Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On choosing to be happy

Have you ever thought of happiness as a choice, as in, something you actively decide to do, just like eating your fruits and vegetables or exercising?

With Janelle coming home this week, I've been trying to get myself in the right frame of mind so I'll be able to stay calm and handle the next stage of her recovery right along with her. And now, more than ever, I'm starting to realize how important it is to choose happiness in life, no matter what sort of crazy whirlwind is going on around you!

We spend so much of our present life worrying and planning and ruminating (my mother has turned these into Olympic-worthy events) until that vicious circle gets so twisted in our heads that we have trouble distinguishing the future from the here and now. We agonize over the things we have and haven’t done. The things we should and shouldn’t do. The things we did that now we wish we hadn’t. The things we didn’t do that we now feel guilty for not doing.
Take one weekend a couple years ago, for example. It was a Sunday. There was a mountain-size pile of clothes on my mother’s bed that needed to be put away (urgently, right then, according to my mother). There were also a few shows I was dying to watch on my DVR. It was clear. I had a very important choice to make. And only a few short seconds to do it, as my mother’s eyes bore down on me. So I took a big gulp and gave her my decision. It was the most logical decision, after all. It practically made itself. I spent the rest of the afternoon smiling as I watched a few shows. And my first day back at work turned out to be a productive one. I’m no scientist, but I think there’s a correlation there.

Even now, I could name a handful of things I’d like to do (like organizing my room once and for all, for example), but really, the only thing I really want -- deeply and truly want -- is to be happy. With or without any sort of romance to speak of. With or without flat abs. With or without a burning-hot social calendar. I want to be happy with myself. I want to be happy with my life. I want to do things that make me happy. I want to make those I love happy. And I want to actively choose that happiness, not passively wait for it to find me. Because happiness is something only you can go out and find. Your happiness is your responsibility and no one else's.
So, tell me, friends: How will you seek out happiness in your own life? How do you do it now? What makes you happy? Let's spread some happiness, shall we? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]


  1. I've found that happiness is a good balance of caring for others and myself, focusing on the here and now and big dreams, and occasionally a really good meal, a pedicure, or a great date!

  2. I think this is a great post, Melissa. Yes, in many ways happiness is a choice.

    "Because happiness is something only you can go out and find. Your happiness is your responsibility and no one else's."

    So true!

    Probably the biggest choice towards happiness I have made was leaving a relationship that did not make me happy. I stayed for years, always putting myself second. I finally realized, "Hey, I only get one go at this life. This is my only shot. I'm 28 and don't want to be sad for the rest of my days." And I left. A great side effect? If YOU are happier, those who love you are happier too. If you are happy and smile, your Mom will be happy that you are happy, your sister will be happy, etc. So it's not really selfish to aim for what you want because good vibes spread.

  3. First of all: That cat is too cute!!!!
    And about happiness: On the one hand I believe that you cannot force yourself to be happy. If you expect something (for example listening to your favourite song, doing something you used to love when you were younger) to make you happy, that won't work. So it is important to let go. To think of happiness as a by-product, not a goal.
    On the other hand I'm starting to believe that there actually are things that you can do in order to make it "more likely" that happiness will find you. Last week someone convinced me how helpful it is to write down your objectives in life and the things you dream of and to make an actual 5-year-plan. The idea is not to make you feel bad in case your plan doesn't work out, the idea is to make your goals and the steps you need to take in order to achieve them clearer, more realistic, to connect your dreams with your reality. I'm new to this planning thing, but I think it could help you feel responsible for your own life and your own happiness.
    (Uhm..yeah, I hope this comment isn't strange or off-topic.)

  4. I love this! I did a quick post on choosing happiness today as well!

  5. Happiness is absolutely a choice and we choose it every moment of every day, it may be a struggle at times but we can, if we choose to, embrace happiness with every breath we inhale.. My children and grandchildren bring me happiness, just the thought of them will bring a smile to my face. My lit'l pup FiFi makes me smile with just one thought of her.. The fact that I can feel my heart beating? That makes me really happy. :)
    Great post.

  6. Nice post meh, I learnt something from this post and I'm working on making it useful. The blog reminds me of an equally interesting blog on my reading list Dating and Personal Development Blog .
    keep up the good work.


  7. I believe that happiness is a choice. In any situation we are we can choose how we feel. Am I going to let the little things get to me today or am I let myself get frustrated?

    However my happy place is waking up early, drinking hot coffee, reading a book, and lighting a candle.

  8. I do believe happiness a choice and I believe it is all about balance. I believe self care is paramount in being happy. We all may feel a responsibility to others, and if we do, then ensuring we meet our commitments to others may be part of that happiness quotient for us.

    For me, happiness right now is about getting my health back and being in charge of my life.


Your lovely comments make my day so much sweeter! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin