Happiness is a funny thing. I have been thinking about it a lot. There have been so many times in my life when I have attached my happiness to "things". Bigger houses, nicer furniture, newer cars, nice clothes. The funny thing about attaching your happiness to those items is the fact that the happiness they bring is so fleeting. It is new and exciting at first, then that feeling leaves, and it is time to move onto the next "thing" to fulfill the feeling of being happy.
I remember when we were on the hunt for our home up north, and all I could think about was the home we currently lived in. The home we were living in was a home that in my opinion was pretty homely. Don't get me wrong, we had gutted the entire home and remodeled it. The inside was nice. It wasn't as big as I thought we needed, but I liked it.
Every time I drove up to the house, I wondered what we could do to make it look more attractive. We covered the ugly wood with nice vinyl, we tore off the old roof and put on a new one, we gutted the entire front yard and added a circular driveway, we painted the front door, we painted the stucco, we tiled the front steps. You name it, we did it. I just could never feel satisfied with how the house appeared on the outside. So, when we were looking for our new house, I had determined in my mind that I would be SO much happier to have a large home with curb appeal. That is what I thought would make us happy.
So, that is what we found. A 4600 square foot 7 bedroom, 4 bathroom home, with enough curb appeal to satisfy that need I felt for a pretty home. The home had been completely remodeled and was "perfect", or so I thought. We moved in and I loved the house. Well, I loved it at first. Because at first it was filling me with what I thought was the ability to make me happy.
We ended up disliking the area the home was in. So, I thought, well, "if we could just move this house someplace else, well, then I can be happy". After a few months of living in the home and trying to keep it clean, well, then I thought, "If only this house didn't have a basement, then it would be easier to clean, then I would be happy." The list could go on and on and on of what I thought needed to change about the house and where we lived in order to be happy.
Things didn't go well with my husband's new job. The entire reason we were buying the new house in the first place was because of his job transfer. He was miserable at work. We were miserable at home. Nothing seemed right. And it wasn't. Why??? Because we were trying to make ourselves believe that our happiness was tied to our "things". New jobs, new homes, new cars. But, those things weren't making us happy. If your "things" aren't bringing you happiness, how do you find a way to be happy?
I have finally come to a point where I understand that happiness is a choice. A real, honest-to-goodness, choice. Maybe it is getting older and more mature that brought me to this realization, or maybe it is from everything that I have been through the past 3 years that has brought me to this place. I truly believe that I can be happy living in any house, driving any car, wearing any clothes: IF I CHOOSE TO BE! That is the key. No matter what life throws my way, I can still be happy. I don't need material possessions to fill me with happiness, because that is not what true happiness is. I can have a crappy day, and I can still choose to be happy. I can loose most of my material possessions, and I can still choose to be happy. Isn't that great? It certainly makes life so much easier when you start each and everyday choosing how you are going to face it :)
"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." ~Margaret Young
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." ~Abraham Lincoln
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." ~Frederick Keonig