Tuesday, February 12, 2013

So You Had A Bad Day

I'm a pretty positive person. The type who likes rainbows and unicorns (actually butterflies but it doesn't sound as good) But I work hard to be that way.
My nature at its very basic is "glass half empty". I think if you understood the way I grew up you'd get why that's my basic nature. However, I'm not a believer in (or I try not to be) basic is best. Your nature is not fixed and can be changed if you're mind is put to it. If you really want to change who you are...you can. But you have to be willing first.

To that end I have worked pretty hard most of my life at being happy, goofy, perky, silly. Any positive emotion you can name I spend a lot of time trying to be it. It's my belief that happiness isn't just going to happen to you. Happiness is a choice. You make a choice every day, whether or not to be happy. I'm not going to go so far as to say that its an easy choice. It's not. Most of the time.

It's work to be happy. To be conscious of your happiness and to really pursue it is a very difficult thing to do. It's definitely much more difficult to be happy than it is to be unhappy. I think this the fundamental problem with humanity but that's a rant for a different time.

Think about it...how easy is it to remember all of the negative things that have happened to you in life?
When you got cut from the basketball team.
When the girl you asked out turned you down.
When the guy you were hoping would ask you to the dance asked your best friend instead.
When you were passed over for the promotion that you know you deserved.
When you got into a car accident.
When you didn't make the big sale. 
When your wife asked you for a divorce.
When someone you love died...

Pretty easy right? I'm willing to bet that at least one of those things I mentioned happened to all of you who are reading this in some way, shape or form.

But how often do you take the time to really sit down and remember your happiest moments?
The first time you rode a bike.
The first time you hit a three point shot.
Your first kiss
(I remember mine very fondly and am in fact still friends with the beautiful man, who I'll call Misfit in honor of a t-shirt he wore on a day that I have a particularly happy memory of, who gave it to me and taught me about love and its beauty. Hey Misfit...Thanks!).
The first time you saw your significant other.
The first time you kissed them.
The day you planned how to propose to her.
The day he proposed to you.
The day you got that promotion you worked so hard toward.
The day your first child was born, your second, third, fourth etc...

Yeah...once I really put my mind to it I can remember those things...and in the remembering....I can count my blessings.

I saw an old friend (we'll call him Nashville) the other day and he said something to me that I don't remember having heard before about myself. Sweet Nashville told me that I have a big heart. 
And hearing it almost made me cry.
I never thought about how big my heart is. I never thought about how much room I have inside it for everyone I know. I never thought about how much love I send out to the world. Its not something I think about. I just do it. I love everyone. But Nashville, showed me, and I'm pretty sure its one of the most beautiful compliments I've ever gotten in my life. Definitely one I'll cherish for the rest of it.

It also made me realize that Nashville is a blessing to me. (You are you know...Just your DrawSomething pics alone are really...I can't tell you how many times they've made me laugh.) Just having known him in high school was enough of a blessing, but to still have his friendship 13 years later and know that he sees me in such a wonderful way is just incredible. I don't know how I got to be so lucky in my friends but I am.
Stopping the sappy...now.

At work I sometimes hear "You sure look like you're having a good day." Most of the time I reply that I am...but really...most of the time I'm not. I'm having a horrible day. But I have a secret that I'm going to share. Its my secret to having a good day...

Are you ready?

You sure?


My secret is...

"Fake it til you make it."

If you aren't happy...pretend to be. Sing a happy song. Tell a goofy joke. Be a light to someone else who is having a bad day. I guarantee you that if you fake it long enough you will eventually make it. It's never not worked for me.

I'm not a naturally happy person. In fact...depression runs pretty deep in my family on both my mother's side and my father's. But I gain joy, warm fuzzies and much pleasure from making others laugh, smile, feel better, feel loved. I especially love making people feel loved. Its one of my favorites. Right up there with smiling. Smiling is my favorite (wink).

I have to work at it. Some days I have to work really hard. I mean REALLY hard. Some days I don't succeed. Some days I fall just a little short. Some days I'm almost too happy to stand it. Sometimes I'm too happy for the people around me to stand it (I'm talking about you Marilyn). Some days I get it just right.

But when I have days like today, where everything was a mess, everyone was complaining, and I discovered that people I thought were my friends really aren't...I have to remind myself of my secret. Today I thought in reminding myself that I could maybe remind you too.

I hope this helps you. I hope you finish reading this post with a smile and that you go write down 10 things that make you happy to just think about. My 10 are below. I hope that you'll work hard at being happier. Make the choice. You have to work for it. You have choose it. You have to really want it. No one is going to hand it to you and if they did...it wouldn't be your happiness.


My Top 10 Happy Things
(in no particular order):
1. Daydreams about Hawaii
(today it was a fantasy about just laying on the warm sand in the dark and listening to the sea, absorbing the warmth of the sun warmed sand, feeling the salt tinged sea breeze and watch the stars and moon. And breathing deeply of the peace I can only find there) 
2. My children's smiles
(cliché I know but they really do make me happy)
3. The Sunshine Song by Jason Mraz
"A little light never hurt nobody. Send out your ray of sunshine."
4. Dancing and singing.
5. Goofy texts from Husband-Man.
6. Kisses from Husband-Man.
7. The smell of the tops of my children's heads
8. Writing
(both writing actual paragraphs of information like blog posts and the actual act of writing. I like to see my hand make my words take shape. Those words belong to me and are shaped by me. Odd I know but it makes sense to me so that's all that matters.)
9. Snuggling into my bed with a good book and being all nice and toasty cozy.
10. Sharing my thoughts, craziness and projects with you. Its so much fun.
That's my list...what's yours? Share it in the comments.


Russell Wyndham said...

Awesome post! I needed that.

Leah McMillen said...

You have a very biog heart, are easy to talk to and make friends easily. I am very happy to know you and looking forward to getting to know you better and becoming closer friends. Leah

Anonymous said...

1. Having my children call me "just to talk" or ask my opinion, even if they don't follow my advice.
2. Coming home and finding my daughter decided to clean the house.
3. Throwing a dinner party.
4. Getting a real letter in the mail.
5. Having friends "drop by" for a visit.
6. Baking, and having the end result look like the pictures.
7. Finding new information about my genealogy research projects.
8. Listening to my younger daughter sing.
9. Getting rid of the accumulation in the house - it makes atmosphere lighter.
10. Talking to neighbors.

Shelley Frank said...

I'll second #'s 6 and 10. A very happy list you have there.

Anonymous said...

1. Cuddling with my cat.
2. My "other", as he didn't say "signifcant other" recently. :)
3. Hanging out with good girlfriends at the pool, drinking pina coladas.
4. Eating chips and salsa
5. First starting a good book
6. Hanging out with my favorite niece. (Yes, I have a favorite).
7. Pants that fit.
8. Cooking a meal that the other thinks is fantastic.
9. Wandering around Barnes and Noble.
10.Walking the dog around the lake, on a sunny day.