Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Like all people, I've had my share of ups and downs.  I've always been a positive person, but I have gone through periods of discontent, lackluster happiness, and downright sadness.  The older I get, the more confident I become, trusting in my own capabilities, reasoning, and life choices.  I have reached a point in my life where I've never been happier, and I only see this happiness increasing.

Things that have lead to this place for me:

"Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama XIV

- Learning to say no.
- After saying no, not defending my answer.  "No, I am unable to" (or "no, I'm not interested") is enough.  Giving an explanation or excuse often leads to accepting a smaller/slightly altered version of the same request, or being convinced to answer yes to the initial request.
- Realizing and accepting that I am not responsible or accountable for other peoples' decisions, and not letting choices of others get me down.
- Following my heart/ not doubting myself, even if it means taking a risk.
- Paying myself first.  Pension, bills, vacation savings, and other savings get taken care of right away.
- Not buying anything I cannot afford.  
- Stop worrying so much.  I used to worry a lot more, perhaps because I was venturing down new paths I had never been down.  Whatever the case, I don't worry as much anymore, and this has made me happier.
- Not taking on any more responsibility than I absolutely have to.  I have my job, and a home, but that's where I draw the line.  I'm not interested in working overtime, or taking on extra jobs, or scheduled activities, or pets ... or even children. 
- Being comfortable with not having a million responsibilities and always being on the go (with full time work, full time school, coaching, etc. etc. etc.).  I've learned to relax a lot more.
- Age ... the older I get, the happier I am.
- Education ... the more I get, the happier I am (although this is likely confounding with the age thing).
- Confidence, and making choices that I believe in, not worrying what others will think of me or my decisions.  I worry what Christopher will think, as we are sharing our lives, but other than that, to each their own.  I don't worry or think too much about the decisions that other people make, unless they hurt someone I care about.
- Most importantly, choosing happiness.  I am a firm believer that, for the most part, happiness is a choice.  How we react to something, the perspective we take, our outlook on life ... these are choices.  Some people choose to be grumpy and miserable, always expecting the worst, and just being negative.  I choose to be a happy, positive, expect the best (but be prepared for the worst), kind of person.

"Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
- Abraham Lincoln

To me, happiness is:

- Enjoying and savouring the now, and not wishing away the days longing for what's to come.
- Being content, and happy with the status quo in nearly, if not all, areas within my control.
- If not completely content or happy with one of the areas within my control, actively working to change that.
- Being happy with what I have, and not wanting bigger or better, or more.
- Being near my loved ones.
- Very little attachment to physical objects.  I don't hold much sentiment in any object, as I feel that then the object holds me.
- Always trying something new, whether it's a new food, a new vacation spot, or listening to a new band.
- Taking joy in other peoples' happiness.
- Not living vicariously through anyone.

 "Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." - R. A. Heinlein

How would you define happiness?  
When was a time in your life that you were truly happy?
What made you smile today?

Christopher and I have been on the lookout for positive messages in urban areas.  All pictures above were taken in Montreal, except for the last picture, which was taken in Regina.


Anonymous said...

I need to stop letting others decisions affect me. I don't know why I get hung up on it. I don't control them or their decisions but I get frustrated with their stupidity sometimes. "Let it Go"

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Great post full of nuggets of wisdom. I really need to learn how to say no without being apologetic or justifying why I am saying no. This is something I have struggled with since moving back and it's not going to get easier on it's own so it's something I need to work with.

For me, happiness is contentment and peace with where I am at in my life. It's definitely a choice and can be spurred by the little things like a good cup of coffee or a hug from Phil. I felt truly happy tonight when I went to test ride a bike that I ended up buying as biking makes me feel like a kid again!

Amber said...

Great post!! I completely agree that being happy with what we have and where we are in life is so important. It can be hard not to get caught up in the circle of wanting more though, especially when you see other people with something you think you want (or maybe really do want but can't have right now for whatever reason).

ANYWAYS, that's still something I'm working on, but over all I am super happy and content with my life and I definitely feel grateful for all that I have on a daily basis.

Kacy said...

I love this post! I too believe that happiness is a choice. There's a lot people could learn from this, me included. I've been incredibly happy lately, but I think I'm still working out some of the things you've got figured out (saying no, finances, etc.). I love your self awareness and this post!

Anonymous said...

WOW, what a great post!
You are truly lucky to have discovered the essence of your authentic self.
It takes courage to be yourself and to own it with no apologies. I am 44 yrs old and still struggling to reveal the authentic me to the world. Somewhere deep down inside women feel the need to be polite, to give, to self-doubt, to think, to over-think and to compare and regret and feel shame.
I am encouraged by your post.
Thanks for sharing!!