Choose Joy – why we should choose to be happy

Choose Joy - why we should choose to be happy

Choosing Joy. I really do think that it is something that we get to pick. There seems to be a trend right now for talking about how hard things are. How bad a day you’ve had. How difficult you find being a parent. People complaining that bloggers don’t ‘show the whole story’ that we sugar coat our lives and hide all the crap. That by talking about how much we love being a parent or spending time with our children, or all the good things in our lives, we’re not being honest.

Now, I’m pretty sure we’ll all agree that we all have bad days. However…they are not my whole life. They are just a small part of it.

I truly love being a parent. Becoming a Mum was the best thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every single second of it. Sure the sleepless nights can be tough, but nothing beats that tiny person snuggled in your arms, when the moon is shining in the sky and all is quiet – knowing that they trust you implicitly and need the warmth of your touch.

I’ve spent many years, too many years, fighting depression. As a child, I never felt that I was good enough or important. My teens were spent hating myself, wishing I could be someone else, anyone else. I’ve had my dark times, and thankfully I survived, though that is through luck more than anything.

Over the last few years, I’ve realised just how much of a difference a positive attitude can make. Choosing to see and focus on the good things in life changes your whole perspective. Being thankful for the life I have and every little thing in it has turned my world around. I choose each morning to put a smile on my face, even after a sleepless night {thanks Vega!!}

There are people I know who are ‘victims’… they let bad things that have happened define their whole life, they give in and see the bad in the world. I hear them moan about all that is wrong with their lives, talk about horrible events that have happened and focus on the negatives.

I’ve made a conscious decision to not do that. To no longer let the bad in my past affect my future. To wipe the slate clean and just choose joy. I cannot change other people’s actions or the past. But I can control my outlook on life and my future.

I am blessed. I have a husband. Four children. I have a beautiful home. I work doing something that I love. I get to spend all my time with kiddos. I’m not saying this to boast, or to make anyone feel bad. This is the life I choose and I realise I am lucky to live the life that I want.

Yes, there are days when I’m tired and cranky. And that rubs off on my kiddos. They have days to when they are tired, or naggy, or in need of some space from their siblings. They quarrel and fall out. I lose my patience.

I won’t ever write about how horrid they are. Call them names or post photos of them mid-tantrum. Because I respect them too much. Because they are people in their own right. And if someone publicly called me a name, or posted a photograph when I’d lost my temper I’d be hurt and upset. Especially if it was someone who was supposed to love me most of all.

I tend to blog about the good things in our lives because they are generally the most important things. Days out, holidays, birthdays, quiet days just spent together. They are the things that memories are made of. The things that when my children are grown and I’m an old lady I’ll look back on and smile.

I won’t remember each cross word or temper tantrum. Life is what you choose to make of it, if you see your children as ‘the enemy’ then that is what they will become.

I want my children to grow up knowing that they are loved for who they are.

In the case of my depression, choosing to be joyful really made the world of difference. I’ve tried many things over the years to beat it…medication, counselling, CBT…The day that I decided to focus on the good was the day that I began to take control. It didn’t happen overnight, I’m not saying it was some miracle cure. But honestly, it was the turning point.

Happiness is a choice. We can choose to focus on the negatives or we can choose to focus on the positives. I know which I’d rather choose! And as a Mama, I think that by showing how much I enjoy being a Mum, showing that I choose to be happy and that I refuse to pretend that life is hard is setting a good example for my children. One big lesson that I want them to learn is to be thankful. We really are incredibly lucky to live where we do, to have the freedom that we do and to be able to live the life that we want.

On days that I wake up in a bit of a funk… I always take five minutes to give myself a mental kick, to list 3 things that I’m thankful for and put a smile on my face.

I am not perfect, nor is my life nor are they. But that is ok…. we don’t have to be perfect to be happy.

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a couple of months… it finally felt like the right time to hit publish!

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24 Comments

  1. October 7, 2015 / 08:38

    I absolutely love this post Polly! I agree with every single word you’ve said! And I think that’s the thing I can’t help but find sad with all these negative blogs, if you are waiting and watching for the next tantrum or nightmare meal that you can turn into a blog post then that will become all you see whereas if you are always looking for the good then that will be all you see and one is so much better! x

    • October 7, 2015 / 22:26

      Thanks Jess… that’s it isn’t it – what you look for is what you see, and if you’re waiting and looking for bad stuff, then that’s what you’ll get x

  2. October 7, 2015 / 12:51

    I found myself reading this and feeling so emotional. You have really hit home for me with this post. I am really pleased to see bloggers are writing about how it is okay to love being a mum because there are far to many moany ranty posts which don’t make me feel particularly great. Whereas this one it really resonates with me a lot. X

    • October 7, 2015 / 16:11

      Thanks Tanita! It’s nice to know that others feel the same isn’t it?! ANd I think it’s important that our chidlren grow up knowing that it’s ok to love being a mum. I really don’t like those ranty posts, they make me feel terrible esp for the kiddos

