Life can be hard. It can be stressful, frustrating and overwhelming. You can feel like it’s never enough. That’s why I am making a conscious effort to exercise gratitude regularly. And since life is so short, it is also critically important that you make the most of each and every day. That’s why you should invest in your happiness, a message that I deliver in the form of eating a bunch of dan dan noodles in this week’s vlog. Oh, and Addie rides a duck.

As I mention in the video, you can find the full dan dan noodle comparison article on the 365 Days of Dining blog. I grew up thinking that all dan dan noodles were fundamentally the same: a bowl of dry noodles with an almost peanut butter-like sauce. This foodie adventure was certainly an education. Dan dan noodles are very regional and highly individual.

Different things make different people happy for different reasons. Some people may enjoy tinkering with 3D printers, others may like working on vintage cars, and some find great enjoyment in something they collect.

It may not be especially original, but I am oftentimes happiest when I’m out eating somewhere. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I’m perfectly happy with a bowl of Japanese ramen or sharing some Chinese hot pot with family. In addition to the inherent joys of gastronomy, I think the happiness I derive from eating out is also because I can forget about my worries, if only for an hour at a time.

Investing in your happiness, whether that’s indulging in three bowls of dan dan noodles or watching the latest Marvel movie for the third time this week, doesn’t have to make logical sense. Indeed, you’ll find that it may be best if you don’t even think about the ROI in a direct 1-to-1 kind of way. You shouldn’t spend your time and money frivolously, of course, but you should also highly value the happiness you derive from such investments.

Dan Dan Noodles

Shooting, editing and publishing these vlogs has been a lot of fun and I intend to continue vlogging on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future. As I’ve mentioned before, these vlogs provide a great creative escape from my “regular” work as a freelance writer. It allows me to exercise parts of my brain that may otherwise go underutilized.

Absolutely, on some level these vlogs are a part of my overall business. It may or may not be because of the vlogs that I have attracted certain opportunities, and I will definitely position the vlog as a factor when working on possible collaborations, but that’s not really the point. The point is they make me happy. And that’s why I’m investing my time and money in them. And I hope you continue to accompany me on this journey.

Look for next week’s vlog to be shot on the new camera setup. This should elevate the production value a couple notches.