Let’s get HAPPY
I have been giving my 2018 resolution of choosing happiness a lot of thought. Happiness means something different to everyone and when I wrote about “being happy” in my last post, I received some questions and comments about how difficult it is to be happy all of the time. Happiness used to come very easy to me and when I was in highschool, I remember someone writing in my yearbook that they’d always remember me by the smile I had on my face in the hallway. Life happened and my experiences have changed me, but I do believe I am genuinely a happy person. My mother has always lived her life by looking on the bright side of things and she has taught me the same. Resolving to “be happy” doesn’t mean that I am going to wake up every day, plaster a smile on my face and a positive attitude and be happy the entire time. I will continue to have unpleasant experiences and bad events, life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. But this year, my plan for happiness means I am going to deliberately make choices for me and my family that I think will bring us the most happiness, no matter what others may think. In choosing happiness, I plan to accomplish the following two things…
Our lives will slow down and we will have more time together
To a certain extent, I am a people pleaser. I am an includer and I enjoy keeping other people happy. I sometimes put their needs ahead of mine because I don’t want to hurt their feelings. This results in me stretching myself to thin, taking on more than I can handle, and at times, exhausting every minute of our days running around trying to “do it all.” For 2018, I am putting myself and family first and when presented with a decision, I am going to make the choice that I think will directly result in my/our happiness. When I think about the life I want for my children, I want to lead by example and I am definitely not the type of person I want my kids to become… We spend our weekends running around crazy, prioritizing others, and not prioritizing our time as a family. We cram in three birthday parties simply because we are invited. We arrive home at the end of the days exhausted, warding off melt downs and rushing to complete the tasks we need to do in order to get ready for the week. I want to change that. I want to start holding us accountable to making us happy over the experiences we have and I want to enjoy this time together. I do want my kids to go to birthday parties and celebrate their friends, but I also want to spend time with our kids as a family making our own memories. I am going to start making intentional, deliberate decisions that benefit our health, well-being and happiness as a family. If I need to ask for help, I’m going to ask for help. If I can’t make it to every birthday party I am going to send my regrets and not dwell. I am NOT going to run myself into the ground and I am going to take more time to slow down and enjoy this time.
We will ignore the judgment from others
By making a decision and choosing the option that will make us happy, I will be ignoring the judgement and will be focusing on us. I am going to learn to live with being judged and I am going to IGNORE IT. Just the other day, I ran to the grocery store for a quick twenty minute trip with the baby. Several people commented, “How could you take a baby out in this cold?!” (By the way, she wasn’t naked, and had fallen asleep, so my guess was she was quite warm!) I explained that the only thing worse than taking a baby out in this weather was taking three children out in the snow, turning a twenty minute errand into an hour and having two older kids get sopping wet because they decided to stomp through the snow on their way into the store. After they gave me a chance to explain, each one of them agreed with me, but my guess is that they were initially questioning my capability as a mother as they eyed my infant carrier. (Which for the record, the baby will be living in all Winter, because I feel like the three blankets I can pile on her and the seat itself provides a lot of warmth and it’s quicker to get her in and out of the car in the carrier than buckled into a stroller or shopping cart). I didn’t let their discernment interrupt my shopping trip because I knew I had made the HAPPY decision for our family and I was shopping with only one child instead of three. Grocery shopping with three children is pure hell (in my book) so I chose happiness.
I know this is going to be tough. I know blogging about it will hold me accountable and I am hoping I have members of my #momtribe that want to join my HAPPINESS resolution. Do you want to put you and your family first this year? Do you want to BE HAPPY? Whatever this means to you, define it and choose it. Let’s make 2018 a happy one.