  3. October 7, 2015 / 13:03

    I think it’s about balance. You’re right, as adults we have the ability to at least TRY to take control of our moods. Too many adults I know just fall into a grumpy state of mind, almost as if they’re waiting for others to try to shake them out of a bad mood. However, I also think that it’s important to accept that bad days exist and, if we’ve had a bad day, not be too hard on ourselves for “failing as parents” etc. I’m currently battling a real low point of sleep deprivation and so the happy bits are a little lost behind a haze of too little sleep. At the moment, it’s helping to know there are others out there feeling the same and having written about it has given me some strength to move on and find the happy again. xx

    • October 7, 2015 / 16:08

      Balance is exactly right. As I said, we all have bad days, and I know I’m the worst if I’ve not slept. I’ve learnt to go easy on myself those days, to do just what I have to and not push myself when I’m exhausted. Sometimes, if I’m feeling in a funk – giving in to it for a while with a soppy book or movie helps – a good excuse for a good cry!! I know at times when I’ve been struggling, it helped to read others stories – but not those who were just complaining but those who said yes I had a bad day/week/month but there is happiness there still….. I think we’re the hardest on ourselves, and expect too much of ourselves – and when we have a bad day and loose our temper with the kids it’s easy to write it of as being bad parents and feel even worse. Big hugs to you Molly, Vega has been better this week {only 3 wake ups a night!!} but last week was 7 a night and it was so hard… tiredness makes me tearful and snappy!

  4. October 7, 2015 / 16:23

    I love this post, I like to think I am a positive person out of choice and I want to share the moments that are worth remembering, the memories I want to remember. I don’t need to share the bed times although I try not to hide that they exist either x

    • October 7, 2015 / 22:27

      Thanks Bex. I think that’s the perfect way of thinking. I don’t hide the bad times, or pretend they don’t exist, but they don’t need dwelling on

  5. October 7, 2015 / 20:02

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST! Thank you so much for writing it Polly – we 100% whole-heartedly agree with everything you have written, and good on you for choosing joy, even when it can be so hard! We think you are a beautiful person inside and out – if the whole world was full of Polly’s – the world would be a lovely place to be! Would you mind if we shared this post on our facebook business page? xx

    • October 7, 2015 / 22:28

      Of course not, I’d be thrilled if you shared it! And thank you for all your love <3

      • October 8, 2015 / 09:49

        Thanks so much Polly! Have a fab and joyful Thursday! ;) xx

  6. October 7, 2015 / 21:00

    You are very right! I spent a long time when I was unhappily married feeling sorry for myself and getting into a downwards spiral of unhappiness just because I didn’t think there was any other way. But now I know that so much of being unhappy is a state of mind – and sometimes a fake it until you make it kind of situation! xx

  7. October 7, 2015 / 22:31

    YES!!! When I was really depressed I started faking happiness until I actually felt it!

  8. Michelle Williams
    October 7, 2015 / 22:55

    Great post Polly. I always get annoyed when people moan about bloggers and that they only publish the best bits, of course they do as mostly we want to share positive things. Every single person has their struggles and days when quite frankly they feel like the worse person on the planet and you don’t necessarily want to bore people with your struggles when they’re busy dealing with their own.

    • October 8, 2015 / 16:37

      This is true, and some stuff just doesn’t need sharing – arguements and things are kinda private… I might touch on it, but not share too much detail

  9. October 8, 2015 / 10:12

    LLLooooooovvvvveee this and totally agree! xo

    • October 8, 2015 / 11:53

      Thanks so much!

  10. October 10, 2015 / 14:17

    Love this post Polly, can’t agree with you more. We all have good and bad times but its always the good which always seems to be seen x

  11. October 10, 2015 / 15:19

    I have been making an effort recently to choose how I respond to situations. It has definitely made me calmer, resolved situations quicker and made me happier.

  12. October 10, 2015 / 21:55

    Literally could not agree more. So with you on respecting our children in the public forum… I always try and think about how they’ll feel reading it back when in their teens… Somehow helps. Choosing joy is something we do every day. Love this so much, and nice to find your blog!

  13. October 10, 2015 / 23:38

    I really believe happiness is a choice too. Of course there will always be difficult, hard days but there’s always, always something to be grateful for and joy to be found somewhere. Great post! xx

  14. October 11, 2015 / 09:34

    What an honest post….happiness is so important to a positive outlook isn’t it! Popping over from #love2blog

  15. October 11, 2015 / 16:13

    This is such a great post! I have struggled with up and down times a lot in the last few years with lots of hurdles along the way but being kind to yourself and focusing on the good things really do make a difference. Something I’m learning to do slowly. Xx

  16. October 13, 2015 / 23:48

    This post picks up on a lot of what I feel about thinking positively too. I find that when I allow myself to feel sorry for myself, it’s always the start to a downward spiral for all of us. It’s ridiculous most of the time as I really have too much to be grateful for.

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