I’ve talked before about why we should choose to be happy, funnily enough pretty much a year ago today. I’ve also talked openly about my self esteem issues, the struggles I’ve had and my pursuit of happiness.
There have been times in my life when I have been at rock bottom and I truly couldn’t see any point in carrying on. There have been times when I wondered what this mystical thing called ‘happiness’ was and why I couldn’t seem to find it.
And then one day it dawned on me. Happiness is a choice. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are responsible for how happy we are. Happiness is not something that we can go find. There is no secret formula to being happy, no one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may not work for another.
I learned years ago, that it’s good to live a life you love, but you also have to love the life you live. Enjoying all the things you have, noticing the love of the people around you and loving life as it is right now, welcoming in happiness will make your life so much better. There is nothing wrong in making changes, in working to create a life that you love, but happiness is not a destination. If you think that doing x, y or z will make you happy then you probably will never find it.
For me, I am so amazingly lucky to have four fantastic children. I work for myself in a job that I love. I’ve spent years pouring my heart and soul into my little family and it brings me so much joy. Yes, there are things that I dreamt of doing as a teen that I haven’t. Places I’d like to see and things I’d like to do. I had my family young, so when many were spending their twenties traveling, I spent mine in nappies and mega blocks. Do I regret that? Not at all. Children are the best thing I could imagine in my life, they bring far more joy and happiness than any amount of traveling ever could do.
One day, they’ll be grown and my time to explore and indulge in my dreams will come. Until then, I am more than content with my lot. I don’t think you could ever regret having a family could you? Perhaps it’s a man/woman difference, that lack of selfishness. As a mother, I could never imagine a world without my kiddos, never wish them not here so that I could indulge myself and only have myself to please, never even think of leaving them.
Life might not always be easy, there are always bills to pay, jobs to be done, noses to be wiped. But I’m 99% certain, that when I’m an old lady looking back on my life, I won’t regret a day that I spent raising a family, I’ll never wish that I’d been more self-indulgent or travelled or just not had them. While there is so much more I want to do, and will do with my life, my kiddos are and always will be my greatest achievements.
Every day I choose to be happy, every morning when I wake up, I mentally list three good things that I’m looking forward to that day. They can be as simple as a roast dinner or a day out with my favourite little people. Life is what you make of it, sitting feeling sorry for yourself, focusing on the things that are missing will never leave you happy and fulfilled. Making happiness a choice and appreciating all that you have will bring you so much more joy.