Saturday, February 28, 2015

Happiness is a Choice

Seeing a freshly mopped floor with muddy footprints on it, not being invited to a friend's party, burning dinner, showing up late to an appointment, not getting enough sleep at night, taking on too many projects at once, or loosing your car keys are all great examples of things that would cause someone to be angry. Interestingly enough, studies have proven that anger is a natural response to a situation for roughly 120 seconds and after that it is a choice for that person to remain angry. Reminding myself to not be frustrated for longer than that sometimes requires me to take a Mommy time-out! I can say screaming into a pillow works great though. Ha ha.

Finding the right balance is different for each person. We all struggle with so many things in our lives so what works for me may not work for others. Having time to do things for myself every once in a while is crucial for me maintaining my sanity. It's interesting how if I take care of myself it's a lot easier for me to come home and focus on my family and other obligations. Feelings of guilt for taking that time for just me are hard to overcome but I have to remind myself it is really okay.

We weren't sent to earth to only feel happiness. How could we know what happiness is without experiencing the contrast of sadness. No one enjoys feeling sad but one thing I know for certain is that sadness is only temporary. It is your choice how long uncomfortable feelings of sadness and frustration will linger with you for. Experiencing the intense sadness and emptiness we feel after losing Natalie is something I didn't think a person could function with. While not everyone is dealing with a trial as difficult as ours, the method of healing is the same.

The atonement is truly a gift. Knowing that you aren't alone in your trials and that Christ has suffered through the exact feelings you experience brings such comfort. While it doesn't take our trials away to know this, it does allows us to endure our trials well. It's very simple really, we acknowledge His sacrifice and ask for His constant guidance. For whatever reason, people make the choice to not embrace this wonderful gift of the atonement. Perhaps people are just stubborn or maybe they lack the faith. I can say that while things are never perfect in our lives, I notice that when I choose to be happy despite my circumstances it makes the trials I'm experiencing not as bad.

This week in particular I have made a concerted effort to indulge this theory to try and pull myself out of my depressive funk I have been in lately. I made goals to do specific things to enrich my family's wellbeing. You'll see some examples below in pictures of some things I was doing. It resulted in me being more sleep deprived than normal, facing some of my anxiety, my hands being used to the extent that they cracked and bled, and had me saying the word "No" to taking on more responsibilities (I know people who really know me and are reading this are shocked that word found its way into my vocabulary but I used it!).  To see the smiles on my husband and kids faces because I was choosing to be happy and participate in life made me realize how very important that choice is.

Parents are the biggest examples and kids are always watching. We set the tone for the mood in our home. If I'm calm and kind my children mimic the same attitudes. It's like a big game of follow the leader. While I'm definatly not saying I do this flawlessly, I do have a strong belief that this is another tool that is helping us to heal and develop a stronger foundation for our family to continue to build on and feel the safety and comfort we all seek. Choose to be happy you will never regret it.

This is during the girls cheer competition this week. There were vendors and a boutique that we explored and found some fun things to do that put a smile on everyone's faces. Who knew some face paint and balloon animals could bring some much needed healing?!

When it snowed at the beginning of the week my kids said "Natalie sent us snow! It's a late Merry Christmas from her!". 

I took time away late one evening to go with some of my friends to decorate another of our friend's house for her birthday. I was so busy that whole day and had so much to do but taking a break to do this for 30 minutes was just what I needed. It allowed me to goof off (notice the missing shoe and sock) and do a small act of service to show how much we love our friend. I love my friends!

This was a lunch date the following day to celebrate her birthday. The giggling and socializing helped me through a very difficult day. I had taken my kids to the dentist for the first time since Natalie has passed away. I was a wreck at the Dentist and bawled my eyes out. I came to lunch right after we finished and found such comfort with these amazing ladies.

Chase had his last basketball game this week so even though I hadn't ever got ready this day I showed up at the game with pizza donuts and drinks to celebrate. My cute niece and her little boy also came to cheer Chase on. The last sport Chase played was football and Natalie came to every game and loved watching him. With basketball I struggled sitting there without juggling Natalie and Savannah. To me it felt all wrong. I faced my anxiety and came anyways to see my sweet boy play in this game. 

Isn't this sweet of Chase! I came out to finish grabbing groceries out of my car to find Chase fast asleep on the floor of my car. I love sweet moments like this.
It reminded me of this day last year when I had driven across town to the store only to look bank and find all three of my precious children asleep. Priceless memory. A happy one.

No comments: