Two Teens And Their Mama: Mindful Monday: Happy Or Sad?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mindful Monday: Happy Or Sad?


Lately I've been thinking a lot about happiness.  Simply put, I think most of us want to be happy, because the alternative is to be...unhappy.  Which doesn't sound like a very nice way to go through life.

A few months ago, my husband told me that I didn't seem to be happy.  His intent wasn't to be mean or argumentative, but he was concerned.  My initial reaction was surprise, because at my core, I know I AM happy. Maybe the last year hasn't been the best, but I love my life, and it's good.  For days after our talk, I felt really bad that I was projecting unhappiness, and I didn't know what to do.

Then I realized:  I was happy, but I was also sad.  Yep, I think you can be both, at the same time. And it's okay to be sad, to feel all the feels, and get everything out.  But there comes a point where the sadness takes over and starts to define you.  It's been a year since my dad passed away, seven months since my uncle died, and four months since my son left for college.  Yet here I was, still letting those sad events rule my everyday life, and clearly it was affecting my relationships.

It was time to tuck away the sadness.

I read somewhere that genes contribute 50% to whether you are naturally happy or not.  That makes sense, because I know people that exude happiness, no matter what.  Apparently they were born that way.  Your circumstances make up 10%.  And the best part?  The other 40% is UP TO YOU.

Which means we control our own happiness.  Sometimes it gets buried under things that make us mad, or sad, or deeply hurt.  But ultimately, we're in charge.  We decide what makes us happy.

For me, it's the simple things.  A morning walk on the beach. Snuggling up on the couch with my husband and a movie.  A warm bath on a cold day.  Reading a good book.  A heart to heart with one of the boys.  Feeling the sunshine on my face. Lunch with a friend.  Taking a deep breath and knowing I am loved.

I will always be sad that my dad and my uncle aren't here anymore, but I'm happy that they were in my life for 49 years.  And while I don't love that the boys are growing up and moving on, I'll forever be happy to be mom to these two young men.

Happiness may be an inside job, but it's time to let it out again.

29 comments:

  1. So true that you can be happy and sad at the same time. Recently, I did not apply for a position at work because of my length of time in current position and loyalty. Two friends applied for the positions and asked me to be their reference. They both got the jobs! I was happy for them and sad for myself. It took me a little while to work through that issue but on the up side I get to see them everyday now. It just takes time to process and grieve through the sadness. Thankful Mr. G said something and you were able to think it through.

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    1. I agree Carrie - working through the sadness is definitely a process. Remind me to ask you for a reference if I ever need one :)!

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  2. it's so easy to forget that we can control our happiness! Life happens and things will make us sad, mad, etc but if we appreciate the little things that makes us happy, it makes those things more bearable.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. I'm guilty of letting outside things influence my happiness. I need to remember that ultimately, it's up to me!

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  3. it urks me when Dan says that to me too...because like you, I'm happy but also blah. So weird. Choose happiness!!!!

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    1. It's a strange feeling to be happy and blah at the same time, but I totally get it.

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  4. Echoing all these sentiments exactly! I am generally a happy person but I get the blues and I get the sadness inside especially over a lot of the same things you're going through like the boys growing up. It's the simple things too that make me happy and put a smile on my face and thinking about you and reading your posts is one of them!

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    1. Andrea, you inspire me to project happiness. You always have such a radiance about you!

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  5. Happiness for some is work. It isn't natural but attainable. I was born happy, it is a blessing. It is a curse to others who resent you for it. Once on a summer job I was hated by a boss. She was sincerely depressed and tried to kill her self. When she cam back to work right before I was to leave she apologized to me for being mean towards me, the reason was I was happy!

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    1. Oh my goodness! I know what you mean though, as I've known some people who really seem to resent happiness. Normally being happy isn't so much work for me, but I think I'm back on the right path.

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  6. It is true that we are the only ones that can change our outlook. It isn't always easy.

    The worst thing about happiness is when never seem to know we're happy until we're unhappy. Then we wonder how we let the unhappiness get away.

    Kudos for making the effort to face towards the sunshine despite the shadows.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. That's a good point Suzanne. I think our natural human tendency is to think more about unhappiness.

