Choosing happiness, loving life and the wonder of having a family

is-happiness-a-choice

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.

Happy people realize happiness is a choice. They are not held hostage by their circumstances and they do not seek happiness in people or possessions.
I was talking to someone the other day, who is unhappy in their life. Feeling trapped by the life they lead, they’ve let their resentment destroy the amazing life that they actually already have. Allowing their feelings to breed resentment. I was trying to explain that there is happiness to be found even in the everyday. That focusing on all the things that you don’t have or haven’t done will only make you see all the things that are missing. Giving thanks and counting your blessings will make you realise just how much you already have. I tried to explain that you could choose to be happy with life as it is, which was laughed off. I tried to suggest that what they have is more than some people could ever dream of. That this is what life is made of. Families, small moments, the mundane everyday moments.

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-indulgentĀ or travelled or just not had them. While there is so much more I want to do, andĀ 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.

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7 Comments

  1. October 19, 2016 / 09:22

    Beautiful post polly and something I” trying to do more and more! I only noticed it when I saw My kiddo struggling with negative thoughts and really believe that you lead by example x

  2. October 19, 2016 / 10:59

    Such a beautiful post! It sounds like I have felt the same way you have at times in my life. It is such a relief when you find a way to decide to be happy. I love your idea about listing three things to look forward to every morning! I am definitely going to start doing this.

  3. October 19, 2016 / 20:22

    This is a really inspiring post Polly. One that I could do with reading right now after a long and stressful day (month!) where I’m at risk of forgetting just how lucky I am. Thank you for the reminder. x

  4. October 19, 2016 / 20:56

    Lovely words, Polly. Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to have my babies and this definitely brought it back home for me xx

  5. October 20, 2016 / 11:09

    Sometimes I find it hard to ‘choose happiness’ but really it is a choice; it is an active, wilful decision to get up, face the day, brave a smile, no matter how crap you feel. Well done for being so strong xx

  6. October 21, 2016 / 22:52

    Polly I really loved reading this and I totally agree that Happiness really is a choice. When I’m down which has been a fair amount lately (think Ive had some belated PND which I’ve not fully dealt with) I often try and think how lucky I am, how I had food int he fridge and two gorgeous kids and a body that is to my knowledge healthy and working well but it can be hard no matter what life is like and I choose not to be sad of down but to be happy!

    Laura x

  7. October 23, 2016 / 12:00

    Such a beautiful post Polly and it resonates with me so much right now. We’ve got a lot to be grateful for and happy about but some days we just see any of this and it’s such a bad trait to have…I’d hate Elsie to make her everyday happiness depend on the bigger things that she can’t control, or think will make her happy rather than appreciating the every day we are all healthy and together. Hope you are well lovely one xx

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