I am in the pursuit of happiness. Just as the inspiring and heartfelt movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” and the Declaration of Independence suggest we all have the right and ability to find and be happy. For some such as myself and Will Smith in the movie it can be a difficult and treacherous journey. But don’t some people just seem happy all the time?
I was like many of us, I struggled with happiness. I feel like I have spent my whole life chasing it but it always alludes me, until recently. Most people when they are asked what they want out of their lives, somewhere in their top three wants is to be happy. We want to be happy but most of us aren’t. This issue is such a widespread one, that psychology has created it’s own sector for the studying of happiness called Positive Psychology or the Science of Happiness. Who knew?
We want happiness but have no idea how to achieve it. Many believe if they had more money and more things they would be happy. I can tell you from my own experience of my family of origin and my marital family that the exact opposite is true. Having less, a whole lot less and having exactly what I need makes me happier.
The science has discovered that happiness comes from three things; genetics (thanks mom and dad), the situation we find ourselves, and intention. Clearly intention is the area we have the most control over. So I intend to make some changes.
Recently for an entire 24 hours I wrote down all the things that made me smile.
- The smile and “good morning” from my love, even if it is cold and dark and I am exhausted
- Snuggling in bed with Brayden before having to start the chaos of a school morning
- A morning shower, with only one minor interruption from the kids
- Spending a calm few minutes doing Jojos hair and talking to her
- Going grocery shopping and refilling our fruit basket with a rainbow of colored fruit. So pretty and yum
- A Starbucks chai latte, for a treat
- Kids wanting to play a board game with me after school instead of YouTube, Minecraft or tv
- Cupcake, our Maltese puppy, walking around the house with a candy cane in her mouth
- Writing again. The words flow like a raging river.
- An empty laundry basket, even if it only lasts for two minutes
- Kids saying goodnight and I love you
- The quiet as I lie in bed writing this
Even now, a few days later this list made me happy. I invite you to try this exercise.
Life always provides us moments of clarity and growth if we are open with our hearts, minds and souls. Be on the lookout. The lesson this has taught me is there are so many little things to find joy in and if you can focus on the little things maybe the big things will not be so bad.
I would be remiss if I did not mention on this journey spirituality has played a huge role. I find peace, love and happiness in the offerings of god and the universe. The meaning and connection it has brought into my everyday life, even in some of my toughest moments has been astonishing. I have an easier time finding gratitude for the joys of life big or small. And more grace, strength and calmness in the tough times.
This suburban goddess mom is creating her own happily ever after. Join me.