Pause. Invite. Appreciate. Share. Repeat!
I was sitting in the airport last week, focused on a six year old boy playing with his Dad. This boy, I’ll call him Junior, was adorable—wearing those shoes that light up when you walk. I fathom he had on a new outfit and his backpack was full of action figures and snacks. If I had to guess, the young Dad, sporting a 5 o’clock shadow, had probably worked the night shift before picking up Junior for the trip.
As we waited to depart, Junior was bouncy, silly and delightful. Dad could barely keep his eyes open so Junior decided it was time for a joke, then a song, or wait let me tell you about school, and so on. He reminded me of the finches at my bird feeder. Constant chatter. Constant movement.
Dad did his best to smile and nod but he was a man of few words. Although silent, Dad radiated warmth and pride.
“It’s too bad we outgrow happiness”, said the women sitting next to me. I paused, mostly in shock, and then she repeated herself as if I hadn’t heard her. “It’s really too bad we out grow our happy years.” I am rarely speechless but this comment shut me down.
Had I been younger, I would have launched into a full discussion or rather debate on why she was dead wrong. Now that I am older and wiser, I chose instead to look at my reaction and why I was so bothered.
My Girlfriend Voice was purring in my ear.
I paused and thought about what she said. I invited my wise Girlfriend Voice to help me understand and respond without sounding like a “B” or a “new age know it all”.
“I absolutely disagree that we outgrow happiness!! Yes, we outgrow clothing and sometimes relationships. Yes, our brains thirst for increasing knowledge and experience. Yes, with age comes responsibility but also opportunity. Happiness is always available.” Exhaling, I took a big breath in and awaited her response.
Does happiness have a shelf life? NO
Is happiness finite? NO
Imagine if we told every child to make sure they were happy when they were young because as adults didn’t have the same option. And not to use up their happiness too fast because it is in limited in supply!!!! This is ridiculous, huh?
The lady never did respond to me. My annoyance with her eventually turned to compassion. (Really did!) Her reasoning could be seeded by a track record of pain and disappointment or the belief that she wasn’t entitled to happiness. It wasn’t my place to try to fix or convince her. Luckily I know that happiness is my responsibility and available to me no matter what my age.
My definition of happiness has broadened since my younger years. I find delight in many things because perhaps,
I pause to welcome happiness. Pausing….
I invite happiness to linger....
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don miguel ruiz don't bottle up your emotions don't quit don’t be drama queen eliminate stress embrace uncertainty emotional awareness emotional baggage emotional cleanse emotional cleansing emotional exits emotional recalibration emotional rollercoaster emotionally unavailable emotions emotions & emotional inventory empowerment end of the year review endhate equity ericadams1970 excuses expansion fabulous family fashion over 50 father's day fear fear disguised as control fear holds you hostage fear is holding you back fear of failure fed up feel it all feeling expansive feeling optimistic feelings find your voice find yourself finding beauty finding beauty everywhere finding confidence finding gratitude in the moment finding your power fine wine fixer upper relationships focused on the truth forgiveness fracles free advice free gift friendship from me to you fun garbage in garbage out gardening general girl power girlfriend chats girly girl glass ceiling go with the flow goals god box gratitude gratitude list grief grudge guarantee guest blogger guest bloggers guide for a good life guided meditation happiness happiness is my responsibility happy birthday hate free hate my body hater haters gonna hate having it all healthy boundaries heart of a warrior woman helicopter parents high school reunion holiday stress honesty hope housekeeping how big is your brave? how will people remember you? humor i am i am a human washing machine i am a work of art. i don't care what you think i eve everything you think i see you i will be heard. i will be seen. if you're happy and you know it thank your ex inclusion inner critic inner mentor inner voice integrity invite happiness to linger isolation it takes courage to be you it's a good thing i like you it's ok to cry judgment kaleidoscope karen schlaegel kindness labor of love laugh at yourself laughter learning from the past leave your comfort zone leaving your comfort zone lessie miller letting go letting go of expectations letting go of the past letting the past go life after divorce life is short light up the room limit your negative thinking living authentically living in the moment living in yesterday living on contingency lmao looking back to where i began looking forward to my future lortnoc loss of a parent love love me outloud love mom love yourself-no great gift low self-esteem manage your inner critic manifesting manifesto men mental fitness mental wellness middleaged bodies mind maintenance mindfulness practice mindset matters modeling good behavior moms and daughters monkey mind more than a pretty face mothers mother’s and daughters mother’s day move it! moving on after divorce mr. rogers my girlfriend voice my letting go ceremony my own worst critic my tank ran dry mystical machu picchu need for control need to vent negative thinking new beginnings new orleans new year new you no blame games no regrets not good enough nothing more badass than loving who you are numbing older and wiser on-line dating opiodcrisis opposites attract our new normal outsourcing discomfort overachiever overwelmed parenting parents patience pause pause and prioritize pausing for poise perfectionism perfectly imperfect badass periscope personal power personal responsibility personal sanctuary planting the seeds of hope pleasure principle plug into your power positive memory recall positive thinking post-divorce gratitude power play pp moment pray for peace prioritize your time procrastination psychology today putting fear aside quiet mind quiet time racial justice racism raising children ready to recieve recalibration recall recycle redefining the future reduce regrets relationships relationships & communication relaxation relaxation technique remove the stigma renovators & rescuers repurposing resentment resolutions respecting differences respond rather than react reuse sadness sadness is a verb salsa dancing same wavelength saving money saying goodbye scam second hand stress self-acceptance self-care self-esteem self-expression self-loathing #mygirlfriendvoice self-support system self-talk selfcare sense of humor setting intentions shame shedding limitations shelter in place simplify sisters of another mother sitting with discomfort smother and hover social obligations solo travel soul sisters of solace speak your truth spelling bee stay at home order stigma stop complaining stop the nonsense stop the stigma stress stress busters stress management stressfree struggling struggling accelerates growth subscribe substanceusedisorder sud super hero powers support surrender taboo take my advice talk back to negativity tall poppy syndrome texting while angry the 5 c's the conscous kid the fear factor the four agreements the happy truck the inner critic the office party the single life the soul the voices in my head theemotionalrollercoaster think positive this too shall pass thoughts matter three gifts to share with friends and strangers time for change too many parties too little time toxic thinking treat yourself triggers & the inner critic trust turning 50 turning shit into sunshine twa unemployed unplug unsolicted advice use your voice v is for vulnerability valerie frankel visualization volunteer vulnerability warrior woman ; responding from a place of power website launch wellness what you feed gets stronger what's the worst thing that can happen? white privilege will you have regrets? wisdom wishes for my kids women unite word association words are weapons too wounded healer writing wtf you are a fierce warrior! you are good enough you are the only one responsible for your life you have everything you need right now your inner critic your intuition your voice is your power yummy goes to crummy