Being raised the way I was with a wonderful mother who never got angry about anything, I learned that any situation can be turned around from negative to positive. For instance, when our house …
Being raised the way I was with a wonderful mother who never got angry about anything, I learned that any situation can be turned around from negative to positive. For instance, when our house burned because the lint in the dryer caught fire, my mother pointed out that we would get a wonderful house renovation for free, (paid for by the insurance company,) and wasn't that great!? When my older son, Francis, was born blind, my mother and I rejoiced in the fact that he wasn't also developmentally delayed as was my brother. Looking at the bright side of things was ingrained in me.
Because of that, my life has been very happy. When adopting children who had been severely abused, I never dwelt on the horrors of their earlier years, but celebrated the fact that they were safe and lovable. They may have been traumatized, but I was still joyful to have them in my life so we could celebrate their victories, no matter how small.
All of my life choices were based on the potential for happiness. Marrying Hubby, of course, was a life changing experience. He has supported me in whatever I have chosen to do, and has truly made me happy. We have our roles, of course, with him choosing to be the shopper and cook. He actually enjoys doing the grocery shopping, scouring the ads to get the best prices, even if it means having to go to three different grocery stores. He likes to watch cooking shows, especially "Drive-in, Diners and Dives" with Guy Fieri, where a vast variety of dishes are prepared. Hubby likes to shop for and prepare these dishes. He is happy to be cooking, and I am happy to be eating what he cooks.
Hubby and I also make time to be together on the weekends, either at the tiny house in New Hampshire or just lounging out at home. When newlyweds, he used to call me "Pooh Bear", so our king sized bed has throw pillows on it, along with a big, stuffed "Pooh Bear". This is a great reminder for me to make the bed every day, (a chore I would normally abhor.) Recently, during a trip to Florida, Hubby became fascinated with the store Buc-ee's, which is known for offering high-quality jerky in a wide variety of flavors, such as Bohemian Garlic and Cherry Maple. Other famous food items are the perfectly cooked smoked brisket sandwiches, more than 20 rich and creamy fudge flavors including Watermelon and Blueberry Cobler, and candied pecans, almonds and cashews. Hubby loved visiting this store, so I purchased a Buc-ees stuffed beaver to sit next to Pooh Bear on the bed. Seeing the beaver and bear, arm in arm, (or, should I say, paw in paw,) is enough to elicit a smile from either of us.
Much of my happiness comes from helping others. At Christmastime, I delight in purchasing toys at great discounts, which are given to a church in South Providence that serves more than 500 indigent children. Shopping at Kohl's last Christmas season, toys that were deeply discounted filled my on-line shopping cart, and the resulting benefit of Kohl's cash stretched my spending dollars. I love to donate food to food banks, and donate the food that I like rather than trying to get rid of food that I do not like, although an errant can of beans or box of oatmeal might get snuck in. Always smiling at others is a habit, which causes my brain to release feel-good hormones, dopamine and serotonin.
The most surprising thing is that as my age increases, so does my happiness. In my 60's now, I no longer have to worry about raising children, who are all young adults with their own families. I greatly enjoy being with any of my six grand-children, who come running towards me for a hug whenever they see me. I do something childish and fun with them, such as going bowling or to a Disney movie, and our bond just grows.
Happiness is a choice that has enriched my life immensely.