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Crossroads

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I am standing at a crossroads.

Unsure as to which path to choose.

One path leads to a familiar land.

A land once filled with joy.

But, in more recent times, it is a land consumed with anger and frustration.

The other path is completely unknown.

I have no idea where it leads.

One false step and I lose everything.

Or, by choosing that path –

That path to uncertainty –

I could find myself

On the road

To

Happiness.

On the Next episode of Mythbusters…Happily Ever After.


Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After.

Once Upon a Dream…

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

If The Disney Company ruled the world (which let’s face it – they nearly are), they would have us all believing that all we need is a fancy dress, a cute guy, and a little magic – we would all live happy little lives for the rest of our natural existence.

It’s a load of crap.

It is impossible to be happy every single moment of every single day.  And if you are – you SERIOUSLY need to have your Prozac levels checked, because I’m a thinkin’ you are on WAY too high of a dose!

 

 Life is rife with downs and ups.  Grief and joy.  Sadness and happiness.

Think of it as climbing a mountain.  Even after the arduous ascent, once you get there – to the promised land – to the mountain-  top – to the (insert your own idiom here), you HAVE TO GET BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN!

It is up to you, however, whether or not you stay stuck in the valley of despair.

So, to answer the question, “Are you living a happy life?”, the answer is no.  Not all the time.  Not every single moment of every single day.  Particularly not at this point in time in my life.  Things are down right blecky – about a lot of things.  However, I do not chose to let myself be stuck in the Sad Susie Swamp.  I chose to find my joy where I can find it, and I know that one day, the scale will move again and things will equal out.  And until then, I live my life the best I can.

So, as they say on Mythbusters:

BUSTED!

What do you mean happiness is a verb?


LIttle bits of sunshine here on Earth...

LIttle bits of sunshine here on Earth…

I recently had a conversation with a friend about my New Year’s Resolution.  You know, the one where I said I resolved to be happy?He said something like this, “I hope that 2013 will be a year of happiness.  For both of us”

It was a good thought.  After all, he and I had had a 2012 full of ups and downs.  A veritable roller coaster ride.  We both DESERVED said happiness.

Then it occurred to me that the verb hope is a passive one.  You can not DO hope.  I can HOPE that it doesn’t rain tomorrow, but I have no control over the weather.  No amount of HOPING will make it happen.  And no amount of hoping will create happiness.

Freakin’ unfair!

And while, yes, I do understand that not all verbs have an associated action (I mean, how exactly does one just be?), we like our verbs to be something we can DO.  We like it when we can DO something to make something happen.

But, how, exactly, can you MAKE happiness happen?

How cool would it be if we could just rub a lamp and ask the genie to MAGICALLY make every bad thing in our lives disappear and POOF we are happy?!  That would be SOOOOOO awesome!

What do you mean it doesn’t work like that?  Dang it!

I know you are all waiting for something pithy to come out of my fingers.  Some sage words of advice on how to create happiness.  But, honestly, I am still trying to figure it out myself.

I could say it is as easy as cutting out the people who cause us unhappiness.  But, that is not always practical.  I mean, if your boss is making you miserable – it is a wee bit difficult to cut that person out of your life…unless you are also ready to quit your job.  Which is a completely different subject.

I could say it is as easy as forcing yourself to appear happy.  Like “The Tears of a Clown.”  But how is THAT healthy?  The cause of the unhappiness is still there.  Which brings us right back to how do you cut the unhappiness out of your life?

Maybe it isn’t about making BIG changes.  Maybe it is about making little changes every day.  Little things that make you happy.  Yellow flowers make me happy, so maybe I start by buying a bunch of sunshine in a vase.  Little things like that.  And reframing negative thoughts to find the joy – no matter how small.  Until before you know it, you notice the happiness more than the unhappiness.

By doing these little things, we are actively doing something to create happiness.  It may not be the complete answer, but it is a start.  And doesn’t every journey need a beginning?

This year I resolve to….


As the old year dies and the new one is preparing to be born, countless of us ready ourselves for a sort of rebirth of our own…the dreaded NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.  The very words bring dread into our hearts.  To make a resolution, we have to analyze ourselves, look at the negatives in our lives and determine which of our inadequacies we are willing to tackle.  It is exhausting.  Once we have determined our fatal flaw, we resolve to CHANGE it.  And we set about it with GUSTO!  This year will be different!  This year, I will SUCCEED!  Won’t I?

A recent study showed that only 75% of us make it a WEEK with our new resolution.  SEVEN DAYS?!?!?  Seriously?!?

By the end of January, gyms are empty, weight-loss classes have more empty seats than attendees, cabinets are once again filled with chocolate, and we all feel insanely guilty that once again we have failed.  We are failures.  How depressing.

Every year we go through the same process.  Over.  And over.  And over.  Repeatedly failing.  sigh

I know, by now you are asking yourself if I am making a New Year’s Resolution for 2013.  Actually, yes I am.

It’s a little different.  A little outside of the box.

Ready for it?

I hereby resolve that in 2013 I will be happy.

That’s it.  To be happy.  It’s a resolution that has an impact on every aspect of my life and one I am pretty sure I will be able to keep for longer than a week.

It really is deceptively simple.

Unhappy about being out of shape (again?!?)?  All I have to do is remind myself that being at the gym, and doing something about it makes me HAPPY.

Unhappy about a job situation?  I need to figure out what will make me HAPPY and then give myself the permission to do it – either in my current situation or in another one.

Unhappy about a relationship?  Well, then – what WILL make me happy?  Because certainly sitting around telling myself how UNHAPPY I am isn’t working.

Unhappy about the pile of crap by the door? Even putting one piece of it where it belongs will give me a feeling of happiness.

Chocolate makes me happy.  So, it gets to stay.  Especially sea salt dark chocolate.  However, eating a LOT of it at one sitting makes me UNHAPPY, so – moderation.

And if occasionally sitting in bed for the whole day reading will make me happy, then by God, I WILL and not feel one iota of guilt about it!

And above all, I will not – no…I MUST NOT, allow anyone to do anything that will cause me to make myself feel unhappy.  That doesn’t mean I have to make them unhappy in order to bring myself happiness.  That wouldn’t be fair of me.  Besides, guilt makes me unhappy.  Very unhappy.

“Does this make me happy?” will become my new mantra.  No matter where I am, or what I am doing.  Is this making me happy?  No?  Then STOP DOING IT!

It almost sounds too easy.   I think it will be more challenging than I expect.  There will be times when in order to ensure my happiness, I will cause discomfort or even anger in those around me.  And THAT causes me to feel unhappy.  But, but acquiescing  causes me to feel even more unhappy.  There will be times I will have to stick to my guns and persevere.  Which is much easier said than done.

And there will be times when even acknowledging my unhappiness will be uncomfortable.  I remember at the end of my marriage looking at my dear ex-husband and saying, “Don’t we deserve to be happy?” It was a heart-wrenching question.  And we had to admit that yes, we were unhappy – and even more importantly, yes…we deserved happiness.  Not that the happiness would be immediate.  We just knew that what we were doing wasn’t bringing happiness, to anyone, and by doing something else we would be on a path to happiness.

Yes, the path to happiness can be a winding one, but it is a path none-the-less.

So, here’s to 2013.  May it be a year of happiness.  For everyone.