Sunday, January 30, 2011

about happiness.

Last night, I was having one of those nights where you lay in bed, toss, turn, open your eyes, close 'em, and sigh. repeat.

My mind was in full gear.  I was thinking about happiness.  It's such a sensitive thing.  We hear all the time that we create our own, we choose it, and often that karma can bring it.
Happiness can be an easy thing to pretend.  Like when you're a little girl and you dress up in high heeled shoes, a pretty dress, and a tiara - you actually think you're a princess.  Our imagination is priceless.

Now, we have the internet.  Our profile on facebook, our small box to write 'about me' on our blog, a full blog post with all of the whimsical things we think to write, and 140 characters to write whatever tweet we want.  We choose what to write, and regardless of whether or not it's completely true, we tend to have some belief that it is.

I'm not saying it's bad to pretend.  Writing a blog about the things we are thankful for after having the worst day is not a bad thing - it's redirecting our attention to the things in life that make us happy.
We also choose what to share about ourselves in the crazy web world.  It's scary - you really never know who is reading your blog.  A relative, an old friend, a coworker, a crazy ex boyfriend.  I appreciate the honesty of a lot of writers out there, and I also appreciate the people who choose to just write about things they love.  That's what's so great about blogging.  We can write & be perceived as whatever the heck we want.  I like that.

Last night I was thinking about my happiness.  You know, the real, feel it inside and your heart feels warm happiness.  I share most of that happiness on this blog.  My life is no where close to perfect, but when I focus on these things - I notice myself feeling happier.

But occasionally, like last night, I have to step away from my everyday things in life and think.  I have to think about whether I am pretending or if I really am living a life that makes me happy.

And I realized, compliant to what we often hear & what my mom told us growing up, happiness is often a choice.   We have the choice to control the things that are controllable in our life.  We can't control the people around us, we can't control the weather, the job market, a family members health... we can't control a lot of things.  In fact, we can't control most things.

But, we can control how we choose to look at the things we can't control.  We control how much we exercise & what we eat affecting our own self image, we control our attitude affecting our friendships.  We control how much we say or don't say, affecting the communication in our relationships.  We control our work ethic and its use in our jobs.

We control a measurable amount of things in our own life, and I think if we focus on the things we can control rather than the things we can't, then maybe we will feel we are doing the best we can.

So, that's what I am striving for.  To focus more on the things I can control rather than the things I can't.

I say strive because I think this control is a hard thing.  It's hard to know you have this control and it's not always easy to know how to use it.  And I think that's okay - life isn't always going to be rosey posey.  It could be a lot about balance.

I have always been a 'majority of the time' happy girl.  I choose to be bubbly by nature, usually optimistic, and with a smile 95% of the time.  I know it drives some people nuts.  And I am okay with that - it's not within their control.

I've also noticed that when I feel happy - truly happy - I take a second to look around and recognize that happiness.

I just want to give a 'shout out' to the great readers and writers I have met in this blogging world.  Thank you for your honesty, advice, and following along with what I write about my life.  I see blogging just like having pen pals from all over the world...  It's a cool thing!

{I know I said the words happy & control a lot in this post.  I'm not the best writer.  If you read along, thanks.  If you agree or disagree, thanks either way.  I'm just lucky I was able to write about it.}

Hope you had a wonderful weekend full of things that make you happy ;)
TL with the pups on our walk yesterday.
{my happy}

34 comments:

optimistic girl said...

I just joined the bloggong world ani came across your blog! I love it!! And I just realized after reading this post why waste my time on blogging about the bad when I should blog about the good!!!

Katie said...

I couldn't have read this post at a more fitting time. Thank you.

Allison said...

Hey Tracy, I hope you're doing ok. It looks like you changed up your information on your blog in reference to your job. Striving to attain that happiness is so common in our twenties. We can't expect to have all of the answers because, like you said, many things are out our control. I guess that's where I have the biggest discontent. I realize that no matter what I do it won't MAKE someone fall in love with me and marry me. I want to have kids and a husband so badly, but that's out of my control. I can get education or training for any career that I want, but it drives me nutty knowing that I can't control what I want most.I'm finally to the point where I've stepped away and realized a lot of it is out of my hands..I just do what I can.

