Things that make me happy.

Hello everybody!

How are you all? Hope you are doing well today.
From my part, I try to always look on the positive side of life, no matter what we might be going through. Ever since I took in the fact that I must embrace and enjoy the small things in life (at a very early age) – because truly and humbly, they really are the big things – I felt the urge to find happiness in all and nothing.

So I drafted my small list of things that make me happy. It’s always a work in process and I wish I could fit them all but I always add and add and add 🙂

My list so far:
– Road-trips with friends and family (including picnics and camping which I deeply miss).
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– Touring and exploring my own country as well as others. Who said you can’t discover what’s around you?
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– Morning coffee with my parents – because I enjoy the peaceful morning time with them before we rush off to our separate works and duties.
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– Sharing meals with friends – especially when discovering new spots.
– Sunday family lunches – because we know how to really nwalle3a 😀
– Days at the beach (ideally extending to sunsets and nights <3).
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– Walks in the cities and villages (so many city to walk in and see its hidden treasures and so many hikes!! I try to follow them all but one can do as much as one can! Who knows? Maybe one day :))
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– Reading books and discussing about them! Everyone who knows me can attest since I was a child, I always had a book with me. With university and work, I drifted a bit from that but I am so glad that I am reading again! Perhaps not at the extent that I used to read when younger but I am happy I am reading for fun and not only for studies and self development.
I am enjoying as well sharing my love for books with others by checking out and participating when possible in the book events. There is Monot Street Book Market that happens usually once a month in Monot Street. Also there is BookYard founded by Eliane Abi Chedid who became a good friend. You can swap or sell your used and old books and it’s so refreshing to walk around in Byblos where the event usually takes place (one time it was at Colonel Beer). Meeting people, chatting, discoveries and the locations themselves take you to a different spot, for me it’s where I am happy.
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– De-cluttering… I came into that since a few years back. De-cluttering comes on different terms: digital, clothes, shoes, books, you name it. It doesn’t happen quickly and only over time will you be able to release material and digital clutter once you are aware of them and how much you need in your life (daily and on the bigger scale).
– Discovering and re-discovering local products (Souk El Mawesem, Soap making in Tripoli, Saida, etc…). I wait for events anxiously to go and discover the small owners and the big ones alike and enjoy knowing their stories behind their business. Many do these at home, all come from different backgrounds and chatting with them is always fun and enriching and you get to know the personalities behind the old couple doing their homemade soaps in the North, the young lady who has works her arts and crafts and displays them in Jbeil or the apple makers or the trekkers, or the tour guides that take you to discover your country in ways you have not dreamt it was possible.
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– Recycling, up-cycling, composting… I have discussed and made videos about this before. Ever since I was a child and heard about recycling and its process I wanted to get into it. And sadly with our current crisis, we must take this seriously more than ever. Some municipalities are taking action and responsibility and others unfortunately not so much. We can recycle from our homes, there are associations who handle recycling and many activists. I have friends who are also creating lamps and other arts and crafts from recycling material and the results are quite nice!
Here is the link for the recycling directories available in Lebanon: http://www.lebtivity.com/p/recycling-lebanon (I will share more in links section below). It starts from us and let’s help the ones already doing a great job in this, there is no need for waste to be thrown and sickness to be spreading, all the garbage can be treated.
Also you will here the link to the must watch documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC-k7aj2Ip0&feature=youtu.be (“A Zero Waste Lebanon” Documentary – produced by Leela, Love in Action, guided by Ziad Abi Chaker and directed by Nassif El Rayess).
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– Planting baby trees – I love planting pine trees and oak trees in my small balcony at home. When they sprout, I try to care for them at home as much as possible until it’s time for planting. Usually, I see around with friends and family those who have plots of land to plant in – this makes me truly happy when I feel I was able to contribute in this specific topic as I have always been fond of trees and cared for them.

Ecology and climate change have always saddened me so it’s my little way of trying to make a difference.
I came about the page around a year or so ago of the Lebanese Reforestation Initiative ( https://www.facebook.com/LebanonReforestationInitiative/). Currently, on the 6th of November there is a planting trees event happening in the Chouf.
– Sunset views which we ravish with daily in Lebanon. And I mean it!!
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– Cook and bake when possible. I always loved playing in the kitchen and cooking/baking. I am not the best at it but I enjoy the process of it 🙂 It adds a bit of fun to my day.
– Make candles, pamper care packages, paint small paintings. I had this on pause for a while but would hope to be getting back to it soon. Maybe after the New Year.
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– Donate and help others. I won’t talk much about this topic as I feel each helps in his and her own way, be it from donating to charity organization, food, clothes to the churches or orphanages or associations you know, donating to families you know live close by and need your help from even if you are sending them tupperwares of food or even and I feel it falls in the most important, to donate your time to those who feel lonely.
This always pinches my heart as I see lonely people from all courses of life, from the youngest boy or girl to the teta (grandmother) or jeddo (grandfather) who wishes someone just sits a bit with them and start a conversation and ask them what they think.

Quite a big list I know 🙂
Would love to know your thoughts and if you would like to share about your lists of things that make you happy – do share your thoughts in the comments below or on my other social media outputs!

Links to:
– Monot Street Book Market: https://www.facebook.com/events/992109464231695/ – hosted by Recto Verso https://www.facebook.com/RectoVersoLibrary/
– BookYard: https://www.facebook.com/BookYard/?fref=ts
– Lebanon Reforestation Initiative: https://www.facebook.com/LebanonReforestationInitiative/
– Lebanon Recycling Directory:
http://www.lebtivity.com/p/recycling-lebanon/
https://hummusforthought.com/2015/08/01/list-of-recycling-centers-in-lebanon/

Where you can find me:
– WordPress: https://wordpress.com/post/whitepaperpackages.wordpress.com
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitepaperpackagesbymc/
– Instagram: White_paper_packages
– YouTube: White Paper Packages
– Twitter: @PackagesPaper
– Email: whitepaperpackages@gmail.com

Have a great day!

Marie-Christine Melhem.

 

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