The Small Things

small things

Happy day!

It is a happy day, and I’m making it my goal today to be mindful and appreciative of all it’s beauty.

That’s right. Today I mark the return of cheesy happy guru Carissa, even though life has felt really hard lately. That’s why I’ve decided to actively take on a new outlook, because I’m tired of feeling down, and I know from experience that “fake it til ya make it” actually does work.

That’s why I’ve decided not to dwell on the fact that I’m still recovering from the flu after nearly 2 weeks… or the fact that I now have a (TMI) yeast infection from all of the medicines I’ve put in my body in an attempt to make myself well. Nor am I going to tell you about how lonely I feel now that my sister has moved to Japan and another close friend is moving to Hawaii. And I definitely won’t complain about the fact that I’m too busy to get a full nights sleep and I’m having a difficult time fitting all of the things I NEED to do into my schedule.

You won’t hear those complaints from me!

Well.. I’m trying at least.

I’m back to filling my spare minutes with “self improvement” books… though I now prefer the term “personal development.”

And though I’m still prone to “woe’s me” thoughts, little by little I can feel a shift.

One book that I’m particularly enjoying is “Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment” by Tal Ben-Shahar. It’s not new information to me, but this week I have found myself focusing on the passages that focus on the fact that there are no easy shortcuts to happiness. “Struggles and hardships and challenges are a necessary component of an emotionally rich life.”


It’s true. The times in my life that I recognize as being the most joyful are those that required a little bit of work. The goals that have meant the most to me are the ones that I had to really want. Happiness, or at least peace of mind lies, in those moments on the way to a goal where you are focused and excited. There is a point somewhere in between being bored and feeling overly-challenged and frustrated where you really get in the zone.

Lately, I feel that I’ve lost track of my goals. I’ve been focusing so much on the things that I cannot control but wish that I could. I got stuck.

So now I’m back at square one, trying to figure out what I want from life. I know that need some direction, some goals.

But since that feels a little overwhelming, I’m going to start by being more present in my life and acknowledging the small things that truly make me happy… and then doing more of that. I’ve got to shift around some things and figure out what my priorities should be, by my standards and not by anyone else’s.

And then once I figure out what I want, I’m not going to get discouraged by set-backs or plan-changes. Because that shit just happens, and I don’t want to feel stuck anymore.

To end on a positive note, here are a few of the things that I am truly grateful and happy about this week:

Little Stevie Ticks:


I don’t know how I survived life without this little gal. Seriously, I know some of you get annoyed by dog people like me, but even when I’m in the worst mood- she had the ability to make me laugh. I’m so jealous. I wish I could live life in the moment like she does. Although we both have similar reactions to cheese.
My rock: 

matt carissa

Sometimes I feel bad for my dog for having to put up with all my emotional neediness, but who I really feel for is my boyfriend. I don’t know how he puts up with all of my ailments day after, but I’m so grateful that he does. He even showed up for my trivia gig last night. And he makes me laugh. And after 5 years I’m still insanely attracted to him.


I know I sound like an old person, but I still can’t get over the fact that my phone allows me to sit in a restaurant and talk to my sister who is however many miles away Tokyo is from Austin. I’ll go into more later, but I’m also finding a bunch of new apps that actually allow me to be more present and mindful and productive.

Sparkle water:

Y’all, I’m seriously addicted. I recently read that they are bad for your teeth, but I’m gonna pretend that I didn’t. I need this vice.


I know I’ve mentioned it before, and I’m sure I will again, but I’m so happy that dancing has found its way back into my life. I’m really enjoying working with the crew of guys and helping them get ready for Hardish Bodies, and though completely different- I’m loving teaching toddler class too!

hardish bodies
Hardish Bodies Rehearsal


I do know that dance in some form will be included on my big goals list. And that excites me.

See? I feel better already. Expect more positivity from me in the near future.

I love you.


Related posts:

  1. Hello?
  2. One Year to a Better and Happier Me
  3. Finding Balance in a Busy Life
  4. Don’t Sleep With Me
  5. Beginning A Meditation Practice
  • SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph

    I’m always chasing silver linings or doing a quick what am I grateful for list when things are really really crappy. You’ve had some really crappy lately. Hang in there!