Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Think I'll Just Be Happy Today

I woke up this morning thinking about all of the things I wanted to accomplish today.  After yesterday's mostly unproductive "snow day", it seemed like today should be a day of dynamic productivity.  I even made a list to help keep me on track.  (I mean REALLY on track since the list includes things like: "Drink 8 glasses of water."  and "Change your socks" but also bigger nastier things like "Clean out the refrigerator!"  *shudder*)

Then my cousin shared this picture on the interwebs:

Which made me think, "That seems like way more fun than drinking water and cleaning out the refrigerator!"

And while it is absolutely true that I can be happy in the midst of identifying mold-covered leftovers and searching for semi-matching socks, it might be a little harder, but doable.  Although "wasting time" doing things that tend make me feel happy, like reading books and taking naps and NOT cleaning out the fridge leave me feeling sluggish and guilty in ways that are not very happiness conducive.

It's very easy for me to think that once a arrive at the end of my rather lengthy to-do list, then and only then will I be happy...or have the time to seek happiness.  As a younger me I couldn't wait to get through high school, and then rush through college, and then get out into the real world, and then have children, and then buy a house, and then make a difference, and then feel like my life mattered, and then, and then, and then...  

But life isn't a race to the next big accomplishment (or little insignificant accomplishment like the 8 glasses of water on my to-do list).  Often we are so focused on the getting there, on keeping our eyes on the prize no matter what the prize may be (graduation or retirement or clean fridge) that we miss the little things along the way.  In keeping our eyes focused on what is ahead, we forget to look down at the flowers or up at the clouds or just noticing the things and people around us, maybe hiding just off the trail.  We can't always be running from our past and racing toward our future.  We can't put off happiness and personal fulfillment until we accomplish all of the things on our lifetime to-do list...because if we continue to wait, we'll just find ourselves adding to the list anyway.

This present moment is all we really have.  The past is gone, and we don't know how numbered the minutes and hours of our future might be.  If we want to be happy, we must learn to create our happiness right now, even if it must be in the midst of two week-old leftovers, mismatched socks, and plentiful trips to the bathroom to relieve yourself of your excess hydration.

Because when it comes right down to it...happiness is a choice.  So I think I'll just be happy today.

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