The Thrill is in the Hunt
I love to shop at thrift stores, garage sales and consignment stores for clothing and home furnishings. I know what I don’t want and I’ll know what I want when I see it. Makes sense, right? Lucky me, it was half price day at one of my favorites stores.
There it was, calling to me, from the “ART” section.
Twilight in the desert
A lonely stretch of road; illuminated by a single vehicle
A Kenmore Mack truck lights up the barren sky
“Breaker-breaker, good buddy! Do ya copy?”
Yes, I bought a painting of an 18 wheeler! The best part is that when you plug in this delicious canvas, light shines out of twenty punched holes filled with yellow and red Christmas lights. My Mack truck lights up the desert night sky like beacon of hope! Bingo. I hit the mother lode for $11.25.
In reference to my living room, I could wait until I find a respectable or even inspirational piece of art to fill the space above my fireplace or I can hang something that makes me happy right now. How often do I/you search for SOMETHING to fill a space, discarding viable options, when there is something right in front of me/us that makes perfect sense?
I had found THE HAPPY TRUCK and it was meant to adorn my wall.
There were years when I was looking for happiness. I wanted to unload the “UN-happy”. I needed a fix.
It was much easier to push the blame outwardly than to dive inwardly and take responsibility for my situation. “If you only did this or stopped doing this, I would be happier.” NOT. Luckily I woke up and decided that something had to change. I stepped into the truth and started to look at ME.
I was the one that needed to change.
Slowly and often painfully, I looked at MY actions — the only thing I have control over. I didn’t like most of what I saw in there. The truth hurts but I needed to make an inventory. I made changes where I could, baby steps, until I felt grounded. It took a few years to believe that I was responsible for my own happiness and then a few more years to put my new perspective into practice and leap into a new life.
I define my happiness.
My happiness is not dependent on you.
I am responsible for my own happiness.
Happiness is not an all or nothing situation. For instance, I am quite happy sitting under my blanket despite that I have been sick since Tuesday with a monstrous cold. I am happy the white load got washed and put away even though I have two more loads to go. I am happy that my Frig is clean even though it means eggs for dinner (again!) or a trip to the store later.
I grab at happiness, drape it over me and let the other stuff go.
Someday I’d like to create a piece of art to hang on the hearth but there is no excuse for not enjoying what I have today.
“Catch you on the flip side and...
The Responsible One
Responsibility is an interesting topic. I am not sure I think much about the topic of “responsibility” until I experience someone avoiding their responsibility and I am impacted!! I proudly define myself as a responsible person. I hear Mom’s telling their children, “It’s your responsibility”. I hear bosses, teachers and doctors using the same phrase.
So I ask you, if you set aside the obvious (job and family), what ultimately is your responsibility?
I think back to when I was a young. My responsibility was to help out at home and listen to my teachers. As I grew up, my responsibility was to continue with my education and secure a good job. Over the next twenty years, I was responsible for taking care of my family. As I approach another milestone birthday I have started wonder, what happened to the responsibility of taking care of me and my happiness? Was I absent the day they taught introspection and self-care?
Would I feel successful taking care of my family if I didn’t take care of myself simultaneously? Would I thrive in my career if I hadn’t identified my strengths and passions? The answer is NO and this is why many of us come to a screeching halt in midlife. We get lost in the trap of doing what we think we should be doing or lost in the process of completing a goal just to complete it. Do you build a house on a faulty foundation without any future consequences?
Let me restate the question for you.
Question: What are you responsible for?
Updated Answer: I am responsible for my own happiness.
This is pretty simple yet extremely profound, right? If my happiness includes speaking Greek, jogging in the rain or wearing purple everyday then I have the responsibility to do those things for ME. No one else can make me happy. You have heard it before. Happiness is an inside job.
I hear you doubting me….. Yes, I am happy when my children are happy, BUT, my happiness is not dependent upon my children, or anyone else for that matter but little old me. I am happy when I secure a new client, find great boots on clearance and giggle with the girls but again, my happiness in not dependent on these experiences. My happiness is ENHANCED by these experiences. Enhanced; yes. Dependent; no.
My happiness is a personal interpretation. If I depend on you to tell me what makes me happy or to do things to make me happy then I spend a hell of a lot of time waiting for may not happen. Rather than happiness filling me up, it is more likely I will be dominated by the feelings of impatience and resentment. This gets old really fast. Happiness contingent upon something or someone else is like expecting to win at the blackjack table. The odds are with the dealer and not you. You might win some but you...