Happiness is illusive for some, and effortless for others. However, I do believe that obtaining happiness is much simpler than we fathom it to be.
Happiness is doing what you love, every day. I like to craft and write, but for years, I waited for the perfect opportunity for me to put my skills to use. I needed the perfect craft room, the perfect work area; I needed to be perfectly placed to hear the birds chirping and see the sun shining, and if not, then I felt I couldn’t perform. But a true artist would make a space. They would use what’s available because the art is what’s important, not the lighting, or the storage. And the act of performing what you love is everything. Before I started writing, I thought I needed to be in a proper headspace with a proper office, with my degree hung on the wall to make me feel accomplished and competent. But if you’re a writer, you write, and you do it every day. Write sitting on the toilet with the bathroom door locked and your kids banging on the door. Write at night, in the yard, under the stars. Write on the train on your way to work, or late at night when everyone in the house is asleep. The scene may never be perfect, but the action is what fuels us. The action gives our life purpose.
Have you ever heard Newton’s first law of motion? An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless a force acts upon it. An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless a force acts upon it. You are that force! Once you are in motion, creating, crafting, writing, working on your business, singing, dancing, whatever it is that you love to do; the chances are high that you will keep going. Conversely, if you are sitting around waiting for the perfect day, month, year, place, situation to start doing whatever it is you feel you have been ordained to do, then chances are high that you will continue to wait and sit; happiness bound, gagged, and face first in a corner.
Why do we wait for happiness to come to us? Why do we think that happiness has feet and legs, and can walk over and introduce itself to us? It doesn’t work like that. Happiness is like a shy woman. You must be persistent and eager, and take happiness by the hand, and pull it in close to you, and then, with one foot in front of the other, begin a slow and beautiful dance. A dance in which, you take the lead, always. Once in motion, happiness will begin to shake and shimmy and spin you into the type of life you’ve been missing. But you must make the first move.
I have often wondered to myself, why I would ever choose to stay in the house on a bright sunny day, when I could be out enjoying the weather, soaking up the vitamin D God freely blesses us with. I love a farmer’s market, a Saturday yard sale, a small BBQ with close friends and family. But still, there are days when I have to push myself to get out of bed on a weekend morning, force myself to get dressed, ignore the nagging from the kids who, at this moment, are sharing in my let’s be lazy all-day feelings. But we happily had a lazy day last weekend, and this cannot become a habit, because happiness does not live under the covers all day, though it does reside there part-time. We have to meet happiness in the street at a festival, or at the local pool slip-n-slide. Happiness is out and about, exploring and adventuring, and we are always welcome to join her. All we have to do is get up and get out and get moving.
I used to work for others, and I’m sure you can relate. Many of the employees there, including myself, despised the scene. We loathed the managers, detested the short lunch break, the office meetings were insufferable, numerous co-workers were unbearable. We gave them the side eye, we shunned them in private, and we complained. We complained. We complained. But I can tell you with much certainty, that most of us were not actively searching for other employment. We talked about it a lot, a whole lot. We may have put in one application here or there and hoped for the best. But no one was actively seeking a career change that would make them happy, fulfill them, bring them some level of joy or satisfaction. We all had ideas, but somehow, it seems easier at the time to bitch and moan, rather than actually do something about it. So, there we sat, dreading our daily commutes, getting fat from take-out food, and potluck lunches. What were we missing?
Did we think a new career would fall into our laps? Did we think that by complaining incessantly, that someone would overhear and respond accordingly? We needed action. A radical, no bullshit, not playing no games type of action. Submitting one resume a day, or at least a week, with follow-up emails and phone calls. Or perhaps, we could have started that business idea we always wanted to try, on the side, on weekends, after work; until we had enough security and clientele to leave the old job behind.
I finally did it. Sold my first and only, paid off, Mercedes Benz to invest in my business and my future. That was four years ago, and it hasn’t all been easy. But I don’t regret a thing. I knocked on the door, and God let me in, and directed me to sit down at the table. He served my spirit a full course of joy, peace, and for dessert…happiness.
Go be active.