Posted on | June 2, 2014 | 3 Comments
My boyfriend always tells me that happiness is a choice. And usually I respond with a choice gesture from one of my more used fingers. But this morning, when my son woke me up for the second day in a row before 5am, I decided I’d give it a chance. So I lay very still for a moment, snatched the blue flashing flashlight from his hands, and thought for a moment about how happy I was that the blinding light was no longer flashing in my face.
I climbed from my bed, happy that I only had to stretch twice to get my back to stop hurting, then I slowly walked to the kitchen, happy that I remembered the coffee I bought was decaf so that I didn’t waste my time making it. I chose to be happy about the fact that J wasn’t listening to any of my instructions for the morning because obviously that meant he could think for himself and wouldn’t be a mindless follower all his life. I chose to be happy about the fact that we were up so early because it meant I had time to clean the counters, fold the laundry, wash the sheets, make the bed, watch Scooby Doo (twice) and make a batch of “Ants on a log” for snack.
Have to take my kid to work for the day? So happy about it.
Coffee spilled on my pants? Hey look! It’s like a new pair!
I was angrily going about “choosing happy” in the most sarcastic manner for most of the morning. Every time I “chose” happy I considered it a slap in Banks’ face. “Oh yeah… this is SO happy! Thanks for telling me that happiness is a choice. I’m SO FREAKING HAPPY RIGHT NOW.”
On the way to work, we were sitting in the drive thru line at Starbucks and I was stewing on all the anger and irritation of my morning when suddenly I realized that choosing happy isn’t about choosing to make everything that happens to you a positive. Choosing happy is about letting the bad roll off your shoulders the best way you can. Choosing happy is about making the choice not to dwell on all the negative but to, instead, look forward for the potential of awesome.
I can’t make this morning any better.
I can’t go back and not blow my top at my kid or not spill my coffee or not be hell bent on being aggravated for the first three hours of the day. But what I CAN do is choose to put them where they belong, in the past, and focus on making the rest of my day that much better.
Because even though happiness might be a choice, it’s not a choice you make about things that already happened. It’s a choice you make to embrace the possibility of good things to come.
So my apologies, Banks, for all the flicking of birds and rolling of eyes. It seems that (just this once) you may have been right. And I’m going to spend my day choosing not to dwell on the demon child bouncing behind me in my chair as I work.
Instead, I will choose to be happy about the babysitter coming tomorrow.