Monday, November 7, 2011

Choosing Happiness

I was asked recently why Mom’s for Xanax is so happy. I took offense to that comment, because it seemed that “happy” was used in such an artificial, saccharine way. I don’t really view it as a “happy blog”. I think it is more of a chronicle of our growing family with some of my random thoughts thrown in here and there. The intent is certainly not to blow sunshine up anyone’s behind. I fully recognize that life is not always rainbows and lollipops.

There is a lot of crappy stuff lurking around that I could blog about. The economy in general, and the housing market in particular, are a wreck. The downfall of a moral society can be witnessed daily by watching Jersey Shore. What is the deal with gas prices? My three beautiful children are not perfect, in fact sometimes they can act pretty ugly. Laundry is not filling my soul with joy, and don’t get me started on diaper changing.

Sometimes the only thing I have control over is my attitude, so I choose to be happy. Choosing happiness isn’t always easy. It feels good to vent and complain and be generally morose. And there are always people who are willing to bitch with you. But in the end, this whining and complaining and yuckiness get you nowhere. It lingers in your affect making you bitter and no fun to be around.

So when I want to be a complete hag here are some things I do to choose happiness. Maybe some will work for you:

Do something as soon as you wake up in the morning that makes you happy.  For me it is a cup of coffee. Maybe it is going to the gym, or praying, or calling your mom.

Do something nice for others. Make it a habit. They may not appreciate it at first (or ever), but you are setting an example for the people around you. I have a list of ideas here if you need inspiration.

Ditch the negativity. It can be as simple as turning off the television when the news is bringing you down or not engaging in a conversation that will cause needless anxiety. On the other hand, it can be hard to cut out negativity when it is a person in your life that is causing it. Is it time to reevaluate friendships and other relationships that are draining you?

Count your blessings, especially the small ones. We can easily take the big stuff like our health and family for granted, but the small things are reasons for happiness too. Sleeping well at night, a vacuumed floor, opening the mailbox and not finding a bill are all small things that can provide a touch of happiness to your day.

Turn a negative into a positive. Doing that laundry means my children have clothing to wear. Dirty dishes in the sink are a result of a home cooked meal. Patrick’s late night work call means he is still contributing value to his workplace. Is an overbooked social schedule really a bad thing? It means you have friends!

Finally, remember that this too shall pass- whether it is a headache, a really bad week, or eventually...hopefully...the crappy housing market.

Patrick turned 40 last Friday. The kids and I ventured out in the rain to stuff his car full of helium balloons while he was at work. Laughing and pulling a trick on daddy’s birthday made the kids happy. Thinking of Patrick trying to get in the car made me happy. Driving home with the balloons so the kids could have them (I would have released those suckers) made Patrick happy. Sometimes it's the little things that create happiness.

Am I happy 24/7? No. Unfortunately Patrick often gets an earful when I have had a particularly long day. But in general, I choose happiness in life and in my blog.


1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister! I am trying to be better about this too, thanks for sharing!