This past Friday it was cold. And dreary. And rainy.
My son wanted to go cheer on our Varsity football team because we were starting the playoffs. Our team had won every game we attended (and only lost the 2 we didn’t attend) so he wanted to keep the good juju flowing.
I did not want to go. Because it was cold. And dreary. And rainy.
I was grumpy. I said, things like, “You need to go with your friends to the game. I just drop you off and pick you up later.” He replied, “None of my friends like football.” And of course I said, “Then you need to find friends that do!”
Okay, I wasn’t grumpy. I was crabby. (Or as my son would say, I was salty.)
After dinner I started pulling on layers of clothes. My husband said to me (he was unable to go due to some work he had), “You know, you’re going to make him feel bad for wanting to go.”
That was the truth. And I didn’t want that. Just because I was struggling didn’t mean that my attitude should sour things.
So I took a deep breath, layered up, packed blankets and umbrellas, and off we went.
We reached the field, grabbed some snacks, found our soggy seats and hunkered down.
And I had fun.
We cheered. We stomped our feet and laughed. We ate candy bars and froze our fingers.
Our team won (37-7) and we celebrated as we booked our way back to the car, shivering.
We texted ahead and my husband put on some coffee for me and a cup of tea for our son. When we got home, cold, soaked, and tired, we were greeted by my husband, and a warm house, and soft lights, and comfort.
It was wonderful.
If I had let my bad attitude win, if I had let the rain win, if I had let the cold win, I would have stayed home that night. And I wouldn’t have cheered on my team. I wouldn’t have had that quality time with my son. I wouldn’t have appreciated the warm house, and hot coffee, and my husband waiting there as much,
We struggle in our studies to celebrate a degree. We fight ourselves at the gym to celebrate weight loss. Sometimes you have to jump into the hard things - or what we perceive are hard things - to really appreciate and enjoy our successes and the great things we have going for us.
For me, that question is very easy to answer. I'm never happier than when I'm surrounded by the ones that I love. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to me and I wouldn't trade it for anything. When I'm with my family, nothing else matters. I am at peace.
I also find happiness in my work. I know that sometimes I complain, but I have to admit that I have a pretty amazing work life. I get to work from home with a phenomenal group of counselors at Eddins Counseling Group, and I am co-owner of this kick booty company called Coffee Talk Consulting. I never dreamed that I would be co-owner of anything so this is pretty great for me.
I just want you to understand how very important it is to be happy in all aspects of your life. Enjoy your family and friends. You'll argue, sure, but you'll get over it. Love what you do for a career. Money is important, but it's much more important to be happy with what you do. And always remember while you're pursuing happiness, to take time to just be happy.
I spent a lot of years looking for something to make me happy without ever stopping to actually be happy. I've learned to slow down and just enjoy the happiness that has found me. It took me awhile to get here, but I'm here now and I hope you'll join me.
Leave us a comment and let us know where you've found your happiness.
I (Andrea) am hitting the road this week!
This Friday, all over the country hundreds of 4th through 8th graders who have fought their way through their school chums and an online test have won the chance to compete in their State Geography Bee.
This is no small feat. This isn’t a “What’s the Capital of California?” type of contest. These questions are HARD. These kids know more than you, me, Congress, and half the country put together.
And, it’s a mom brag moment, my son is competing for the state title and a chance to make it to the National Geo Bee in Washington DC.
It’s all cool, and exciting, and I get to brag about my son. But I really wanted to talk about this because of how hard all of these kids have worked to make it to Friday’s competition. (And those that go on to the National level!) They want to win. And they are willing to work hard at it. They study maps. They take quiz after quiz after quiz. They use flash cards, charts, atlases. They live and breathe geography.
We need to be more like these kids. Don’t we want to “win,” too? Whatever our prize happens to be - being debt free, owning a business, working from home, buying your first home - we have all of these prizes that we want, but are we really doing much to achieve them? Sure, we’re thinking about them, but thinking does nothing. We need to take action. (Or, “Get Action” a la Teddy Roosevelt.)
We need to study, and we need to put in the effort to Bee awesome and win the competitions we’ve set in front of ourselves. We can do it!
So, get out there, get moving, get working every single moment on your prize. That’s the only way you’re going to win. It just won’t happen because you want it to.
Each morning I (Andrea) spend some quiet time with my thoughts. Call it what you will - meditation, prayer, visualization - I give myself 20-30 minutes in the morning where I relax, breathe, and commit to a positive, helpful, forward-moving day. It’s needed and most of the time it puts me on the right path for the day.
And sometimes, not.
Sometimes, no matter how hard I focus, and no matter how hard I try to find the good and right and upbeat in things, negativity creeps in.
I’m just wasting my time….
Why aren’t you doing this...
And as soon as one negative thought moves in, others start flowing in pretty easily. I think about conversations I’ve had, and think negatively about people I know, and my mind gets clouded with spiteful, mean, garbage. And when that happens, the whole day seems to be gone. I’ve lost. I’ve failed. What’s the point?
But it’s going to be okay.
Sometimes I think we need these dark moments. We need to go cry in the shower. We need to sneak off and gobble down that secret stash of chocolate you’ve got hidden so that no one else in the house takes it. We need to feel sorry for ourselves and our situation. We need to be angry at others.
We just can’t stay in that mindset. I think you need to go there and visit it so you can say to yourself “I know all this is going on, but I don’t want it.” It’s like knowing you’re a pack rat, and watching the show Hoarders so that you can come face to face with your potential future and say - HELL NO. I’m not going to be that person. And then you hop off the couch and throw out a bunch of stuff and get focused again.
So, face some of your negative thoughts, but understand that you can’t live with them. They are a catalyst to get you moving forward again, and away from them.
It’s going to be okay.
It’s Valentine’s Day. And maybe you think you have to have some kind of significant other to share in the love. And maybe you think you don’t have a significant other. But you do. You have TONS of significant others in your life.
Your family. Your friends. Your children. Your co-workers. (Well, maybe not all of your co-workers. LOL) Your child’s teacher. The people in your church. There are so many people out there wanting love and waiting to give love back.
So, go out there and share the love today. We love you!
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.