Sunday, March 27, 2011
Its the simple things....
I sit here and I watch Jeremiah playing in the living room with the dog and watching his cartoons and I realize how its the simple things in life that we should always cherish and be thankful for. I think its all too easy for us to get wrapped up in the material things in life. We get all wrapped up in 'I want this' or 'I want that'. And then we get upset or jealous when we can't afford the 'right' car or the 'newer, cooler' computer that our friend just got. But, what about all the other things we have in our lives? What about all the smaller things that we often take for granted? When I start to notice myself getting particularly ungrateful, I like to sit back and reflect on all the other things I have in my day to day life that make me happy, that I should be thanking God for every day.
I've been talking a lot about "choosing happiness". Let me fully explain that this idea of choosing happiness is not something that I've always believed in. This is a rather recent change for me. And yes, it came from my husband. Yes Rob, I'm giving you props....you ARE RIGHT on this topic. See, I can be a particularly moody person when I want to be (just ask my parents....my teen years were hell for them to say the least haha). Rob has always said to me, 'Babe, you're not happy because you're choosing to be miserable!' He would preach and preach about how I can choose to be happy. I would roll my eyes and say, "Whatever Rob! You just don't understand!" But, I now know that he DID understand! He understood the idea of happiness better than I did! Here's how I now interpret Rob's "choosing happiness" statement:
Everyday we wake up, we have a choice. We can choose to be lazy. We can choose to only notice the shitty things that piss us off. We can choose to be impatient with our little ones. We can choose to not take advantage of the day.
We can get up with purpose. We can wake up and we can say, 'okay...today I'm going to take everything one thing at a time. I'm not going to fight with (enter name of choice here). I'm not going to be pissy all day. I'm going to be positive and try to look at the bright side of things.' And guess what? It really works! Now, I'm not going to sit here and lie to you nice people and tell you that if you choose to be happy then every day of your life will be wonderful. Because, thats just not true. Life is a learning experience. If life didn't present us with shitty days and horrible, often unfair circumstances.....then, how would we ever learn to be appreciative? I'm not sure where this quote comes from, but I've always loved it: "To understand true happiness and joy, we must first experience deep sorrow and pain." Think about that. If you never knew what it felt like to be hurt, then how would you ever understand the opposite?
To be honest, I'm a reformed Debbie Downer. I've had my fair share of dark days in the past where I felt like there was just no reason to get up in the morning. I felt like there was no point in living in general. I would often mope and complain and whine about anything and everything. Today, I have no idea who that person is. It certainly isn't me anymore. Maybe my happiness came from experiencing true love and finding my match in my husband. Maybe my understanding of happiness came from when I gave birth to my son and looked into his tiny eyes for the first time and realized what true, unconditional love really was. Whatever it was, at some point I came to a realization that I have many, MANY blessings in my life that I should be thankful for every.single.day.
I get so tired of dealing with negative people all day, every day. Hey, I have my bad days too.....we all do! But make the choice to be happy. Make the choice to have a wonderful day. Make the choice to be productive. Most importantly, make the choice to smile! I had a boss who told me that a study was done, and people who had jobs that required them to smile at the customers tended to be happier in general! What can we learn from this? Tell yourself that you're going to smile more. Even if a smile doesn't fit the particular situation....just smile! I bet you'll notice a lightened mood overall for the day. Its true!
So, whats my point in all of this? Stop reading this. Sit back, look around you and really take in all that you have. Are you wearing clothes? Be thankful for that, for many do not have that luxury. Do you have heat in your home? Be thankful for that, for many do not have a home at all. Do you have food to eat? Be thankful for that, for there are others in the world who are starving at this very moment. Consider this:
" It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart...." -