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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Choosing Happiness


I woke up today with a smile on my face. My husband (who is always up hours before I am) was in his office working. I walked into the office still smiling and gave him a bear hug. His response was not "Good Morning,dear." It was "What are you so happy about?" I told him I didn't need a reason other than being alive. He smirked and said "You were alive yesterday, babe." That was his way of saying that I had woken up in a sour mood for many days (ok, weeks) in a row with few exceptions. I was either annoyed with the lawnmower interrupting my sleep, the tiny, bickering dogs beneath my bedroom window, or my cat firmly pressing her nose to mine in an effort to say, "Mom, I'm hungry!!! Get your lazy bones out of bed already!" It always seems to be something, which over the years has led many (myself included) to say that I am not a morning person. What it really means is that I, for years, have let the little things distract me from what's most important. Hello, my name is Nicole, and I often sweat the small stuff. Let's be serious, most of the annoying things in life are, in the grand scheme of things, small stuff. The rude person that bumped you out of the way in their effort to get on the subway before you, the screaming toddlers running through the grocery store pulling things off of shelves and throwing them at each other while their parents ignore the chaos and keep shopping, the taxi driver behind you that lays on his horn and yells out the window for you to go a full 30 seconds before the light turns green...even the co-worker who stabs you in the back to get ahead...all equally small. I guarantee that they won't get a moment's thought at the end of your life. I have spent years giving those people (or the stupid things like broken nails and lack of leg room on airplanes) the power to alter my mood. There is a silver lining though. I have been more mindful of that lately. I have been reading a lot of self help books and the common thread in all of them is the suggestion that you start the day by giving thanks. I have started to do my thank you's using my thank you beads (or sometimes just doing them in my head) before getting out of bed. I have found that it sheds a totally different light on my day. I wake up smiling despite worries because I am faithful that everything is going to be fine. It might not be my current definition of fine and it may not happen when or how I want it but, I will walk away from this transition period stronger and with quite a few lessons learned. I'm not saying I'll be a robot. I am sure I will get annoyed sometimes and sad about setbacks. But I can choose to be happy most of the time. Choice is a powerful tool. I'll be a better person because I am choosing to be grateful for what I have rather than freaking out about things I can't control. If that's not a reason to smile, I don't know what is.

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