- Quality of Life & Wellness
Making a Habit of Happiness
A Healthy Habit
As a nurse, I want to cure the world. As a woman, I want to make everyone feel better. I am a problem - solver by nature.
Before 1999, I always put everyone before myself. I mean everyone. I was always tired but always felt happy.
In June 1999, I almost died.
At the age of 37, I learned that every day could indeed be my last. I learned that self - happiness is equally important to the happiness of others. I learned that to truly be happy with myself, I needed to make happiness a habit.
Today in 2012, I preach this happiness habit as a mantra for self - care in my nursing classrooms. If I had a calling, this would be my life purpose. I am saddened at how many hard working men and women don't feel they have a moment to call their own. I feel blessed that I have been given a second chance to make every day count.
"I don't have time for lunch." "I don't have time to go to the bathroom." "I will have plenty of me-time when the kids move out of the house."
I have heard every excuse in the book. Nurses are the greatest yes butters in the world.
My response is the same: "You don't have time not to take care of yourself. Self care is not selfish."
We need to nurture ourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally. For each of us, the manner is different. For each of us the end - point is the same. We need to discover what makes us happy.
This is my perspective. My name is marcoujor ....
Nobody reaps happiness without
first undergoing hardships.— (Phillipine proverb)
Everything Reminds Me of My Dog
Takes daily practice ....
When I look for a true role model of happiness, I see my dog. Aunt Baby is a 9 year old yellow Lab. she is a big fur ball of unconditional love and joy.
I start and end each day on a happy note because of Baby. She totally gets me and is up for whatever Mommy wants to do.
She is an easy listener. She actually smiles at me, happy to see me any time of night or day with my schedule.
She is a steady companion when I go walking. She is always up for a car ride, for any reason .... well, maybe not going to the Vet!
Life tends to throw some curve balls that can impinge on our self - happiness. Traffic, misunderstanding, illness, accident, trauma are just some of these curve balls.
We can feel like jugglers in the circus of life with way too many balls in the air at once.
When this happens to me, I immediately look to Aunt Baby. She grounds me. From rolling on her sweet belly to giving me a compassionate sloppy kiss, she makes me happy in the best and the worst of times.
Joy is not in things,
it is in us.— (Richard Wagner)
Chicago: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
And lots of time ....
In 1999, I was obsessed with time. Time was in my control, or so I thought it was ....
After staring death in the face, I am unashamedly not concerned with time. I still always make/ find time for who/ what is important. I always, and this is new, make/ take time for myself.
Otherwise, I am amused in general with the concept of time.
I recognize there will never be enough time to answer e-mails, attend to minute details of life and be everything for everybody.
I truly became happy when I stopped fighting time. This includes the aging process.
I decided that I could not remotely change my past. I realized that the future could prove to be unreliable.
I found that my gift to myself is the present. I can make today the very best it can be. I need to always start with myself and the rest seems to flow.
I learned to say 'no thank you'; 'not now, but perhaps later'; and 'that doesn't work for me, do you have another idea?' And I find self - happiness to be a natural by - product.
Those who are happy
do not observe how
time goes by.— (Chinese proverb)
Simon and Garfunkel: Sound of Silence
To quiet the sounds of your mind ....
Material things don't make me as happy as experiences. I appreciate the simplicity and beauty of nature in all seasons. To me, walking slowly, usually with Aunt Baby, and allowing myself the luxury of clearing my head is an automatic way to achieve happiness.
I am consistently able to erase negativity with a walk. Just as Baby can get immersed with a stick along the road, I am equally amazed at a lovely flower or tree I encounter.
The solitude of watching a sunrise or a sunset brings me incredible joy and peace. There is a feeling of hopefulness, majesty and perspective. Life problems are put in their relative place, as I remind myself I am merely part of a bigger picture.
I find a similar feeling of happiness and solace most every night by spending quiet time looking up to the stars. I think of my Mother and other special people in my world. I actually feel closer to all of them. I remind myself I have done the best I could for the day and will start anew in the morning.
Happiness is a butterfly which,
when pursued, is always
beyond our grasp, but,
if you sit down quietly,
may alight upon you.— (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Just do it...be Happy...!
I am often told that I look happy and peaceful, that I have a beautiful smile!
Honestly, I feel no more or less fortunate than the next gal...! But I sure am glad that I radiate a happy aura to others. For happiness is quite contagious...!
I believe a smile is the physical evidence of happiness. A smile is the most sincere non - verbal manner that we can express gratitude, love and joy.
Even if my mood does not necessarily match my smile, it may follow shortly thereafter. it's a chance I'm willing to take!
Through my life, I have encountered many people in all walks of life. Perceptions can easily be made based on socioeconomic, cultural, gender, age and a myriad of other considerations.
Time and time again I have had perceptions shattered. I have met homeless people who have been more internally at peace and filled with a joy for living than some of the most affluent, who felt a sense of despair and emptiness on a daily basis.
To me, the key is self - acceptance. When I am happy, really happy with myself, everything else falls into place. Life will be filled with tragedy and joy that happens to us and around us. I can decide whether to live life joyfully or in a self - defeating manner.
In the end, we are truly left with ourselves as the Captain of our life journey. This is not sobering. Instead, I find it exhilarating and life - affirming.
So, whatever, you do... be happy...! Take it from me, "I'm the happiest girl in the whole USA!"
© Maria Jordan (revised July, 2015)