Thoughts on happiness

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Life is a roller coaster and there are two types of people in this world – those that hang on tight convinced they are gonna die at any second and those that wave their hands in the air and just enjoy and trust the ride!

Which are you?

Not gonna lie, I used to be the wimp grabbing the handlebar. My husband is always telling me, “Trust the process” – I’ve gotten way better – but I still need reminders. My mom will tell you, I was always living ten years in the future. I was a planner – the nerd that planned to plan. You know those day-planners they handed out in school to keep you organized (and take away any excuse for missing deadlines)? I’d groan out loud with the other kids when they passed them around but secretly, I loved those things – I planned out every day.

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Another really cool *cough, cough* ok fine- ridiculous – obsession I had was to overwork myself. Again, clutching on the handlebar of the roller coaster. Don’t let go and have fun! (eye roll)

I was on the tennis team in high school. I knew they never cut anyone – so it was a safe bet after being cut from basketball and volleyball in junior high. The first year I was terrible. I mean really bad. So I borrowed a hopper and hit close to ten thousand balls until they finally started making it inside the lines. I started to not suck…and then I got kinda good. My serve still was a weakness. It’s a lot harder than it looks! So, naturally I would keep a hopper and after a full day at school and practice, I would stay until they shut the lights off to practice my serve. That year I was awarded the most improved, which really didn’t say much because I started off so bad. But, that sums up who I was.

Looking back, I think the cure for these obsessions was my husband, Rob. This guy NEVER plans – always flying by the seat of his pant. In truth, this still can be super annoying but I’ve learned to appreciate this trait of his. Or I’ve become numb to it – either way, I’ve realized it is what it is. Polar opposites must really attract one another because we could not be more different! Yet here we are, 17 years later (I’ve officially been with him half my life) still married – still driving each other crazy – still unable to live without each other.

Being around Rob showed me that everything will work out… just breathe and trust the process. Don’t get me wrong…I still take hold of my future. I plan my investments, business, and retirement. I plan for my son’s future. But, I learned there is a big difference between Plan and Obsess. Planning is vital for success. Who just wakes up and becomes successful without any planning? If you know of someone, go ahead and kick ’em in the shin for me the next time you see them! I love this quote….

 So yes planning is important. Obsessions on the other hand (in my experience), actually hold you back from success and just steal your joy. Now looking back I see myself obsessing over every detail in my life (past, present, and future) – it’s so obvious why I wasn’t living the life I wanted – I was treading water, barely staying afloat.

So the first step towards happiness was to stop obsessing and just trust the process. The other major change I made was to repeat one word over and over. Any guesses what that word is? No. No. The word is No.

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Why is it so hard to say “NO”? Someone from work asks you to go out for drinks…you feel obliged to say yes even though you don’t drink and really don’t want to be away from your kiddos anymore than you have to be. “Sure!” Someone asks if you can switch shifts and cover them at work even though you had appointments that you will now need to cancel and that makes your schedule more difficult. “Of course!” Someone asks you to volunteer for this committee or that club. “You got it!” The list goes on and on. The old me would say “Ya sure, you betcha”, and if I’m being totally honest – play the martyr card at home to the hubby.

I once read that for every “yes” you say you are also saying “no” ten times. This changed my life! Think about it, you just said, “yes I’ll volunteer for that committee”… Now, what is less obvious is that you just said, “no I won’t have dinner with my family that weekend”, “no I have to work on this volunteer stuff, I can’t FILL IN THE BLANK“, “no I can’t make church that weekend, I am busy with this committee” – it goes on and on. I am so glad I ran across that article – game changer!
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No – That word has power! And it is ok to say “No”. In the beginning I had guilt – I think that’s normal. I want to be a people pleaser, I want to make friends happy, and I definitely don’t want to upset anyone. But at the end of the day – I care about my tribe the most. I refuse to say “no” to my family and friends I am closest with just to say “yes” to others that probably won’t even be in my life in five years!. The good news is, the more I said “no” the less I cared if someone was offended – and in all reality most don’t care – I had it in my head that people would be so mad at me!

So, I urge you to stop saying yes when your heart is telling you to say no!
Also, if you’re the wimp clutching the handle bar try to let go. Maybe just one hand. Wave it in the air! Everything will be fine!! You won’t die.

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