great forgiveness of God:
28) Set a goal to achieve in the next year.
In 2017, I wish my current hopes and dreams for this blog are achieved. I have BIG ones and making them come true is challenging, especially when you have a stressful life to manage. #PharmacyStudent
29) Connect with your family.
Luckily, this challenge happened to be on Saturday, where the family and I spend the night watching The Voice Kids together. Speaking of which, does anyone else find The Voice Kids way more interesting than The Voice itself? Those are no normal kids, or I was not normal?! Their sky has no limit! Anyway, my Saturday night was cozy and well spent with the family.
30) Watch the sun go down.
I am more of a morning person than I am a night person. I like to watch the sunrises and the sunsets (mostly the sunsets because I’m asleep during the sunrises). I usually keep my room windows open at sunsets, so that the fading sun rays radiate inside my room. Anyway, here is a photo of the sunset that day:
31) Raise your glass with your favourite beverage to a month well-celebrated.
I tried to go and buy myself my current favourite drink but I couldn’t. So instead, I will describe to you how good it is. First, you should know that I loooooooove soury food and drinks. For the simple reason that, it makes my brain explodes of awesomeness. As in I actually enjoy drinking fresh orange juice when my throat is sore. I could eat a whole bag of the sour skittles on one go and not mind (I only mind that it is then finished, haha). Wherever I dine, I always order Mint Lemon juice. So should you ever imagine how happy I got when I found the most citric drink I’ve ever tasted! It is the lemon slush at Point 90 Cinemas. It is the main reason I prefer Point 90 Cinemas over City Stars ones. Try the slush out and let me know what you think of it!
Sadly, this is the end of the Happiness challenge. It was my first challenge ever to try. It truly was a challenge, a fun one! I enjoyed it so much, from its beginning to its end. At times, it made my day (and others as well) better. There was some “behind the blog post” fun that I didn’t mention, but it made this challenge more memorable and more joyful. Anyway, I hope this inspires you to take the step of doing a month-long challenge. Let me know if you plan to do it, or if there are any other challenges that I may not know about. Cheers!
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