PJ over at A ‘lil’HooHaa’s photo blogging theme this month is Happy. This should have been an easy prompt with photo opps for birthdays and family reunion events….but I struggled with this one. I’ve discovered being happy is a conscious decision most of the time. All you have to do is flip on the TV, listen to the radio or spend time in social media to become overwhelmed with all the sadness in the world. Sometimes finding things to be happy about can be a struggle. And when personal situations are less than ideal, it’s a quick descent into the abyss of depression and resentment. It’s easy to play the blame game when we’re not happy with our lives. Truth is, that’s just the way life rolls. But, we can choose what thoughts fill our minds. We can choose how to respond to challenges. We can choose to try to help others find something to be happy about in their lives.
Lately, I haven’t felt very happy. Our schedule, while filled with family fun events, has left me exhausted. Entrepreneur just had another round of CT scans to determine whether the kidney cancer from late last year has spread. Results pending. Helping raise a perpetual motion toddler and first grader is both wonderful and exhausting. Other life stressors have crept in to steal away more peace of mind. Work ebbs and flows, which becomes a roller coaster in itself.
So, what makes me happy? When I stop and make a list, I realize there are a number of things that make me happy if I will simply stop my pity party and pay attention. Here are five.
#1 Happy Children: Twix discovered sidewalk chalk. Up until now, we’ve limited Twix’s interaction with sidewalk chalk because she had a habit of trying to eat it. When we finally gave her a stick and showed her what to do with it…..the grin went from ear to ear. She quickly learned the word, chalk, and
yells forcefully mentions it every time she’s outside. Chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk…….
#2 Happ(ier) kitty: Remember a couple months ago when Midget was on her last legs? And I was giving subcutaneous IV fluid infusions? We’d written her off as not long for this world when the vet said an old country vet told her to never give up on a cat without trying steroids. And you know what? It worked. Her resting breathing rate went from 130 breaths/minute back down to around 40. Normal for a cat is 30 breaths/minute while resting. She’s gained back almost a pound. The only drawback is she has to endure being “pilled” every day…which doesn’t make her a happy kitty. [Update: Greenies Pill Packets are freakin’ amazing!]
#3. Happy Birth Day! Peanut celebrated her 7th birthday this month at a local gymnastics gym. With an Under the Sea with Arial party, opening her first pair of roller skates resulted in this display of happiness.
#4. Independently Happy. Twix wants to do everything herself these days….including eating. She is mastering the fork and spoon and was delighted to try her newfound skill with a little container of yogurt. Pure joy…and one big, happy mess.
#5. Happy memories. Earlier this month, our beloved Golden Retriever, Tanner, unexpectedly died. Unknown cause but we think it may have been an aneurism, heart attack or stroke. He was only eight years old. While this is by far not a happy event, our family will cherish the memories made with him. While I miss him a lot, I have to force myself to remember all the happy times and unconditional love he so generously gave us.
So there’s my Happy five for September. Be sure to visit PJ and see what makes everyone else happy.