My children are so sweet it’s hard not to be happy just being around them. They also have smiles that make you want to smile. While not every day is as joyous, this week has been full of small and simple happy moments.
One day in particular my husband and I decided to eat out for dinner instead of dirtying my clean-ish kitchen (which, by itself, made me happy to know that the things I had done to make our home functional again had not gone unnoticed).
We decided to go to Subway. We were in the middle of our meal when my 2-year-old’s sandwich fell apart and she started picking out the things she liked to eat and skipping the things she didn’t like. To help my child along, my husband started to help her eat some of the little things. As they were eating, my child was telling me everything that she was putting in her mouth (“turkey!” “olive!”) and everything daddy was eating. When they were down to just the lettuce, meat, and bread, my husband grabbed a little pinch of the lettuce (to show her it was yummy to eat) and she turned to me and said, “daddy eat garbage?”
Not only was I laughing embarrassingly loud, but so was my husband and everyone in the restaurant had turned to see what was going on. In that moment my main thought was ‘did that really look like garbage or did she just not like lettuce?’
Subway lettuce is cut very thin so maybe in the mind of a child it could be seen as maybe a straw wrapper. Or maybe I am lacking on my mom-ability and need to prepare more salads for dinner.
After dinner this encounter kept playing in my head over and over making me smile for days. It also makes me think how simple being happy can be.
My attitude could have been upset that the sandwich was apart all over her tray, or I could have been distracted by Facebook on my phone. Instead I was present. I was ready to receive the joy that came from this sweet little girl.
Being present is a big part of being happy and finding joy in this journey of life. It is the first step in true happiness and it is the way happiness can last through all the struggles. When we are present we are involved and in tune with others’ needs as well. If we look around, in many cases the happy people are not the ones who are withdrawn or isolated, but the ones that include themselves and are trying to improve in anyway they can. If I was behind my phone in Subway, I would have completely missed that happy little experience.
Happiness does not necessarily come in a day or six, it is a lifetime of running and falling and getting up again. I have found the greatest happiness when I fell down and found the strength to get back up. I feel like I have conquered the one half of me that wants to just satisfy any urge that bubbles up in my head.
So get back up. Push yourself to be better. Don’t give up.
Be present! Put the phone away. Eat dinner at the table. If you bring a camera on a trip, you can only take a few pictures.
When your kids talk, listen. Pause your show (or better yet, turn off the TV!)
Hold your loved ones, read with them, talk with them, tell them you love them.
Lastly, take a moment and ask yourself how much happiness those big ticket things have brought you. That nice car, that big house, all your things. And then, maybe, ask yourself how many of your life’s happiest moments were just the small and simple things.
Thank you for reading and the continued support, please like, share and comment about the things that made you happy this week. (Even small things).