They say that being happy is a choice.
People, with our big brains and free will, have the ability to choose to be joyful beings. We can decide to accept life’s twists and turns and cherish them as part of the journey or loath them and hope they don’t kill us like they are clearly trying to.
From my perspective there are basically two kinds of people in this world: Brightsiders and Doomsdayers. Everyone is either one of these or aspiring to be.
Currently, I consider myself a positivist in training, eagerly pursuing life as a Brightsider.
I’ll be the first to admit that this hasn’t always been so as I’ve spent a fair share of my lifetime to this point in the Doomsdayer’s club. My general outlook has consistently been that the only kind of luck I have is bad, and of that I have a surplus. I tend to look on the dark side (although actually joining it seems a little too Darth for me), and plan for the worst. I’ve historically had a hard time letting bad things go after they’ve happened, and Vendetta is like one of my middle names.
It seems that I’ve lived my first 35 29-ish years making joy essentially work its tail off to be with me.
I love joy. Hard core. And, when it happens, I get all caught up in it. Rubbing it all over myself, sharing it with my friends and family, clutching on to it so it won’t slip away while I’m sleeping.
So, I’ve decided to court it. Make it come to me and, if it doesn’t, go after it and haul it back, cavemanwoman style.
That, in essence, is the Happy Mama Movement.
It’s me getting my butt in gear to go out and seek joy. To be deliberate about my appreciation of it. To shun evil and beat the crap out of it with my light saber of positivity and smiles when it tries to push up on me.
Give me a unicorn, I will ride it.
And, of course, I plan to take all of you wannabe happy mamas with me.
Because, while there is plenty to bemoan about mama life, the beauty of it is just so much bigger.
Initially, when this photo was being bombed, I was all, “Dude, move your big head outta my shot. I gotta take photos of my favorite leggings for my fashion blog post.”
But then, I let him distract me from my me-fest long enough to listen to a playground story. About how two little girls at school came up to him and told him that some other little boys were trying to steal their Flipeez. And how he went over to those boys and told them to stop being mean and leave his friends alone. And how, when they didn’t listen, he told them again, in his I’m-so-serious-right-now voice, and just to be sure, he told those little girls to stick with him for the rest of the recess. Which, of course, they did, because, duh.
He told me that happened a few weeks ago, before he was even six, and now so many kids come and ask him for help during recess. And he always helps them because “it’s easy”.
He’s like the Godfather of the playground. Only, without the bloody horse heads and whatnot.
It makes me happy to know that he’s that guy. So, so happy.
Go ahead, shed a joy tear with me, and then let’s get back to keeping it real. It’s easy to experience happiness from time to time, but making the choice to actually BE happy is a crazy harder.
It’s like choosing to lose 20 pounds. Which means also choosing to get up at 5am to go to the gym. And giving up whipped cream on your latte. And eating your salad without dressing. We all want to lose 20lbs, but who the heck wants to eat dry lettuce?
No one honest.
My contribution to the Happy Mama Movement will be more than smile-inducing photos. It will also be steps to follow to help you achieve a more happy life.
Every week month (they say it takes 3 weeks for something to become habit) I’m going to explore a new technique/tip/command for finding happiness.
I don’t guarantee they will work; I’m no happy expert, clearly. But, I will be taking this journey with you and figure we can like hold hands with each other while we go. Maybe we can even skip a little and sing. That sounds, happy, right?!
Happiness Challenge 1: Look forward, NOT back.
Toward the future, not the past.
I find that dwelling on things and people who have hurt me (or just really ticked me off) in the past makes it difficult for me to go forward joyfully. So, no dwelling. No grudge match. No revenge missions. Just accept and move on.
This month’s featured Happy Mama Team Member is Jennifer Williams who blogs at Jennifer P. Williams. She is the proud #happymama of two children and find joy in bed time, new babies, and laughter.
Need more inspiration to find happiness? Check out how women all over the country are finding joy in mothering. We’d love it if you’d join us by sharing a post of your own, checking out the Happy Mama Movement Facebook page, or sharing your #HappyMamas moments on Instagram (just use the hashtag).