The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ~Benjamin Franklin
Happiness is a state of mind. Sometimes we choose to be happy or satisfied in life, and it works. Sometimes we choose happiness and that shrew named Depression stands between us and all we want in life. We might even have all we ever wanted, but Depression clouds our vision. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. The grass is greener on the side of happiness and the pasture radiates with wild flowers. That’s the side I choose, and I hope that shrew has accepted a one- way ticket out of my life.
I am a woman of very simple means. I don’t live extravagantly. My happiness is not dependant on material items. I find joy in small pleasures. However, I’d be lying to you if I said I was a woman of simple expectations because I am not. I expect the best people have to offer. I offer love, respect, integrity, honesty, accountability, and humor. I expect no less from those I love.
The other night I had this thought as I was about to drift off to sleep. “It’s the moments between the moments that make an ordinary life extraordinary.” It really isn’t the “big” moments in my life that make me happy. It is the day to day living, the moments between moments that complete me. I realized that it was not the milestones (although those are important) that I am dependant on for pleasure. It’s not the big things like my wedding day or the birth of each of my children. It is the moments in between those events that have brought me happiness. It has been having someone to share my love, life, and thoughts with that accomplish me. It is looking across the room and knowing what my spouse is thinking. It is the hug or smile from a child. My life looks rather ordinary to the passerby, but it is rich with love and happiness. And money can’t buy that.
I have also thought about how I am the maker of my own happiness. I know I can’t depend on others to make me happy. I have a choice in my perspective. You know the saying about making lemonade out of lemons? I can change the way I look at a situation, and my whole attitude changes. I can actually feel the shift in my body. Changing perspective is an ongoing challenge. Yes, I do get cranky or angry at times, but I move on instead of letting it fester.
And even in the most sorrowful times of my life, I have received gifts of happiness that came in the forms of lessons learned, strengthened relationships, and new friendships. I am grateful for my journey and all the people who have been a part of it. And if I have nothing left in this world to give, I can give of myself. I can love. I truly don’t believe that happiness can exist without love.
I choose to believe I have an extraordinary life. I love with all I have inside me, and I am loved in return. I laugh often. I am content. Yes, I am happy.
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. ~Frederick Keonig