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Day 1600

March 26 2016

Day 1600:

Happiness is.. seeing the same things in a new way every day. It's hard, sometimes, to come up with a different thing that makes me happy every day.

Today, I went for a run for the first time in a while. See after I fell down the stairs a few weeks ago, I gave into a week of limited mobility, then traded my morning runs for evening walks. But I reached the point of "no excuses" about a week and a half ago and so today I went to the park. I set my Runkeeper app and just started running from the Riverside Park to the West End Highway along the Hudson River. I ran past dads pushing strollers and tourists on bikes. I ran with willow trees on my left and seagulls on my right. I ran studying the text on the shirts of the people running opposite me. I wonder if people think about what "Seneca Valley CC" means on my own. I ran initially seeking sunshine and quickly longed for the cooling shade.

And when I decided to turn around, I came back exactly as I left...only everything was different. I had seagulls on my left and willow trees on my right. I had the George Washington Bridge to my north and the sunbathers to my south. I had new t-shirts to read and new park-goers to look at. This time I noticed the rolling waves of the Hudson. I ran parallel to a boat for a spell before deciding his motor beat my tired legs. And when I did finally notice the tired, I reverted to my high school cross country teammates and sang "All Star" and "Living on a Prayer" to myself. That kept me going. And then I thought about change.

Two Easters ago was the start of my getting sick to the point where I could hardly do a flight of stairs, let alone run. As I'm sitting in the park writing this, six consecutive miles under my belt (the longest straight run since I got sick), I know that happiness is running. But happiness is also running after you haven't been able to for a while. Happiness can be warm soup in winter and Happiness can also be the way warm soup fills your soul from the inside out. See Happiness is the complex little emotion that is impossible to define...but it starts with how we see the world and how that perspective shifts over the years.

I started The Smile Project when I was 17. In two months, I'll be 22. I am a vastly different person than I was when this begin and that is reflected in this journal of Happiness. I wouldn't trade this journey for anything and even at times when the frustration of working on an organization like TSP gets to me and even at times when technology glitches throw me back 3 months in progress and even in times when I think what I write doesn't matter at all...I know it does. Because I'm doing more than recording happiness. I'm recording the changes in how I see the world. And those changes are what keep us alive..every day forcing us to work harder and be better and step out of our comfort zones in pursuit of what matters. I'm looking through different eyes now then the ones I woke up with this morning. And as I sit in this perfect park, removed from the bustling city, I can't help but wonder if Happiness is as pure and innocent as seeing the world with wonder in every moment.

Thank you for giving me a platform to share this life with you. Happy one thousand six hundredth day of Happiness.

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