I woke up this morning and was grumpy. I looked out the window, and it’s snowing…..AGAIN! We have a foot of hard packed icy snow on our lawn, the ruts on our street are so thick that you cross your fingers you don’t meet someone coming the other way, and it feels like spring has forgotten us. I greeted my dogs and poured my coffee to sit down for the Saturday paper and Soduko puzzle and my day instantly got worse. A bus full of Junior Hockey Players was t-boned by a semi and 14 confirmed dead, many injured. I’m gutted, this is every parent’s worse nightmare! These young men are my son’s age, and my immediate hope was that I didn’t know any of them. I don’t, and I was thankful for that but really, whether I know them or not it is horrific and unbelievably sad that these promising young athletes and men have been taken too soon. THAT is gutting and my heart to goes out to all their families and friends. My gratitude was in short supply.
Find Your Happy Place
Time to reboot. I decided to do what I do every day and head for the barn to see my horse Ziggy. I feel so grateful to have him in my life and the happy nickers and kisses he greets me with fill my heart instantly. He can always raise my spirits and bring me back to my happy place. My routine for getting him ready for a ride is the same every day and today was no different except that I couldn’t shake the heaviness I was feeling. I got on to ride, and poor Ziggy felt very unambitious. Perhaps he was picking up on my feelings which is likely, or maybe he has spring fever and is bored with being inside too. Whatever the reason, time for reboot part two.
Accept That Today Is One Of Those Days
Maybe today wasn’t the day to ask much of either of us. Maybe we both needed a day when a workout wasn’t in order. Perhaps today was just a day to hang out, play around, sing along with the music on the loudspeakers and stretch his muscles, nothing more. The two of us were all alone so as we plodded along I sang loud and proud, I didn’t need to worry who heard my tone-deaf wailing. Yup, I’m a lousy singer, my kids will verify, but I love it. It makes me happy, and it made me happy! I may be dreaming, but I think Ziggy enjoyed it too. We finished with his usual scotch mint treats; it didn’t matter that we only walked around. We had a lovely time, gratitude found.
A Dose of Happiness
A while ago my great friend Tina gave me a lovely ‘Compound Happiness’ necklace from getadoseofhappiness.com. With it came a card that I keep at my desk. One side describes Compound Happiness as follows…..”Achieving happiness is like compounding a penny. If you were to compound a penny after 31 days, you’d have over 10 million dollars. Happiness works much the same; by practicing happiness habits every day, you will start to see your happiness grow.” Not sure I follow their math but I sure get the sentiment.
I feel lucky; I have a beautiful family that brings me joy, three dogs and a horse that give me unconditional love and makes me laugh hard. Not everyone is this lucky believe me I know. I’ve worked very hard to have my “lucky” life, and I am grateful for where my journey has taken me. There have been hard times too, but that’s part of life, the journey AND finding gratitude. Maybe you feel like you’re not very lucky with where your life is right now. Perhaps you’re in a situation that seems unfixable and goals that are unattainable. Everyone has been there.
The other side of that Compound Happiness card I keep on my desk has 12 Daily Happiness Habits. I refer to it often because we all need a reminder now and then. Here they are (1)…
1. Prime yourself every morning-Start every morning with a positive routine that will help set the tone for your day.
2. Practice Gratitude- Write down the things you are grateful for and refer to them often.
3. Tell yourself that you’re enough-The most important relationship you’ll nurture is with yourself. Discover who you are truly meant to be and allow yourself to shine!
4. Praise yourself- You don’t have to wait for others to celebrate you, in fact, celebrating yourself can even be more powerful.
5. Style your happy-Wake up every day and make an effort to feel good. Whether through the clothes you wear, the coffee cup you use, the music you dance to. Surround yourself with things that make your smile.
6. Be mindful-Happiness comes down to two things-the pictures we create in our head and the words we attach to them. Tell yourself a story that serves you-not destroys you.
7. Seek out positive people and spend time with them-We are the average of the people we’re around the most so spend time with people who help you smile.
8. Schedule a personal Happy Hour-engage in daily activities that allow you to lose track of time and put you in a state of flow.
9. Focus on appreciation versus expectation-Expect nothing and receive everything with gratitude.
10. Show up for life-Claim your power and live your best life.
11. Stay groovy with the world-Keep a youthful outlook toward life and always be learning.
12. Be kind to yourself and toward others. Do random acts of kindness. (1) getadoseofhappiness.com
Plus one – I would add to the list with ‘Find Your Passion’- Learn something new, have something that makes you excited to get out of bed every day!
I’m No “Self Help” Guru
Definitely not. I’ve had my hard times and my good times. I’ve been lucky to have people to lean on when things have felt insurmountable and incredibly blue. So grateful for that. I’m thankful for the hard times because I appreciate things so much more than if it had been easy. I have my passion; I love animals. That passion has led me here, and I love learning more and making my little contribution to the betterment of animals every day!
Bad days happen to us all, we all need to find a way to move through it. In my mind what choice do we have? If the 12 plus one habits work for you as they do for me, that is fantastic! Sing that 80s song loud and proud, go for a walk, look at your favorite photos, have coffee with a friend, have wine with a friend, do you passion research or put your feet up and indulge in a book. Give yourself the time, give yourself a break, the good is there, sometimes we need to look past the forest of the doubt to find the tree of happiness.
Do you have any tips for finding gratitude and happiness? I’d love to hear from you, comment below.
To your happiness,