Happiness Enabler: A Messy Kitchen

Okay, that’s not true. When my kitchen’s a mess, I’m a mess. But in the moment, when the mess is being made–when there’s flour everywhere and multiple cutting boards out and I can’t find the measuring cup size I need at that exact moment–that’s a moment of happiness.

You see, I have a desk job. Not only that, but as an art director (similar to a designer) I spend my days staring at a computer screen. I like my job, but I love getting my hands dirty.

Yesterday I left work early, my eyes so strained from staring at my screen for hours to make sure a batch of emails was pixel perfect. My happinesses at that moment depended upon my ability to find an activity that didn’t require squinting at a screen.

So I got to work in the kitchen. Flour everywhere. Grease splatters from the frying pan. The wonderful smell of garlic. It was an epic mess in the moment. A beautiful, hands-on, aromatic mess.

I was happy.

Change enables happiness. A change of scenery. A change in routine. A change of heart. A change in toilet paper brand. A change in activity. Even the smallest of changes is enough to jumpstart us out of complacency. And complacency, as we know, is the opposite of happy.

I needed that messy kitchen yesterday because I needed away from my normal, digital world. And my kids humored my attempt to expand their dinner horizons with an eggy, cheesy polenta recipe. My son even said it was good (right before refusing to eat anymore of it).

If you’re feeling stuck or trapped or drained right now, change something. Start small. And have fun with it. Make a mess. Even better, enjoy the mess.

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