I started out the day today in a bad mood. I can't honestly tell you why. It was just a day, with its typical family drama, work demands, careless people, poor tasting coffee, etc. No different than any other day, and usually I don't have a problem staying in a good mood. You see, I learned a long time ago in my days in the service industry that happiness is, just what you make of it.
Today was a down day. I wasn't particularly motivated to do my work or interact with people. I'm not looking forward to going home and dealing with family issues. I'm a well practiced procrastinator, and decided that rather than being productive, I'd spend my time catching up on some reading. I can read on my desk, in my cubicle, without raising any suspicion. Yes, I work in a cube, since I was downgraded from an office a few months ago. Doesn't this economy rock! :| Just another thing to challenge my overall good demeanor.
Anyways, I decided to catch up on my favorite blogs. Do you know that saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"? That's how I felt when I read two blog posts that couldn't have been better suited to my day, and my mood. The first was Fantasy Island, where BLM explains his view on life. "Life isn't unfortunate things that get in the way of a normally happy time. To me, it's quite the opposite: it's a normally miserable time interspersed with some happiness ". Amen, Brother. That's how I was feeling.
Then I read What, Me Happy?, by jasonstreet on Guys Like Me, which is his response to BLM's post. He reminded my of my general philosophy on life. Although absolutely nothing changed, just remembering made me feel better. It made me happy.
Happiness is, truly, just what you make of it!
I have many reasons to be unhappy. I am not the rock-hard stud I wish I could be, with both men and women falling over themselves to get next to me. I am not rich, driving the my dream car, living in my dream house, working at my dream career. My family is not perfect, and far too many of them are not with me today. Who I am, and the choices I've made, means I live a dual life.
But I have many reasons to be happy. I am healthy, loved, needed, and wanted. I can afford to have fun every once in awhile. I have a car, a house, a job. I have a family. I live my life more open than many others I know.
My reality is that I am happy, but only when I CHOOSE to be.
And as it turns out, "faking" being really happy can actually have its own placebo effect. Not that I endorse falsehood. It just turns out that there is some psychological truth to the Depression Era song about "Smile, though your heart is breaking…" -What, Me Happy?
I didn't always choose to be happy. Most of the time, I chose to be depressed, and the rest of the time I chose to be angry. When I was younger I worked in what I feel is the worst possible job, fast food. There you get the worst possible customers, crappy hours, thankless bosses, and you are literally going nowhere. No offense to anyone currently working in fast food, but that's just how I felt. One day I started whistling while I worked, and was amazed at the difference it made. I had no more reason to feel happy, but I was. Or at least I was less unhappy.
It doesn't matter what the reason, it just is.
So I sincerely say to all of you, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays. Be Happy!