Hope

When we have children, we often say-

I only want you to be happy

Now, I’m pretty sure that I’ve written that wanting someone to be happy is a fools journey… that this is a very big lie that we tell our children. When you’re trying to find happy, you miss out on the ride- which may be bumpy, but not necessarily bad…

What should we wish for our children? you may or may not have asked.

Hope.

We should wish that they always have hope…

Hope that the rainbow shows up at the end of the storm…

Hope that first impressions aren’t always the last one

Hope that when one door closes another opens…

If we have hope, we can get to tomorrow to see that life does indeed go on.

Happiness is something we search for, often illusively. Hope is what moves us forward even if happy doesn’t even glimmer on the horizon.

If we have hope, we just might be happy along the journey. We will realize that happy is not necessarily a destination, but a way of thinking about what we are doing. When we wake in the morning, maybe we won’t think about what will make us happy in the moment: when we wake up maybe we hope that we get to do something we haven’t been able to, or see something wonderful, or whatever it is that makes us smile.

Hope does not mean toxic positivity. Hope does not mean that you walk around whistling as chipmunks help you do the laundry. Hope does not mean that random people break out into song as you walk to the subway. Toxic positivity sets you up to believe that anything can and will happen if you believe hard enough…but you can click those heels a thousand times and you probably aren’t going to end up in Kansas…

Don’t set your kids, or yourselves, up to think that happy is right over there and you can attain it. A big house won’t make you happy. Car? Nope. A better job? Maybe: maybe not.

What happens if you achieve all these goals, buy all these things, and you’re still not happy?

Happy is a state of mind, not a goal or something to check off your to do list.

See, that’s why hope is a better option. You learn to bounce back if something doesn’t quite go your way. You realize that it’s part of the journey.

Hope gets you out of bed when you don’t feel like it. Hope gets you out of the house. Hope gives you the opportunity to live.

Without hope, we are truly lost.

So as you meander on the journey that we call life, remember that the sun coming out tomorrow might not make you happy. But remember that tomorrow is indeed another day- a fresh start- a day filled with promise and hope.

side note: I felt like writing today. i may not feel like writing tomorrow. But if I don’t, I will be back

Compromise

A couple is getting divorced.

Partner A would be thrilled to pay 1$ in child support. They would be OK with 2$, eh with 3, irked with 4 and downright hostile with 5.

Partner B would be thrilled to receive 10$ in child support. They would be ok with 9, eh with 7 or 8, irked with 6 and downright hostile with 5.

They go to a judge/mediator. It is decreed that A pay B $5.

Both are miserable.

Is that a good compromise?

Is it only a good compromise when both sides are mad? When both sides feel cheated? Think of my very simplified example: Neither side is happy with the result. But in order for anyone to feel happiness, one side was going to be really mad.

Is it better to have both sides mad as opposed to one side happy?

When’s the last time you truly had to compromise? I’ve been thinking of the last time I had to compromise and I can’t think of a specific example because we haven’t actually made a big family decision in awhile, but I know that people make compromises every day with their loved ones. And at jobs. And in a host of other ways. But the last time you compromised: how did you and the other person feel afterwards? Were you both equally happy or equally mad?

What do you think it takes to compromise? How do you think a compromise should be reached?

Give me 25-50 words on compromise…

Are You Happy?

Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house, as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy

Heath Ledger

We’ve gone down the whole happiness route before. But I saw this quote and I thought it was interesting, especially considering how Ledger’s life ended.

Let’s break this down a little.

When you first meet someone, what are the things that you want to know about them? How do you know if you want to be friends with someone? How do you know if it’s someone you want to avoid?

My daughter is in the process of figuring out who her roommates will be for next year. One person was easy, but now they are trying to find two others so that they can try to get one of the cool, Junior apartments. I’m betting they’re asked about majors, clubs and hometowns. They’ve probably talked about sleep habits and smoking. But I doubt they’re branched out into asking each other if they are happy.

Do we assume that those around us are happy?

A few months ago a neighbor of mine put a picture on Facebook on their grandchildren. I thought one of the kids looked, I don’t know, closed off? Arms crossed, not engaged with the siblings and cousins, far off look. I wondered if this kid was happy. It was odd for me, because I normally don’t think about whether or not people are happy. But there was something about this kid…the look…

Not long after the kid did suffer an episode that could be considered a mental breakdown.

While we all appear to be striving for happy, do we know what happy looks like? Do we know what unhappy looks like?

Are we more likely to realize that a stranger is unhappy as opposed to someone in our own family?

Do we really care if those around us are happy?

Do you ever ask someone if they are happy?

Or are you afraid to find out the answer is anything other than yes?

Of course, we could ask if happy is really the goal, or if content will suffice…

We could also ask if happy is conditional, a feeling that comes and goes as the day progresses…or is happy just a state of mind?

