LIFE IS: Having a Good Day
How many times a day to you hear “Have a good day”? Wishing each other a good day is a great practice and hopefully done with true intent. Typically the response to being wished a good day is: “You too.” I was telling my colleagues that my response is different. My go-to response has generally been: “I usually do.” I like to see the reaction to this. I get a lot of smiles and a few curious looks. My colleagues tell me that this response is selfish and I should be responding by the obligatory “you too”. I don’t see it that way; I want people to know that I enjoy life. My hope is that by my response they think of all the good things in their day and they can also respond “I usually do.” However, I don’t what to be selfish. So now when you tell me to have a good day you will usually hear, “I usually do and hope you do too!”
LIFE IS: The Little Things
We work so hard to get bigger and better things, trying to find that sweet spot of happiness we are sure is out there. We just have to work hard enough/get lucky enough/be pretty enough//be rich enough/be ambitious enough to get it. Once we get that thing/money/spouse/job we wanted, we’ll never want anything again and be happy forever, right?
Well, not exactly. I think we all have that person in our lives that seem like they have those keys to happiness (the perfect job, the perfect family, a lot of money, etc.) but they still seem miserable. I’ve been guilty of rolling my eyes at them. What right do they have to be unhappy when they have it all while I’m thousands of dollars in debt and struggling to pay bills? I’d be so happy if I was them!
But then I catch myself, because that’s just not how it works. There are multiple studies about why many lottery winners are more miserable than before they won the lottery. All the superficial things in the world cannot make us happy. We know this logically, but forget it in our race to find that one thing that will finally make us happy. Happiness is a feeling; that means it’s not something we can buy on Amazon, it’s something we create internally.
I remember that sweet sense of satisfaction and pride I got the day I graduated college. If I’m truly honest with myself, I feel nearly the same sense of happiness and accomplishment when I successfully make a new recipe, or make it through a really dry book. It’s not the size of the accomplishment that counts when it comes to mental well-being. It’s the little bits of happiness that make the day fun.
That’s not to say I don’t believe in ambition. Ambition is the driving force that leads to self-improvement and improvement of society. A little ambition and determination can change the world. I just believe the world could benefit if people spent a little less time trying the reach that peak of happiness that may or may not exist, and look a little more inward to create that happiness.
LIFE IS: about perspective
I live with a sincere belief that we were all created to live a vibrant life. If you’re a human, however, you’ve probably gone through a period of time where keeping your head above water was difficult. Although some seasons of life are easy, others are whirlwinds of uncertainty where proper perspective is hard to find. These moments are often the times where our emotions go back and forth, and back and forth again. One moment, hope is alive, and the next, it seems to escape faster than the air leaving a popped latex balloon.
As a person who is sometimes too hard on themselves, I know the whole emotional roller coaster journey all too well. When life isn’t full of unicorns and rainbows, It’s easy to slip into anxious thoughts and lose sight of positivity. In my own personal experience, I have fallen into cycles of negative thinking and questioned my level of competence. Other times, I've just cried a lot while eating an overwhelming amount of plantain chips. Note: although plantain chips are really tasty, I wouldn’t recommend eating them to cure scattered emotions. Most of the time, emotional eating just leaves me feeling like a busted can of biscuits.
No one should feel like a busted can of biscuits.
The one thing I would recommend, however, is to fight to maintain the proper perspective. In times where my emotions are scattered, I’ve found so much relief in shaking myself back to the right place mentally. Sometimes that’s done through dancing, scream singing, or just by sitting down to remind myself that everything will be okay. Maybe for you fighting means exercising, writing your thoughts out on paper, or cooking something new. Regardless of what it looks like, find the tool that helps you rise above and choose thankfulness rather than criticism, faith rather than fear, and hope rather than pessimism. Fight to live vibrantly.
LIFE IS: Fast
My youngest daughter just had her 1st birthday! My how fast time flies! It’s seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with her…
With all the crazy that life brings (work, kids, daily chores, hobbies, etc.) it sometimes feels like we never have enough hours in the day to get done what we need to. Looking back in retrospect, the days, weeks, months go by so fast! Try and leave work when you plan to, and don’t take work home with you! Ask your kids about their days and take as much family time as you can. Save the cleaning for another day… Do that thing you’ve always wanted to try! Try to slow down, take a deep breath and live IN the moment! In EVERY moment, because they really do go by fast.
I’m definitely a Type A Personality, so I often find myself looking towards the future instead of being in the here and now. At times I will even follow my children around as they are playing and pick up each mess when they drop it and move on to the next toy. But I have to stop, remind myself, to just play with them instead. The mess isn’t hurting anything…except all my mental cues that are telling me to clean. Ignore them! You will be happier that you did, I was and am! Learn to be messy, play more, laugh more and find that happiness and contentment to just be!