Monday, June 6, 2011

How to be Happy?

Happiness is fleeting.

Joy is the thing you want - the thing that strives on through pain and sorrow - the thing that gives you hope...

But a little happiness on a lot of days is a pretty great thing - fleeting though it may be.

After I got married and got pregnant (soon after getting married), my mom told me that "sometimes you need to do a little something for yourself, for a little 'pick-me-up'."

That was hard for me, honestly.  I felt like other people should be getting me little somethings and making sure my day was brighter.  Why shouldn't my friends or family or HUSBAND be getting me little "pick-me-ups"?  Why should I, the pregnant person, have to do it for myself?

Because, ladies and gentlemen, that's just how life is.

It's super nice when our partners or lovers or parents or children or friends get us a little something, write us a little note, make a thoughtful phone call, or take us out for ice cream, but sometimes, we have to do for ourselves, and sometimes - it feels mighty good.

It's something I still need to learn.

I'm still not the greatest at circling the thing I want for Christmas in the sale ad and putting it on the kitchen table for the hubby to see.  I still expect him to be able to read my mind a little.

I still go through hours and days of feeling sorry for myself.

But lately I've been trying the following philosophies in my life and in my home:

1.  If you don't like it, change it.

2.  If you really want something, get it or do it for yourself.

3.  If you need help, ask for it.

So sometimes at the grocery store, I get myself a bar of chocolate because I want one.  And I eat it all by myself.  And I don't share.  Because I don't have to. 

And sometimes I make faces at myself in the mirror and make myself laugh.  And I sing in the car with the radio at full volume and I sit in the parking lot a little longer than necessary after I get home to finish my song.

I shake out the bathroom rug when it gets linty and nasty even though it isn't my job, because I'm the only person who cares that it's nasty and linty.  And when I'm overwhelmed with a crap ton of laundry expanding all over my bedroom floor I ask my husband to help me fold, because I need it.

And I bought these freakin' amazing sunglasses for a dollar at Walmart.

My son told me I looked ridiculous.

I told him I liked them and I didn't care if anyone else did, they were fun.

A few minutes later he said, "You know what, Mommy?  I changed my mind.  I think you look like a rock star."

Yeah.  That's what I'm talkin' about.


T Peter said...

I think your shades make you look like a rock star, too. Or maybe it's the awesome hairdo. Or the smoochin-the-mic expression. Who knows, who cares: you're a rock star!

Also, great post! What's your take on seeking joy vs. seeking contentment? Is contentment just the feeling you get when you have joy without hope?

Missy said...

I think that contentment and joy are very closely related. You can be content with your life and still feel sad, just like you can have joy and still be sad. It's hard for me to take them apart, but I think that true joy only happens with hope, and contentment could happen without hope, but not joy. I think that people who aren't Christians can experience joy, but it's fleeting - like when they see their baby being born, or hold their child in their arms, or marry the love of their life - but joy as a way of life... I think Christians have that and nobody else. I think others can be content, but without the hope that comes with faith in Christ, true, lasting joy, is impossible - there's something about the nature of joy that requires eternity. Did that answer your question?

Missy said...

(I am certain that my atheist friends will probably argue with me on this, but this is also one of those experience sort of comments, so I don't know that true philosophical validity is possible here.)

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