Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Come on, get happy...

I came across this anonymous quote and it's been on my mind for a couple of days now. It says:
"Happiness doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It simply means you've decided to look beyond the imperfections."
I've talked here about happiness and contentment in previous posts, but find that they are topics that can't really be overdone. There is always something to strive for when it comes to finding that place inside yourself and outside of yourself where you can be happy and/or content. I have been thinking about how our nation, in general, is having to change its perspective on wealth, money and happiness with the troubling economy and outlook we face. I think for too long, too many people were chasing "happiness" as it's defined by others- rather than what actually makes them happy.
Too many times people buy into advertising or neighbors setting the 'standard' for happiness. Or they buy into the idea that success/money will make you happy and they end up working longer hours or more jobs or taking work home with them. None of it actually leads to happiness for 99.9% of the people trying to juggle more things in their life. It just leads to frustrations in marriages, in the workplace, stress or feelings of failure as a parent/friend/spouse and so on. The fact is that happiness can't be defined by people outside of ourselves. We have to determine that on our own and it looks different for each one of us! The advertisers for products/services would like you to believe that we all want the same thing- a bigger burger, a high-tech phone, the lastest model car, the fastest weight-loss plan, the shiniest hair and all the other things you see on tv and billboards and in the magazines.
The truth is that the best way to find happiness is to be quiet and really tune out the world from time to time. Ask yourself what is it that makes you happy? Is it really a big car? Or could it be something simpler than that? There's more to life than stuff and the sooner we all learn that, the happier and, I suggest, more "free" we are to find that happiness. It comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes I think the more "imperfect" or simple or scaled-back we can keep things in our lives, the greater the chance we have at being happy.
Now I don't claim to have the world's happiest life. Not by a long shot. But I do like to think that I am on the path for finding it and at times along the way there is happiness in abundance in my life. I think there is great satisfaction too, in knowing that happiness is something we can have even when things aren't so rosy in life. To me, happiness is more about a sense of fulfillment and not living with worry, than it is about having everything you want or having everything fall perfectly into place.
I'm not sure why I felt the need to put this all in writing, but I hope it makes us stop and think. Life really is so short that I feel like some people spend all their time searching for happiness and then missing it when it shows up- only because they have grand ideas of how they want it to look. I'm learning that happiness can and often is the most simply, no-cost things in life. Like dancing with your kids- even when there's no music playing. Or recalling a memory that you never want to forget. It can be riding the cart out to your car at the grocery store, feeling thankful that you have the ability to move on your own and feel the air on your face. It's noticing when someone needs a pick-me-up and being the one to call them and say, "I'm so glad we're friends".
Happiness really is simple.
I'm making a point to notice it in my day-to-day life more often.
I hope you'll join me on this simple quest.
It can make such a difference in life.
I hope it does too!

6 comments: said...

Refreshing. Great reminder in these tough times. Thanks!

Nieman Family said...

that post was!

Jen said...

We are on the same page today. Great post.

Lauren Kelly said...

Thank you for this.... It really ministered to me :)

Memaw Barbie said...

Here I sit after putting in a 13 hour day at work. Still working on government paperwork. Quarterly reports and payments. It is never ending. I have heard that we are not to let our business run us, but we run our business. Still trying to figure that one out
I do cherish the times with family and the simpler things in life. I just need more of them. thanks for the post. Blessings

Tami said...

blessings to you jody. your post was so encouraging to me especially in a world where happiness is so based on our "circumstances". i pray all is well with your family.