Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Learning Happiness

The year is almost at its halfway point; don’t ask me when this happened, but it is a fact that July is quickly approaching. In the last months, I have thought, mused, pondered, and meditated a lot about my word for 2015: Happiness. My goal for this year was to work towards more happiness in our family by reducing stress, easing up, and focusing more on each other.

Let me tell you about reducing stress in our family right now: it won’t happen. With a kid in 1st grade, another one in kindergarten and a feisty, adventurous, and cheeky baby, we’re on our feet most of the day, struggling to keep at least a hint of order in our house.
But still, I refuse to give up on my goal; instead, I have realized that I need to revise my previous notion of happiness as a perpetual state. Instead, I seek happiness in the moment. The moments I get to watch the kids play peacefully (and more or less quietly) together, the moments Lily is reading to all of us, when I see a field speckled with wild flowers, getting to watch Calvin dream away in my arms; the moments hubby and I hug each other for a minute, taking a time-out from the daily routine. All those moments are happiness, like rays of sun shining through a screen, making a difference every day.
I may still have hard days, frustrating days, days I wished I could lock myself in my room and just be by myself for a while, but I have realized that it’s the small things that mean happiness in my life, not surfing on a perpetual wave of bliss.

The realization that happiness is generally an attitude to life, that I need to make the conscious decision each day to make it a happy day, has taken a lot of pressure off me, striving for my goal of happiness. There are days I fail, that are stressful and I simply do not manage to get into a positive mood in my haze of sleep deprivation and general frustration, but I have also learned to let it go. Not to stress myself about “making up” for those days, but see every single day as a new, plain sheet, that has all the potential to be filled with happiness. And then it’s up to us how much happiness we paint on it.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jen! I've realized that my expectation of "happiness" is not only unrealistic but actually the source of much of my stress. Letting go of expectations has helped enjoying the Here and Now a lot more.