I don't know if anyone else is like me, thinking "when I get here" or "when I accomplish this goal" or "when this happens," THEN I will be so happy, I'll hardly be able to stand it. But then those things don't happen when we think or hope. What then? Rather than achieving the happiness we assumed we'd have, we suddenly feel deflated, lost, hopeless maybe--decidedly unhappy.
I don't want to waste my life waiting for the next "big dream" to come true to be happy. I am good at staying positive and focusing on right now, being happy with where I am... most of the time. But I slip up. Things don't go the way I'd hoped, or planned. Doubts creep in. My "failures" loom and sometimes overshadow the blessings of my days.
"There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying things which are beyond the power of our will." - Epictetus
I know I need to stop worrying about the things that are outside the power of my will, or my ability to do anything about. Some days I'm good about it, some days not so much. My children are young right now, and I don't want to miss these years of their lives, dreaming of what the future holds. I want to hold on to them, to cherish them. I want to cherish where my life is right now. Have I met all the dreams and goals I thought and hoped I would by February of 2011? No. But were they all in my control? No. Have I done the best I can do, made all the effort I can to reach those goals? Yes, I have. The ones in my power, I have reached. So I need to learn to be happy with that knowledge. And someday, maybe those dreams that aren't in my power, that I hope to have come true, will become reality. I certainly hope so. But for now, I need to remember to find joy in the dreams that have come true -- a wonderful husband, two amazing sons, a beautiful daughter on the way, shelter, food, cars that run.
What do you do to stay happy when things don't go the way you hope or planned?