In response to my thoughts on happiness, a friend (that’s you Larry) shared with me that he once heard a priest ask his congregation why people so often focus on the “why me” when bad things occur but not when good things occur. We never hear people say, “Why did –fill in the blank good thing- happen to me?” and “Why am I so lucky?” We tend to question why we are the victim but not necessarily why we are the fortunate. Is it that we feel when something bad happens that we are being punished but when something good happens, well, that is just the way it should be? Perhaps we should all honor our “good stuff” as much as we do our “bad stuff.”
Unhappy people tend to focus on the bad more than they do the good. Not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I am determined to use preventative measures to avoid complete and utter sorrow. So, in my quest for this elusive happiness – this new practice I am trying to undertake — I am going to focus on the good today.
I was quick to want to dismiss 2012 because, as this same friend said, “2012 has been kind a jerk.” As hard as it is for me not to write about the bad stuff and curse its very existence, I won’t even mention it and instead will provide my list of the good stuff I have been able to salvage:
1. We found an answer to my daughter’s health problems, and she is on the road to better health.
2. I became closer to my brother and sister and realized what an amazing team we are.
3. The 2012 election season was rewarding and encouraging with same-sex marriages being voted legal in my state. Kindness is prevailing.
4. The air in my house is now warm, more humid, and purified thanks to being able to afford a new and state-of-the-art HVAC system. Thank you dad for helping me to keep my family warm at night. I didn’t want to be able to afford it this way, but I am glad to smile whenever I think that it is you keeping us warm.
5. My credit card bills are paid off after years of struggling despite our hard work. Thank you again dad.
6. My husband was promoted at work and his hard work is finally being rewarded.
7. And, most importantly, I had a beautiful, amazing healthy baby boy who has made my family complete and whose smile lights up a room.
That was more than I thought I could come up with. Perhaps all of us who are quick to dismiss a day, a month, a year should take the time to find those small and big things that actually prove us wrong – maybe that time wasn’t “a jerk” and maybe it was that we are letting that powerful jerkiness cloud the beautiful things that actually occurred.