Random Thoughts on Happiness
Wikipedia defines Happiness as: Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
I am in my upper 30’s now and maybe in an early mid life crisis, I am not sure, but I know that my desire to Live Life More comes from a deeper seeded desire to be ‘happy’. You could interchange that word in my life with peaceful, joyful, stress-free, zen, etc… You get the idea. Currently I am feeling stressed, tired, frustrated, some days angry, discontent, etc… Again you get the idea. So what to do about it?
Well some people tell me it is just a mind shift, and I agree to some extent, we can control our thoughts and emotions and need to learn to take hold of both. One of my favorite books tells us we should ‘take every thought captive’, maybe it is one of your favorite books too? But because I am a believer I also believe that God gives us each desires and dreams that are meant for us alone. The ones that we are meant to live out by design. It is what is driving me now, knowing there is more for me, my husband, my family. If you haven’t picked up the book The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, I highly recommend it. It is a quick parable that will help you reignite your passions and dreams that were given to you.
A close friend has also advised me with some great advice that I am always striving toward, “Don’t let your highs be too high or your lows be too low.” Okay, so feel, but don’t get so caught up in the feeling that it overwhelms you and takes you down paths you may look back on with regret. Got it.
For too long my husband and I have lived by head knowledge, with a little heart stuff thrown in. We have had great things and terrible things come from both, but I know when we have followed our hearts, most times it has worked out for the better, and when it didn’t and our hearts were broken, it was through the healing that we became stronger people and a stronger couple. So we have decided that as much as is possible we will strive to listen first to our hearts in our decision making and life goals and a little less to logic.
This may mean (and certainly does in this newest season of our lives) less money. This may mean saying no to some things or (ugh) some people that we love.
I thought about some things, places or activities where I feel ‘happy’, content and most at peace. Here’s a few items from my list –
- At the Beach!
- Outside in Nature (not in the snow however)
- Running (some days 🙂 )
- When the house is clean
- Enjoying a meal with people I love
- Enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or a book or a bath – oh who am I kidding, just Enjoying a glass of wine. (period)
- Watching baseball (especially if my son is playing)
- Bible Study Time
I am left wondering where some of the things I have chosen to add to my life over the years fall into all of that? For example, notice my pets are not on that list, hmmmm…maybe I am not meant to own pets? They give me some enjoyment, but also a great deal of frustration (see the bullet point 5 – ‘clean house’).
Notice work is not on there, but we all (most of us) have to do it, right? Could I get paid to do something on the list? I am working on that idea! Feel free to chime in with some ideas!
So I am in a season of evaluation. It is quite interesting what I am feeling day to day, even moment to moment as I examine my life, my goals, and my happiness. And to make it all more complex it isn’t all about me, I have my husband and my kids to think about and sometimes what makes one of us happy isn’t what makes the other happy, throw in there my faith and aiming to please my Father God, and some days I wonder if I will ever get there! I know I will, it’s all part of the journey to Living Life More.
In the meantime, while I contemplate, decipher, and adjust to find happiness, I think I will take a little break and listen to some music (see above bullet point 3, I may even throw in some 8 while I am at it 🙂 Won’t you join me?