Thanks to a Facebook post by former co-worker Nic Carew, I was inspired to tackle the #100happydays challenge, and take a photo and post each day of something that makes me happy. I quickly learned that many things make me happy, so I decided that rather than assign the most happy to least, the very first thing that made me smile each day would get a photo – my first bloom of a Lilliputian iris.
Happiness is a critical thing. I’ve found when my thinking is the least organized, that’s when I’m the least happy. It’s important to do some accounting when it comes to thinking, and force yourself to see what’s good. This is how some of the most difficult times of my life have also been the happiest – by force, not naturally – A lesson my mom taught me. And now with this challenge, I can document it.
You can only feel one thing at a time.
Did you know the funny thing about human thinking is that we can only really have one emotion at a time? If you just found out you won the lottery and were jumping in your living room, and someone threw a rattle snake at you, you’d freak out and momentarily forget the ecstatic happiness you were feeing only a few seconds before. Thankfully, we cannot be both happy and panicked, or happy and distraught at the same time. There can be quick intervals of both, but nothing simultaneous. You can take advantage of this by noting things that make you happy as often as possible. We can’t change circumstances sometimes, but we can take charge of our emotions moment by moment. These add up, and create a day saturated mostly by happiness. This is the key – slowing down enough to notice little wonderful things, moment by moment.
Circumstance certainly has the ability to devastate us, but we do have a moment by moment choice. The hardest part is choosing that when you’re down. Sadness has an almost ridiculing aversion to feeling good, which is why quietly appreciating simple things can work to get you out of the funk. Sometimes this takes months. But it does work.
I’ve learned not to be shy about reveling in happiness when I find it – I bathe in it when I find it because I realize how needed these gifts are.
Sunday the weather was gorgeous. Kevin and I took separate cars, so as I drove I rolled all of the windows down and opened the sun roof, and listened to my favorite songs. I could have kept everything quiet, and rolled along for the 20 minute drive, but I know better now. Happiness is always rich! I later told Kevin that the ability to drive fast down the highway, with speakers blaring, enjoying the sunset is a luxury only afforded to this modern age. Have you ever considered what a true gift that is? Think of how many times you’ve been made happy just by this simple thing? No one before the last century EVER experienced that. It is a gift for our era, designed especially for our stresses. We live like kings in that simple regard – having entire orchestras whenever we want. Seizing happiness, in any way, is very important. From being barefoot in the mud, to listening to my favorite Bach concerto (or Cold Play).
So, today’s happy find was the first bloom of bright purple, Lilliputian irises (which which I’ve been fostering for Mom, and keep forgetting to dig up each year for her). This little, sturdy flowers are shorter than a Barbie doll. They remind me of Josie, Mom’s traveling Yorkie, who lived with me, and now lives with her best friend Kim. Josie, like this little iris, thought she was huge and fierce. Similarly, these irises are just as bright and bold as their larger cousins – they just don’t know they’re faerie-height.
I was surprised to see how many times flowers made me smile. So, I’ve already learned something today. Clearly I need to do more gardening, and bring more happiness my way.