Saturday’s Share: Choosing Happy Now

 

Aglow with happiness – right now.

 

Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!

Today’s Share explores the art of creating happiness in our lives, rather than waiting for it. It’s inspired by this lovely blog post offered by retired psychotherapist Kassandra Lamb.

There’s a space in our little house – a cubby, more than a room. It’s a tucked-away nook, yet it’s still close to the main living areas, and I want it as my writing space.

For years, this space has been a catchall. Feral felines, art and science supplies , holiday decorations, and assorted other bits and pieces of a busily learning family with diverse interests living in a small house without attic or basement have all made their homes there.Until recently, the clutter seemed insurmountable, and I felt defeated every time I passed what was intended to be “my” space.

It’s different now. It is my space, and I occupy it happily, even though the list of what I want to do is still daunting, and will take time and effort to achieve.

What changed? I did.

  • I looked at it differently: It’s easy to see our lacks, sometimes – especially in a culture that reveres an airbrushed, idealized, magazine centerfold version of perfection. When we can see the possibilities as well as the problem, we give ourselves a path to create our own visions. For me, something changed when I realized that it wasn’t all the fancy accessories that attracted me to home organizing magazines, but the tidiness, order, and invitation the spaces radiated. I don’t need a large bankroll to create that! =)

  • I allowed myself to fantasize. It’s fun to envision something being exactly the way we want it to be. Giving myself time to imagine all I would love to do with my little space – enlarging! Chaise lounge! Bow window! Attached bathroom! – lends shape and substance to my approach, and makes me happier, besides! =)

  • I didn’t let fantasy dim my reality. When we get stuck in our fantasies, the reality we live in can seem grimy and bleak. When we identify the desire that fuels the fantasy, we also open ourselves to ways we can satisfy that longing. A window isn’t a possibility right now – but what I want is a sense of openness and brightness in the small, windowless space, and that’s something I can create. =)

  • I identified small steps I can take now. Okay, so our budget and subzero temperatures make a window out of the question, today. But brightness and openness are what I’m really looking for. I brought in reclaimed items, like the wooden ammunition box Jim and I bought in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the early days of our relationship. I bought a turquoise lampshade for the pretty little graffiti lamp I won at last year’s NEUC, which reminds me of people I love and don’t see as often as I’d like to. I added a wicker basket and a cute painted pottery cup. Those bright rolls of wrapping paper will make a cheery vista out of a currently large and drably yellow bulletin board. When we find little things we can do with what we have, we invite ourselves to be happy in delightful new ways – without waiting! =)

  • I committed to the process. I can’t change the entire space in a day – it is going to take a lot longer. But I can devote a few minutes every day to creating a space that delights and nourishes me. Those minutes add up, and, with each tiny change, we can give ourselves a little sizzle of joy in the growing changes we’ve wrought. =)

  • I gave myself permission to be happy, right now. If I set my heart upon my fantasy, and decide that that’s what I need to be happy, or to use the space, I’ll spend a long time disappointed – which I did, already. It was a waste of time, and not much fun. Now, I use my space daily, and actively look for ways to be happy with it as it is in each moment of the transformation. If we let ourselves enjoy the journey, the destination becomes a pleasant conclusion to a happy excursion, rather than the permission slip to finally be happy. =)

Making these changes has given me a happier life; one where I can see color and radiance in the small, everyday things, and one where simple choices and changes pay off in happy dividends.

Do you have a list of things to do before you can be happy? Some destination to reach in order to find happiness? Why not be happy, right now, right where you are?

Happy makes more happy. I’d love to hear your stories or ideas, and see your happy photos. Why not tell me about what makes YOU smile, what little changes are paying off in big happy grins?

After all, Saturdays are for sharing! 

4 comments

  1. “When we can see the possibilities as well as the problem, we give ourselves a path to create our own visions.” I love this! It is so wonderful to have our own space. I am so glad that you took those steps to create a place that you can write and imagine. A little slice of personal heaven! 🙂

    • Karen,

      Before I decided to claim this little-used and chaotic corner of the house, I spent years complaining and lamenting about not having any little place to call my own (since I even share my bedroom with this guy I know!).

      That was wasted energy.

      When I finally announced my intention, expecting to get arguments, every member of the family supported me, and they respect my study, too.

      It’s still sometimes noisy, in here, and I have a long way to go to make thins match up to the fantasy, but , in the meantime, I can look at the little pockets that are just right, and they really do feel like a “little slice of personal heaven”!

  2. Oh wow, I am so touched. What a lovely post, and and I’m so glad you are enjoying your space right now. Sometimes not being able to have it all perfect all at once can add to the fun. You can get a little thrill with each step along the way. Happy Saturday!!

    • Kassandra,

      I loved your post. I have been trying to help people see that happiness is a choice (well, a LOT of choices), for a dew years now, since I learned it myself. You said it eloquently.

      I haven’t been in my study much the last few days – I’ve been sick with a nasty cold, and my aching body insisted it would only settle for my bed. Even so, writing about my space, and happiness, injected some into a day that might have been a lot more miserable, otherwise.

      I tend to move through my house in tiny timed sprints -I like diversity, and spending too long in any one place at any one time can lead to unlovely chaos in other areas, as our two unschoolers go about the often expanzive matter of learning! So, for me, it’s always a little like an archaeological dig – slow, and filled with discovery and revelation. I like the way my vision emerges slowly, bit by bit and mote by mote, and how I get so many oohs and ahhhs along the way!

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