Sending hugs your way--Allison

MJ said...

Completely agree with you that its up to you to choose your focus in life, choose to be happy! Even when things aren't going well it's nice to have all of the fun in life, all your family and friends and all the support in the world from bloggers!! Here's to a little positive thinking and doing something proactive to gain control of your own life!!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend girlie!! You deserve it!! :)

Candace said...

I was just going to say the same thing! I really needed this today. Thank you:)

Shelley said...

I was just thinking about the same thing last night. I was driving home from hanging out at my in laws house even though Michael was at work. I was hungry so I went through the in n out drive thru and got fries and a chocolate shake. And as I was eating and drinking that deliciousness, a song on the radio came on that I love by the John Dear girls called "wildflower" and I sat there, singing along, knowing that this is what life is about. The little things you love about life add up and that equals happiness. Family, love, music, food, it's all great!

Hadar said...

I love this post. I always remind myself of that when I start to feel annoyed by something or someone. I am in control of how I feel! It really helps :)

Jenn said...

You're so right! Thanks for posting this at a good timing... It's amazing how deceiving the internet world can make someone's life seem one way or the other way.... It's sad that people often do not even look past that certain way and assume oh she's happy or how she has this perfect life, in all honesty it's how you feel in your heart and in your relationships..
Ok I'll get off my soap box now but if you don't mind I might kinda copy this!

French Lover said...

What an amazing post. I loved reading this - we all need to put things in perspective sometimes. You said it so well. Thank you :)

Lindsay said...

this was a great post. it seriously made me think about things :) i think it was a perfect time for you to post this so i could read it. thank you :)
keep posting, because i LOVE reading!!

JMB said...

Beautiful post my friend. Did you write this for you or for me? haha I needed to read this, and I am sure every person/blogger/woman reading this feels the same way! I hope you are having a great day!!

Nicole Marie said...

it's so so true trac. happy is what you make it. and our disposition makes all the difference. that's what i love about blog world. it really makes you look and remember the little things that are wonderful in our lives. i think the biggest thing we have control over is our mind set. and it's so hard to be positive when things just seem so shitty

Michelle said...

This post was such perfect timing!! I, like you, am usually always positive and optimistic and smile at least 95% of the time (surprisingly even when I'm down)... lately, I've been thinking a lot about happiness and what makes me happy. I completely agree that we should focus on what makes us happy and control what we can. But I have been guilty of spending a lot of time thinking about things I can't control and it's really taking away from my happiness and I've found it hard to stay optimistic. So this post really helped! Everything happens for a reason and you just have to find a way to stay happy and do your best to deal with things you can't control! Sorry if I babbled on this comment haha.. but seriously, this was a great post! so happy to be following your blog! :)

{av} said...

this post is from the heart--and I *love* it. happiness is one of those things I seem to recognize when I'm *not* happy. if that makes any sense. haha. hope you have a wonderful week my dear...thanks for giving your heart to your readers! xoxo {av}

Amy at TheSceneFromMe said...

THanks for sharing your lovely thoughts here! It is something we have to wonder about, are we just going thru the motions and pretending to be happy or are we really happy in our life. Sometimes that can be a daily struggle. I strive to do the best I can every day :)

Brown Girl said...

I couldn't agree more, we all choose our own happiness. I try to focus on the happy even though I'll admit it's hard sometimes.

Kat said...

Thank you. This made me smile tonight!!

Court, Dave, and Sully said...

Beautifully said--I will continue my happy moments when Dave gets back and in the meantime I will find happy here :-) Thank you!!

Kara said...

Thanks so much for this beautiful post! It was something I really needed to read and be reminded of! Great way to start my week with this at the forefront of my mind! Xoxo

haze said...

Oh my God! I'm in love with your header.. It's very ...neat and lovely! ♥

The Life We Love said...

Love your blog. New reader. Saw that you guys have the same kind of dogs as us! LOVE THEM! come check out my page.... littlegirlstoo.blogspot.com

Megan said...

