About 52 days ago, I started this project entitled 500 DAYS OF HAPPINESS on Facebook. I have always been a thankful person, a grateful person and an appreciative person, at least I like to think I am. And even though I wake up in some state of pain, I often remind myself of two things:
a. that the pain reminds me that I can feel; and
b. that I woke up.
Those alone should be reasons to jump for joy.
With that said though, I cannot remember for the life of me when I last experienced unabashed joy. Utter happiness that did not come from the heady experience of purchasing a designer purse, or latest piece of jewelry, or found the latest art acquisition or didn't involve any monetary purchase whatsoever. Actually, if I really stop to think about it, I have not felt joy for 16 years. The last time, I believe I felt joy, was when I was holding my first new born niece in my arms. She was three weeks old and I was babysitting her for a couple of hours. She was crying and an Eagles song came on and I started to sing the song to her, she went very quiet and stared at me with complete clarity and put her little hand on my chin. It was at that exact moment I felt like the Grinch who stole Christmas, because my heart was growing right out of my chest and the joy I felt at that moment superceded everything in my life. It was the first time in my entire existence where I actually fell in unconditional love. It goes without saying that I love all the rest of my family, but in those cases, I was born into the love. In this case, my niece had done nothing but look at me and I was head over heels for her. I still am when it comes to her and her sister.
But that is the last time I remember my entire being, my person and my heart being full.
This past year has been a reflective one for me. It's been a year of searching. Sometimes, it has been about yearning for something intangible. Sometimes its about finding and losing and finding again my passion that I had in spades in my 20's. Sometimes it's just about trying to have meaning. Other times it's about stopping, looking around and taking in small moments. And if I were to be honest, I have to wonder if I am just having a midlife crisis. Who knows. What I do know is that I have reshaped my life in the last 4 months. I have lost 40 pounds and worked hard to change my food habits all in an effort to relieve some of my pain and it has worked. It’s not easy eating no sugar, no flour, no processed foods especially when you go holidays. I had initially thought to myself that a change in my pain level would increase the serotonin in my brain and bring me joy. It didn’t.
It is a bit of cultural shock when you realize that the thing that you blamed for years for your lack of happiness, in my case pain, is not the reason you are not as happy as you should be.
Then I realized that it wasn’t about the pain, although it does play a part when your life is curtailed. What it was about inactuality was allowing or retraining my heart to soar and live and breathe and enjoy. For some reason, I put it into a strong box and threw away the key to the lock for a very long time.
I was watching Rita one day from the Adventures of Cinderita, we are friends on facebook. She is constantly doing what she needs to do to be happy and joyful. There is something to be said about hugging people every day, it does raise that elusive serotonin in the brain.
So I created this page on facebook as a way for me to remember the small things that make me happy. Simple things like waking up to sunshine, a good breakfast, a walk with my better half, snuggling with my little pooch, watching birds in my garden, finding a ladybug on my arm. Just simple things.
And as I write this, I wonder what brings you joy. What makes you ecstatically happy. Does your happiness runneth over to the next person. Does their happiness runneth over to you?
I guess this is a bit of corny post, but here it is: I invite you to join me on 500 Days of Happiness to share with me the things that get your mojo going. The things that make your smile broadly. The things that make your heart soar. The things that just make you grateful to be alive. And those things that make you smile, may just make someone else smile and then perhaps all of our days would be slightly better.
Mostly, I hope you will share with me, if even just in the comments section of this post, the things that light up your life. Who knows what your happiness is but imagine if you shared one thing that made you happy and 50 other people read it and it made them smile too, wouldn’t the day just be better?
Here’s hoping that you really do have a very happy weekend.
Until Next Time.