Choose Happiness

Last weekend I spied this little vignette on the fence of the nursery, and it hit me like a revelation. “Choose Happiness?” Of course! Just make the choice, it’s all within my power. I just have to choose.  I was all about putting something like this on my fence, because if I”m reminded, I’ll probably always make the right choice. Or mostly, anyway.

But then this morning I started off really grouchy. I was mad at my son because he came home too late, or didn’t come home too late but didn’t come inside because his key didn’t work in the lock which I thought was bullshit, except I tried it and it really didn’t work. I was pretty annoyingly grouchy about that. Then I got an email from the furniture store that ordered all new cushions for my expensive new couch that looked terrible almost immediately after I got it, saying that the cushions had been in for a week but they’d been too busy to tell me. And now I have to pick them up on a weekday at the shipping place, before 4:30 P.M. and I don’t get to town before 5:00, so they might just as well be in Cincinnati for as much good as that’ll do me.

And then I thought, “Choose Happiness.” Right. Like just twist your heart and mind around that idea, and become happy. That wasn’t happening. Nope. I was too justified in my grouchiness, in the grievous wrongs that had (not really) been done to me. So I took a figurative step back and thought that maybe I have to do something other than just choose. Maybe I have to create an environment or do an action in which I can choose happiness. So I went out for a walk, and here’s what I found:

The bridge over the channel, all wet with puddles from the rain that has fallen in the last two days.

A big house that’s way too orange for its own good.

The path of the greenway that I didn’t realize existed in my neighborhood.

Some very odd and interesting plants that I’d never looked at up close.

After I walked for half an hour or so, I decided that even more persuasion was necessary, so I got in my car and went to meet some friends for early morning coffee.

I found this bit of deliciousness to further my search for happiness.

I found this bit of deliciousness to further my search for happiness.

On my way home I stopped and bought donuts for my son and left them on the counter with a note of apology for my grumpy outburst. Even if his actions weren’t perfect, I didn’t have to be such a grouch about it. Like who did that help? Right, nobody. Then while I was out for coffee, the furniture store lady emailed me back and offered to have the sofa cushions picked up for me during the week, so I can get them next Saturday. That’ll work just fine. No problem there, either.  It all works out. It does.

So, in the end, I think I did choose happiness, just by choosing the actions that I know will lead me to that feeling. Walking, taking some photos, meeting friends are all happiness catalysts for me.  I’m so glad to recognize them so I can employ them at will. Because there will definitely come a time that I need to choose again, and this time I’ll know what that choosing entails.  What about you? Do you have happiness catalysts? What are they?


4 thoughts on “Choose Happiness

  1. Paula TrucksPape says:

    Love this, Lynn! Especially “creat[ing] an environment or do an action in which I can choose happiness.” I’ve spent a lot of time trying to look at the grouchy stuff in front of me and transform it (or myself). Often not possible. Then I’ve applied the upper Midwest “It could be worse” approach — also unsatisfactory. But this idea, letting the grouchy stuff be and creating a container for happiness — wow. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been working on this. Consciously picking myself up and redirecting my energy. Like this morning, all was great, out the door on time for Tee-Ball, then my green power shake fell and spilled all over the floor. Had to really think about it and restart my happy day. This did not define my day!!!!
    Love the Choose Happiness sign…….so nice to realize we have a choice:)

  3. lynnjake says:

    Good for you! I can imagine the green power shake almost undid your whole morning! Good job at restarting. Sometimes we really are tested, aren’t we? Thanks for reading and commenting!

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