I know it’s been awhile since y’all have heard directly from me but I’ve been working on being a supportive editor and refocusing some energy on my family during this period of increased activity on the job I work that pays the bills.
Lately, I’ve also been thinking a lot about what makes me happy and how to stay focused on living a joyful life. I think this is an exercise that everyone should engage in periodically for a couple of reasons:
1. Being happy is cool, like bow ties.
Seriously, what’s the point of living these lives if we can find joy in our daily activities.
2. Happiness can have a fluid definition.
I am amazed by how much and how often the things that make me happy shift and change. I am a writer so I have things that I’ve journaled about throughout my life and let me tell you, the things that I thought made me happy at 25 definitely are not the same things that bring me joy as I rapidly tip towards my 40s.
3. Other people can and will impact your happiness.
When I got married suddenly my path to personal happiness became much more complicated. Being with this man that I adore is awesome, but I think about how what I want to do to make me happy will impact him ALL OF THE TIME! There’s no hoping on a plane at the last minute and jetting off to Accra for two weeks to volunteer at a STEM summer camp for me without considering how that decision might impact my spouse. When other people enter and take up residence in our lives we have to learn how to manage those relationships while keeping the things that bring us joy a priority. Oftentimes this can be easier said than done.
4. Some people will actively work against your happiness.
There are some miserable people in the world who rather than examine how they might work on becoming happier in their life will delight in trying to make your life a living hell. I’ve learned to pray for those individuals and limit my contact with them if possible.
5. Happiness is a choice.
Psalm 100:4 is one of those scriptures I return to often that reminds me that life is not random. We are blessed with the ability to choose how we live our lives. This Psalm reminds us to give thanks for the awesome gift of life. When I do this I can’t help but be filled with happiness and joy because I’m here, walking this Earth and breathing this air. I know love and loss, joy and pain. I’m privileged to be of help to others and blessed to have people I can call when I’m in need.
Do you know what makes you happy? I encourage you to think about it.
~ Marta C. Youngblood