Friday, January 21, 2011

Being introspective

I had a quick thought last night, something I'd been thinking about for a week or so.  Something that frustrated me to no end.  Something I have a hard time dealing with.  I typed my Facebook status and was over the allowed amount of characters.  Facebook sent me to a NOTE instead - so I typed away and had this long post about this and then Facebook lost it before it could post.  I was bummed.

I'm trying again and just blogging it instead.  And it's long - just so you know!!

I tend to get frustrated with people easily if they are just takers, always taking from you and never giving, never helping you when you reach out to them.  I get frustrated when people can't see the good in their lives, only the bad.  I get aggravated when people dwell in the bad parts, soak up all the sadness and bad things and take advantage of their situation.  I get really sad when people can't see how lucky they are.

I had a conversation with someone at work yesterday about movies and books and just what she's been reading lately and really enjoying.  We were talking about The Pursuit of Happyness.  She read the book and said it was great.  It's on my list now.  One of the things pointed out in the book was how you choose your own happyness.  (yes I know I'm spelling it wrong, but that's how it's spelled for the movie!!) 


You do it.  You have the ability to make a choice, based on the knowledge you have (however little or large that knowledge is).  Normally, no one holds a gun to your head while you choose between being in a good mood or a bad mood.  Or when you decide how to treat someone.  Or when you decide how to be treated.  Or when you decide to take advantage of your situation instead of rising above it and learning from it.

I really want to remember that I choose to be happy.  I shouldn't let someone steal my happiness and sour a good mood.  But, let's face it - it happens, probably a lot more than we want it to.  For the most part, even if I don't feel well, have a headache, am tired - whatever - I'm a happy person. 

I'm happy with what I have in my life.  Sure, I'd like more.  A dishwasher that works.  A full size oven with a better stove top than I have.  Less spider webs in my garage.  A different car.  The list is never ending.  But here's the thing:  none of those things would really make me happier (less dishpan hands though).  I'm responsible for that.  I'm responsible for my life.

Too many people blame other things for their life - well that happened, so I'm this way or if things were different for me, I'd be different.  Here's the thing - no matter your situation, can't we make the best of it?

Six years ago this month, our world was turned upside down.  Cole was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  WHAT?  We didn't even know which way was up for a while.  We were down and sad and worried and scared and all that stuff.  BUT, we had this little amazing three year old and we couldn't let him down.  We had to still play and make him smile and let him know how fabulous he was.  It wasn't fake either.  We didn't just pretend to be happy in front of him and then be terrible as soon as he was out of the room.  We just found the best in each day, each moment - not knowing what would be the end result.  Would he be ok? Would we be ok?  I will never forget those feelings.  I remember wondering if he would know us the same way - I mean, seriously, they are cutting into his brain and taking something out.  Would he still be able to function?  We just didn't know.  We had tons of questions with few answers.  We just made the best of what we had though.  We decorated his hospital room.  We brought toys to him from home.  We made sure he had his favorite Krispy Kreme donuts all the time.  We kept him happy.  Making him happy, kept us happy.

The entire time we went through his treatments, we stayed positive.  There were certainly days where we were sitting in the cafe at the hospital, waiting for him to finish his radiation.  I would be worried, sad, watching the clock so we didn't miss the page that he was waking up.  Another mom would see me, know it was hard, hug me and tell me it was all going to be okay!!  But honestly, those days were few and far between.  Most days, we were happy.  As weird as it sounds, those days in Memphis, away from home, away from family, away from our life - were some of the best days of our lives.  Why?  Because our focus was just on Cole.  We had the ability to just take all that was in us and use it to make him happy.  We were all happy.  We didn't dwell in it.  And let's face it, your kid having cancer is a pretty good reason for you to check out of life.  Check out of being happy.  Check out of caring for others.  Check INTO a pity party to end all pity parties.  Check INTO being the victim.

That's not who I am.

Sure, we all get in that mood, but I try as hard as I can to not live there for very long.

There are people I know that take from others and never give.  They cover up their real feelings with their fake, happy attitude.  But when those walls come down, they aren't happy.  That seems to take so much effort.  Being fake.  Pretending.

Why not put that much effort into being happy.  Try just as hard to actually BE happy instead of pretending to be happy.

We make the choices in life.  God would be much more pleased if we were all happy.  He doesn't want us to be sad and wallow in our own self pity.  That's not His plan for us.  I give Him all the credit for carrying us through that journey with Cole.  It wasn't us at all.  It was HIM all the way.  I leaned on Him.  I didn't expect for Him to take the job and do it so well.  I didn't even think I was worthy of Him doing that for me.  I was wrong.

I'm not special though.  Neither is anyone else in the world.  We are all here together.  We are all here, making choices.  Make sure YOU choose happiness.  And don't be a taker - give to people - it'll make you happy. 

As much as I like to give and do for others, I've just realized that there are some people who don't appreciate what you give, it's not enough, it's not good enough, it's not just exactly what they need.  They don't see your heart in it, even though it's there.  There are some who will take until you have nothing else to give.  They'll empty you but never offer to add a little to you.  They'll never think that you are worthy of them giving to.  There are times I think 'well, I'm done giving to you then'.  But, I know I'm not.  I may not bend over backwards, but I'll keep giving.  I'll keep giving and keep hoping that those people that take and take and take will wake up one day and realize how much better it is to give.  I don't give of my time, or ideas, or whatever, just to be paid back either.  I don't look at what's in it for me.  I hate that!!!!  I just do it.  I over commit.  I offer too much.  Sure, I'd like a Thank You occasionally.  But, it's not always there.  It's rarely there in some places. 

That's okay because someone thanking me isn't going to make me happy or not happy. 
Someone giving back to me, helping me just because makes me happy, sure - but in the end, it's all up to me.

Buying all the things I want, or buying things just because someone else has it and I NEED it, too - that's not going to make me happy.

I'm just simply choosing it!!

That's all!!

Living life as fully as I can - or at least as fully as I feel is necessary for me and my family. 
It works.
It fits.

We're happy!



jackie said...

Very nice post - very well said!

jackie said...

hmmm - i left a comment - don't know if it went through.
i enjoyed your post and think you said it all very well! i agree that we choose our own happiness! some days are harder than others - some days the physical pain is nearly unbearable - but we still choose to be happy and get through it and give to others. some days the mental anguish of missing loved ones is very difficult - but we rely on happy memories to get us through. here's to happiness everyday!


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