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  7. Life can be hard and some years and life events can be hard, too! The one with your son going off to college is a happy and sad one. You're proud of him, you raised him well, yet it is time to let go... And, I feel every time I realize how BIG my kids are getting, it makes me feel a little bit older, too! :( Losing a parent, which I haven't been through can be something that may be numbed over time, but I think there are going to be events (birthdays, holidays, special memories that may be brought up when seeing something) that will rekindle sad feelings when you miss them. My dad had a lot of health problems last year and sadly, I don't think he will ever be 100% again. That is hard for me to accept and I can't help but worry about the future. I didn't realize that happiness or how happy we are is part of our genes, that is very interesting! I am glad to know we control 40% of it. I really try my best to let myself have a good cry if I need to and to take EXTRA care of myself during hard times. I hope 2017 is a year where you can find lots of happiness, even in-between some sadness!! Sorry this got so long!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. I'm so sorry about your dad. Watching our parents get older and more frail is so difficult. I'm determined to find happiness this year!

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  8. So very very true. Sometimes it's hard, and to an extent you know when they say fake it till you make it, sometimes I feel like that about happiness. I try to look around me and find the happy things around me, instead of forever focusing on the sad things. Baby Fox spent the night at my parents and I was sad he wasn't home and his room was empty when I passed by...I don't even know how you deal when they leave for college, this mama heart is breaking already.

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    1. I remember how much I missed my little guys when they were gone from home. It's like you can't wait for a little peace and quiet - and then you miss them when you get it! You always seem so happy and positive to me - I'm inspired by you!

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  9. Happiness takes some work by being mindful... I totally believe you can be both happy and sad at the same time. Sometimes sadness is just a part of us that's not always easy to let go of. When I lost my best friend out of my life and not through death... I became very depressed and sad. Today I'm very happy with where my life is and where it's going yet that small part of me is still sad... I just try not to bring it out all the time. I hope you find a way to have more happiness in your life♡♡♡

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    1. I agree we all have sadness - that's life, right? The key is to not let it overtake your life.

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  10. It's funny I just had this conversation with my mother the other day. She has never been happy in her whole life and it just hit me the other day. I cannot remember a time in my life when she was happy. That is so sad. I don't want to be like that or known for being unhappy. Ultimately life is good, sometimes bad things happen that knock the wind out of us, but how we deal with it is what matters. Not getting back up is never an option. You've had a tough year, but I can tell in the last two months or so you seem to be getting back to your old self more and more everyday. I was really worried about your there for awhile. Now, I can feel you smiling.

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    1. Thanks Rena. You're such a good friend. I do feel like I'm finally getting myself back. And you inspire me all the time - I often say "what would Rena do?" And I know it's something positive!

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  11. and also, how can you not be happy to be spending time with some of your faves in May! Woot.
    On a serious note though, I get this. I totally get it. I have felt similar at multiple points, despite having so much to be grateful for. The problem for me? I wasn't fueling the parts of myself that needed care and kindness.
    Let's make this the year of happy!

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    1. Seeing my blogging besties in May makes me SO happy! Such a good point - if we don't take care of ourselves, we can't be happy for ourselves or others. I need to work on that more.

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  12. Happiness is definitely in the mind. I choose to be happy no matter what we are going through. Even though I seem like a ray of sunshine and laughter, we do have bad times. I just REFUSE to let any witches ruin my party! I'm like screw you wicked witch of the west, I will throw water on you and find my Emerald City!! That made no sense, but you get it. Haha

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    1. Yep, I totally get it. I love that - I choose to be happy. Me too, from now on.

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  13. They say happiness is a choice - sounds so cliche - but that 40% we choose to be happy. You had 3 major life changes - they say that is the tipping point. It is understandable.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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    1. I'm definitely finding that happiness is a choice.

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  14. It's strange about genes predicting happiness. Makes sense, though. And of course - it's a choice. You've had a lot of sadnesses and that would take me a really long time to process through. I totally get it. You have such a loving husband.

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  15. What an honest, thoughtful post. I am happy that read that we control 40% of our happiness. I think I come from a long line of rather depressed individuals. And 2016 was a tough year for so many. I was sure 2017 had to be better. So far, so good except I feel myself wound up tight and running through every day. I am going to contemplate on your post and my feelings and see what I can do about that 40%.

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