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:
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.
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?