Saturday, January 29, 2011

Searching for Happiness

Have you ever played the Hokey-Pokey?  You put your right hand in...put your right hand out....and you shake it all about.  Inevitably, whether you were in a good mood or not, acting goofy and clapping with a group will bring a smile to your face.  Even if you went in kicking and screaming, determined not to enjoy it, somehow by the end of the song, you do.

That's kind of how happiness is.  You just have to throw yourself into it, willing to "turn yourself around" in whatever it takes.  Maybe some people are just blessed with a bubbling, positive personality where bluebirds and roses follow them all their days but I think most have to seek out happiness.

I have certainly found this to be true for myself the past couple of years.   When you endure a tragedy, such as losing a child, you're faced with two choices - despair or hope.  Sure some days it is unimaginably hard to choose any hint of happiness, and some days sadness wins, but the key is having more happy days than not.  As difficult as it, you have to choose to see the glass half full.  And, you must seek out every ounce of anything that brings you joy.

There's been extra clouds in my life this week, trying to darken any rays of sunshine that find me.  I've been sick, which makes it extra hard to pull yourself out of bed.  It's been cold and yet another snow has cancelled and rearranged my plans.  And I've watched so many friends proudly post Homecoming photos of their teens at another milestone Austin has missed.  It would've been very easy for me to just sink down into the darkness, to let the gloom and sadness suck me in.  While there has been tears, I've still actively chosen to remain positive, prayerful, and grateful for any joyful moment I could find.

My top three moments of sunshine in this grey and gloomy week....
  1. I don't have the flu.  Although I had a flu shot in October, I would have bet money that I did, based on the way I felt.  All week I've been sluggish, dragging, and ready for bed as soon as night fell.  Mid week I was up all night coughing, had chills, body aches and a low grade fever.  In fact, I had every known symptom of the flu by Friday morning and literally did have to drag myself out of the bed.  Added with the knowledge that I'd been exposed earlier in the week by my nephew, I all but knew the test would come back positive.  But, it did not.  Turns out a sinus infection can have all the same symptoms.  A few heavy doses of antibiotics later, I'm on the mend.
  2. R&R.  Knowing I don't feel well, I've given myself an excuse.  Actually, the doctor gave me one too but being I was nearing the weekend, it didn't really hold much merit.  I just figured if she didn't want me to work but rest, I would, and I wouldn't feel guilty about it.  I would nap if I needed it.  I didn't feel responsible for dinner, or household chores - and I counted my blessings for a husband who helps anyway.  And for the rest of the weekend I'll do what I want to do and not a bit more.  It helps that the weekend is "free" anyway with no activities or schedules to keep.
  3. Actual sunshine!  Today was a sneak peek to spring.  It was beautiful, with temperatures reaching as high as 55 degrees.  Even though I still hurt all over, especially my head, I forced myself outdoors.  With my loving hubby at the wheel we went for a ride, sun roof open to let even more vitamin D into our day.  It was the perfect day for a drive to the middle of nowhere, aka Dairy Freeze, for some comfort food.  And yes, even at a greasy spoon Tim and I were fairly good and continued our HealthQuest!  Once back home I ventured out onto the deck, spent some time with our friendly cat, and even left the door open for a bit to give the house some fresh air.  Even through sniffling and coughing, it was a good day.
And as the week comes to a close, I can't help but look back and be a little satisfied at how I've handled it.  Sometimes the mountain may seem impossible and it would be so easy to just give up and go back.  But I know that past every mountain is a beautiful view, a feeling of accomplishment, lessons learned, and all a part of the journey of life.


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