The Truth About Happiness

I was Pinterest-ing earlier this week and stumbled across this quote pinned by one of my friends (via bettermess.com):

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

The truth of this phrase really hit home for me.  I know it to be true because I see it happen in life. 

Right now, a close family friend is battling health issues.  We consider he and his wife to be our “adopted” third set of grandparents.  Anyway, he is going to be 97 years old in a couple weeks, and has spent the last several months in and out of the hospital and nursing rehab facilities, when really he just wants to be at home.  The situation is frustrating for him, and he has more free time on his hands then he knows what to do with.  Instead of sitting around being miserable, he has decided to make something productive come out of this time.  He has been writing his memoirs, starting with narratives about his brothers, sisters, and parents.  This is something that his family and children have wanted him to do for a long time.  He has been using his free time to write his stories, and then he gives them to me to type up.  I return them to him so that he can edit them and send them on to his family members for them to review and add their own memories.  It helps him occupy his day, and it has been a treat for me to read his stories and type them up for him.  I admire him so much – instead of letting the struggles in life get him down, he is finding a way to make the best of it and remain in good spirits.

I try hard to be a positive, glass-half-full kind of person.  Occasionally I go a little overboard.  Nathan has called me an eternal optimist on multiple occasions.  I believe in happy endings, both in movies and in life.  I tend to avoid negative people, because they bring me down.  I once worked with a fairly pessimistic person, and came to realize that their attitude really had an effect on my days at work.  So every time they said something negative, I would counteract it by saying something positive about the situation.  I think I drove them crazy.  But it helped me keep my own sanity.

Yet I still have times when I focus on the negatives.  The things that I can’t change, the personal goals I haven’t accomplished, the to-do lists at home that I make in my head but never get done.  The “fat days”, bad hair days, or terrifying breakout days.  The people in life who I have lost and miss.  Every once in a while, I need a little jolt to remind me that true happiness comes when I count the blessings that I already have.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful family.  A supportive husband who loves me (even on a day like last Sunday, when the stars aligned and said fat day, breakout day, and bad hair day all occur on ONE day, leading to a major meltdown on my part).  I am blessed to be healthy, employed, and have a roof over my head.  I have food in my house, clothes in my closest, and money in my bank account.  My hair may be frizzy and voluminous, but at least I will make a fantastic extra in a movie about the eighties.

The happiest people count their blessings and don’t take them for granted.  I count myself lucky that I have people in my life to remind me about this and show me it is true. 

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