Savoring a slice of Happiness Pie

Happiness “experts” say it’s important to be happy despite what goes on in life, separate from any external influences.

“Don’t let outside forces determine your happiness”.

Whatever happens in the world, people who are successful at the practice of happiness are in their happy bubble and nothing can pop it.

Humph.

I’m honestly not sure how people do that. I’m also not sure I’d want to.

I have often wondered about my own happiness. I don’t think I have a serious happiness problem, but it’s something I find myself thinking about and questioning. Several factors have caused me to be so overly mindful of my happiness factor: the general hecticness of life, my own constant struggle to get to my personal utopia.. thinking happiness will greet me there, it’s become a cultural norm to over analyze our levels of happiness, and also most significantly… I’m Irish — Irish-Catholic to be specific. I come from a long line of people who have a reputation for being downtrodden, done-wrong, filled with a life sucks and then you die mentality.

I became so focused on happiness and making sure I had plenty of it that I made it my New Years resolution this year. I promised myself I would finally give real focus to those things that really made me happy, every day.

I made a list

…which I keep on my iPhone — “the Daily 10" I call them. Despite having to earn a living and take care of day to day responsibilites, if it was in my control, what things would I want to do everyday to be happy, to be my best Sam self.

I decided I was doing as many of them every day as I could. I’m very challenge oriented, if you didn’t catch my last post.

My Daily 10
1. Exercise (usually hiking)
2. Eat well and drink tons of water
3. Spend quality time with my daughter
4. Spend quality time with my husband
5. Do something creative
6. Read — Usually when I’m hiking
7. Write — Work on my book/Medium articles (also when I’m hiking or in the shower)
8. Italian lessons — 15 mins a day, I used to be somewhat fluent and lost it. I’m determined to get it back. 
9. My stitches — A challenge I’m doing with friends #Ayearofstitches
10. Meditate (10 minutes before bed really helps me sleep. I’m a huge fan of Headspace)

If I do these things or most of them every day, I do feel happy… but then external stresses like a continued job hunt and the current state of politics sneaks in and I feel stressed. I feel anxiety. I feel sad. I feel frustrated, annoyed, irritated, worried and angry.

The thing is, those are all valid, authentic feelings that I have the right to feel and I am NOT HAPPY when I am feeling them. Not at all,

.. and I think that is okay.

We also can’t dwell.

It finally hit me, I need to learn how to manage the NOT HAPPY pieces of life and not let them over power the priority and focus happiness has in my life. I mentally learned how to portion them off to slices/chunks of space where I felt them and moved on, as to not let them interfere with the happiness slice on my plate which has just as much importance.

I was laid off a year ago. I’ve grown a lot personally during this year, doing an internal audit of where I am in my career, realizing my strengths and pliability. I’ve had great experiences consulting and freelancing, but that being said job hunting and lack of my regular income is stressful; trying to keep up my professional mojo is a constant worry.

Job hunting is stressful = big slice

In our over consumption of news era, many of us aren’t happy. My husband and I constantly have CNN and other political shows on, to keep up with the next set of crazy. I’m far more in touch politically than I have been in years. I feel like I’m an irresponsible a**hole if I don’t.

No joke, Trump is stressful. Worrying about our country’s future = way too big of a slice

Accepting the negative slices of life is only human, they are legitimate real feeling which should be allowed to be felt.

More importantly I now appreciate their value as they now allow me to revel in the piece (peace) of the joy I get from my happiness slice — my favorite piece off my daily plate. I have learned to protect, make time for, and celebrate daily the things that make me happy despite of it all.

Most of my Daily 10 now happens without thought. That is something I will continue to savor happily.

#mediumchallenge #mediummonday #mommatime #powermomma #becauseican #writerswrite #happiness