2/18/2013

What makes you so happy?


I recently finished reading the book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. I know it holds a reputation and some harsh critiques, but honestly I thoroughly enjoyed it. Throughout the book I read things that really resonated with me and found some fascinating statistics. One of the many things I read that really stuck out to me was this:

 “The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.”

Here it is: I am a happy person. I am probably the epitome of "unfailingly lighthearted". So much so, that it can turn into my fault and possibly something that others use to judge me or make fun of me. Or even so much so, that I might annoy people without realizing it. I find so much happiness in so many things, that it often overwhelms me. And more often than not, it's just the little things.

Picture this: Today I was able to get out and go on a run. Surrounded by frozen and dirty snow, the aftermath of a winter that fills it's long days with frigid temperatures and gloomy skies. The sun peeked through the clouds ever so slightly, but just enough. Initially my face stung sharply from the cold air that surrounded me, but as I continued to run I felt the warmth settling in through my entire body. As I passed a field of horses I slowed down, locking eye contact with the youngest of the group, who quickly trotted to the fence to say his hellos. I petted his cream colored nose and fed him some hay that was scattered along the ground before I continued on my way. The longer I ran, the more my brain started spinning the long needed thoughts and ideas that had been held hostage in the back of my mind by the dreary winter. My running music pounded loudly in my ears while my feet hit the pavement in rhythm. I ran through a puddle of ice that quickly broke and sent mud splashing. I waved hello to the kids who were building a snow fort in their front yard. I watched the mountains and never took for granted their beauty.

And in all of my over exaggerated, obnoxious and optimistic glory, I had the thought: my heart is happy.

This is my life. I am full of these moments, these realizations of how much I love unfailingly, and my heart constantly threatens to explode from it all. I find the amount of things that make my heart happy could be listed on pages that would fill a notebook.

That being said, one thing that the judgers and naysayers and even those who are indifferent fail to realize is that I have had and continue to have pain and struggles the same as anyone else has, perhaps if not more.

I recently found a quote I loved, that says "The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about." My personality is to keep my battles to myself. Believe you me, I could have a lot to blog about if I wanted to come here and dump my load. I could tell you about my past, about my present, about things I have gone and go through that would shock most of you in that you would never in a million years have guessed any of it. And why wouldn't you have? Probably because I am genuinely happy. Because I often choose not to focus on the negative. Not always, mind you, but often. Because although I have strong affirmations, beliefs and opinions on many, many things, I choose to leave them out of these places that are designed for critics and debates.

Someone recently asked me, "What makes you so happy?" And I found the response was hard to come up with. I gave it much thought and struggled with the question. What does make me so happy? It's an accumulation of so many things. Obviously, being married to my best friend, a guy who makes me laugh every day. Having my sweet little boy who completes me in every way. Knowing the value of hard work and diligence. My integrity and honesty. My health. My home. My family. (And, if we're being completely honest, cupcakes. Cupcakes really make me happy.)

What it might all come down to, if I had to sum it up in one sentence of what truly makes me so happy everyday, is that I have the ability to easily focus on the good and find true happiness in all of the little things that come my way. It's cheesy and cliche, but there it is. The truth. Maybe it's a God given trait or maybe it's learned, but it's who I am. Forcing myself to find the happiness that comes from those little things doesn't make life perfect all of the time. But it somehow makes everything else seem, well, not so bad.

2 comments:

  1. I love this post megs, I have people ask me all the time that question as well and I couldn't believe how hard it was to come up with an answer i didn't think i was any different from everyone else. I had to ask someone what makes me different from everyone else, and so it came to me that it is just the small thing adding up. You put in in perfect words meg thanks :)

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  2. Beautiful post. Almost felt like this sentence really describes my life too "Obviously, being married to my best friend, a guy who makes me laugh every day. Having my sweet little boy who completes me in every way."

    Being surrounded by my family and loved ones makes me happy. :)

    Btw would you like to follow each other? I would love to read more of your posts. They're pretty interesting! Let me know and I'll follow you back. :)

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