Happy Saturday, everyone. Saturdays are the perfect day to take some time out of your busy schedule and enjoy the little things, right?
You know when I was recently talking about the power of our attitudes? Well, I am working hard in 2014 to truly enjoy the small things in life just by changing my attitude about them. Because to be honest, there are many things that I actually like to do, but the story I’ve been telling myself about them makes me form a negative opinion about these things. Do you do this too?
Here’s what I mean. I love to cook. And I actually enjoy going to the grocery store, particularly when I have plenty of time to scout out new things and especially at a gourmet grocery store like Whole Foods or Fresh Market. And these adorable grocery magnets would make me want to shop even more. So cute, right?
I also like doing laundry. And I love to organize. I find joy in arranging flowers and in entertaining. And I love walking in my neighborhood for exercise and breathing fresh air and disconnecting from my electronics for an hour. Or reading a book, just for pleasure. But over time, I have formed negative opinions of all these things because I was “too busy” to enjoy them. And I now realize how sad this is. In recent months I have heard myself complaining instead of laughing and smiling and getting excited about some of the things I truly love.
We are so busy in life these days that we forget to be happy. Or more importantly, we don’t even know what makes us happy anymore. And the things we used to enjoy, we have decided we will no longer do. And why? So we can spend more time on Facebook, or complaining and commiserating or one-upping our friends on the scale of how miserable, exhausted, or busy we are. Or maybe we are sleeping because we are so tired from being on Facebook or from complaining or one-upping. LOL!
Now I’m not trying to be a Negative Nelly here and I’m not even bashing Facebook or sleeping (complaining, yes…I’m bashing that one). But I think it is so important that we are very careful about what we tell ourselves about our lives. We can turn everything we need to do or even once upon a time wanted to do, into a chore. We can find a reason to complain about anything and everything and before we know it, our daily existence is a very unpleasant one.
I think our parents and grandparents and generations before them were happier even though they had many fewer conveniences than we do. Maybe it was the sense of accomplishment they felt when completing their daily routine and obligations that made them more fulfilled than we. I certainly get joy from crossing things off my list especially when I did them well. Do you?
As Americans today, we are spoiled. Of all the countries in the world, we have more than most in the way of affluence and material things and we were recently judged the #17 happiest country. Wouldn’t you think we should be higher? Like #1 happiest country in the world? Maybe once and for all we can realize that things don’t buy our happiness and that we must make ourselves happy. And I think that one of the best ways for me to do that in 2014 is to find happiness in everyday life. To enjoy the ordinary. Don’t you?
So I’m not saying you have to suddenly enjoy housework, fall in love with your uninspiring job, or be giddy about exercise if you truly hate it. But I suspect, there are parts of housework, or tasks at your job, or types of exercise that you DO love. And I challenge you to take responsibility in your life to design your daily existence, or divvy up the chores with your family, or get involved in a type of exercise or activity that feels great, or tailor your job to your strengths, or start looking for a new one (job that is) that would allow you to be truly happy every day – not every moment, but every day.
Sound like a good plan to you? It certainly does to me. Leave me a comment and let me know how you will redesign some things in your life and make a conscious effort to stop complaining and start enjoying all the many blessing that you have, including housework, cooking and exercise. Because making yourself happy is the ultimate form of self-care.
I’m taking the challenge too. Let’s do this!
Like all these great images? Find them on my Pinterest Board called Self-Care Saturday.