This is such a beautifully written post! I can tell that it comes straight from your heart! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

Inna xoxo said...

Love this post hun :)
I have been learning alot lately, that you control your own happiness. You can make the decisions to make yourself happy. No one else can. And its going amazing for me! :)
xoxo Inna :)

Ashley Auld said...

Best of luck at your new job this week. Can't wait to hear about what you are doing!! Great post, my mind was a racing as well last night, sometime I really hate those nights.

Natasha said...

snaps to you my friend... fabulous and inspiring post--definitely focus on what you CAN control, and just pray for the others =). I have some friends who need to read this, too!! Happy Monday sweetie

Elizabeth said...

I love the words you used! 2011 for me is focused on happiness, so I am so please to read this! I am happy to see others are reflecting on happiness. I am hosting a book club on my blog, regarding The Happiness Project! :-) You should join with with all of us ladies! :-) Have an awesome week!

Jax said...

Great post, friend! This: "I choose to be bubbly by nature, usually optimistic, and with a smile 95% of the time. I know it drives some people nuts. And I am okay with that - it's not within their control." is SO me, too. I am one of those "Life is 2% what happens to you and 98% how you react to it" people. I just feel like we can change so much just by changing out attitude. And I choose to have a good one...and an optimistic one...3/4 of the time. When I can tell that I'm in a funk, it truly bothers me. It bothers me b/c I HATE that I let something get the best of me and ruin my attitude. That aspect bothers me a ton more than the funky mood itself.. haha.. I dont even know if that made sense. Anyway... cheers to happiness and optimism in this life! I think it's a fabulous trait to embrace! :)

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

I feel that way sometimes too. The weekends I try not to touch the computer. Sometimes people can get tied into "those" type of things and their not bad as long as there is a balance and what better balance than happiness :)

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I love this post and I couldn't agree more! I totally agree about the power of a good attitude. I always try to do "checks" with myself to make sure that I am embracing all the good things in my life.

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

happy is a state of mind. i have had a hard time finding it when i am in the middle of grieving the loss of my dad but i try. i do. i miss being care-free happy. that is hard to come by these days but one thing i do is remind myself of the good, like you are doing here. i may want a child. i don't have one yet. so, husband and i enjoy our free time together and really relish in it, you know?

i have been feeling guilty for being sad. i feel like i am so unfortunate in most respects. but with good comes bad and we have to take it all one day at a time.

i feel like i am babbling...

d.a.r. said...

I really love this post and your honesty in writing it. It is easy to get caught up in the facade of being happy without actually being happy. But, it is also something that is entirely in your control--you can't always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you deal with it!

Wishing you lots of happies :)

Allison said...

Tracy, don't sell yourself short - you are an amazing writer! :) I LOVED this post - so much (aka everything) about it resonated with me so strongly. Obviously there will be times when life is going to suck - it doesn't matter who you are, it's an unavoidable fact of life. But I truly believe that people who focus solely on the negative are always going to have something to complain about. Again, I don't think it's wrong to be upset when something bad/tough happens, but I think that 9 times out of 10, we should try to focus on the positives in life. There is so much to be happy/thankful for!
I started once a week just journalling all the things that I'm thankful for and that have made me happy that week - I'm telling you, it lifts my spirits so much as I try to think of every single little thing. And, it's helped in my daily life, because I'm like, "Oh, I can journal that!" :)
Sorry for this book of a comment - I just love this post so very much :)

Shannon said...

I love this one Tracy! It's always a goal of mine to maintain happiness and project that to others but I will admit I forget sometimes. This is such a short life we live and we must make the most of every second. Sometimes it just takes a reminder. Thanks for being my reminder today. Much love.
"As for happiness, it is not something you experience, it's something you remember."

Claire Kiefer said...

This is a great post and I'm glad you wrote about it. It's really good to just keep things in perspective and kinda check yourself, you know? I'm genuinely happy most of the time, but there are those moments/days when I go down the rabbit hole of everything I wish were different. Thanks for this.