So…

For write my blog Thursday….pick a question and ponder…

Discuss…

Relentless Positivity

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot recently.  Relentless Positivity.  What is it you ask?  Well, my definition is people who are consistently and wholeheartedly optimistic about all aspects of their lives.  They are unicorns and rainbows 24/7.

I have some problems with this.

Why?  What could be wrong with consistently having a go to attitude?  Isn’t that great?  Isn’t that how we all should be attacking life?

I fully admit that I have been monitoring, and documenting, the things that I am grateful for.  Sometimes they are as small as getting a mango ice on a hot day, or as large as my friend receiving good news from her oncologist.  I am often a little snarky about my list, but that’s just my personality- I tend to live life on the sarcastic side.

But just because I do a gratitude list doesn’t mean I’m eternally positive.

I get angry.  I rant about things.  I am sometimes not the nicest person in the world. I get sad.  I can feel hurt.  I have really crappy days where I just sit and have a good cry or a little tiny pity party. I accept this.  I allow myself to feel the full range of emotions.

Everyone should allow themselves to feel the full range of emotions.

Let me repeat that: everyone should allow themselves to feel the full range of emotions.

I have been told that I shouldn’t let anger get the best of me.  My question is why?  Why can’t I be angry?  Why can’t I be frustrated?  Isn’t it worse to bottle my feelings away, to push them deep inside?  Isn’t it better to get it out, be angry, be sad, be frustrated or whatever, and learn to deal with them?

Isn’t it better to learn how to deal with your emotions, whatever they may be?

See, that’s the trick: learning how to deal with the whole spectrum of emotions without letting one take over and dominate.  No one should be happy all the time.  No one should be angry all the time.  No one should be any one thing all the time.

2018 has been the best year of my life.  And as you know if you’ve been reading me this year, I have had set backs.  I have gotten into arguments and disagreements with people.  I have been full out pissed off.  And I have dealt with all those emotions- written about them, discussed them with friends and relations, thought about them.  I have put them into the perspective they deserve.  I have had some crap, yet it has still been the best year of my life.

Why has it been the best year?  Because I like myself more this year than last.  Just like 2017 was better than 2016.  And how 2019 will be better than this year.

I learn from my experiences, both the good and the bad.  This makes me stronger.  I have  taken advantage of the opportunities that life puts in front of me- because you never know what’s going to happen.  I have made new friends.  I have been sparked creatively.  I have been having a great time.

Life is good. But that doesn’t mean I’m all sunshine and rainbows.

Sometimes my blog exudes positivity- sometimes my happiness just shines through,  And sometimes my blog is negative, because, well, that’s just life.  Somedays it is just hard to find the gold.  And that’s OK.

Find the balance: be grateful for the good things, and learn how to handle the bad.  And don’t ever think something is wrong with you because you’re not always relentlessly positive.

 

 

 

I Release You

Last month was “Give up your resolution Day”.  Today, I officially absolve you of your obligations and resolutions and goals that you have not done anything with.  After all, I’m the only one who really counts as far as forgiveness goes…

What?

No.  What other people think doesn’t matter.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive yourself for all the resolutions you set and didn’t follow through on.  It’s OK.

If you’re beating yourself up because you didn’t made it to the gym once, or cause your diet is stalled at page 4 of the new diet book, or your junk drawer is still filled with you know, junk….just stop.  What good is berating yourself going to do?

I love the idea of resolutions and goals.  And that’s part of the problem:  people love the idea of them.  They just don’t actually love doing the work they entail.

Why is this?  Well, people think they should be thinner.  Great.  But the process of getting thin is hard.  It requires a change in eating habits, an increase in exercise, in short: discipline.

There’s a lot of people out there who don’t do discipline.

Accept that about yourself.

It’s OK to not be disciplined.

Really.

Because when you stop feeling guilty about not having discipline, guess what?  You feel better about yourself.  And when you feel better about yourself, magical things happen.  When you feel better about yourself, you give yourself the freedom to go after the things you REALLY want, not the things you think you should want.

When you’re not feeling guilty, you allow yourself to feel happy.  You can’t be happy, fulfilled and guilty at the same time- your mind doesn’t work that way.   The guilt will weigh you down.  (There’s a theory about criminals:  if a guilty person is in the interrogation room they will be very calm, as opposed to the innocent person in the same room, who will be agitated.  When you know you’ve been caught, your mind automatically relaxes.  See what you learn from reading mystery books?)

So, throw out that piece of paper with your list on it.  Delete it from your phone.  Just be yourself.  Accept your strengths and your weaknesses.  Embrace them.

It’s Ok to not have a goal.  It’s OK to not want the same things as others.  It’s OK to be yourself, in whatever form that is.