Little things happen – disappointments. They make us unhappy. I had one of those yesterday. It was light day …
Seriously, we all hit bumps in the road, our egos get bruised, our expectations aren’t met and we clumsily put on a brave face when in fact we are profoundly disappointed. Sometimes we are disappointed by others, by events and sometimes we point two fingers at ourselves – one for the deed/cause of it, and the second for being disappointed or down about it. I’m sure most people relate to this because most of us have done it at least once. Many are repeat offenders.
Snap out of it!
I have some thoughts to share and a story to tell …
You’ve read/heard the hype.
I get solicitations often – courses, seminars . e-offerings. So many descriptions to make me more successful, happier, more effective in life – in work, at play, at home and away. Sometimes I’m (perhaps we all are) so busy getting improved, taught and instructed that I wouldn’t have much time left to determine if I was happy, or not. I’d just have to pay, show up and it would work out that way.
A bit like diet program sellers – if they were all right, we’d all get skinny and never need those seminars, supplements, home-gyms, books and tapes again.
So, what is wrong with all of us that we can’t get by our problems, why we need to keep buying a solution of some sort?
What is wrong?
What is right?
I’ve listened to them all …
OK, not all, but I’ve listened to some good ones.
Highly regarded ones – Brené Brown, Martin Seligman . Many others too. Everyone seems to be getting better and better at describing how we can get better and better at feeling better and better. Does happy cause happy, or is it just remembrance of happy?
We can watch it on television – see athletes winning medals, and we can be happy about that, happy for them and proud of their performance for country, be proud of country.
We can envy those who look happy, say they are happy – and respect those who say they are doing their best to be happy. Even when we know they are not, we have to give full marks for effort, perseverance and their will to try. Part marks for those who say they are happy when they are obviously not.
Do you remember early childhood, springing out of bed (or your crib if you can remember that far back) with boundless energy?
Every child does that.
We all did that.
When do we do it now?
Just on vacation, once a week – or hardly at all?
I sprang out of bed this morning. That felt really good. Does that mean I’m good, better, getting better at understanding how to leap out of the bed in the morning?
It seems to be connected to leaping up, out and at things all day long. OK, a good sleep helps too … but I’m talking child-like energy. I’m feeling really good.
Yesterday I submitted my first article to the Canadian Cancer Society – about the life of someone who recently died. He lost his wife of 40 years. He never got over it. He filled the void with dedicated tireless volunteering to help people in need. It never brought his wife back, but it made his life [farm boy, army during war, army career after the war, labouring jobs, raising kids, driving cancer patients to appointments, bowling on Fridays] full. Helping people. Each day, he couldn’t wait to do more.
I struggled to do that piece, not as I expected because of recent cancer death of a friend, but because of its challenge to capture gigantic efforts of a large hearted man, and to put it all in a very small package – a 400 word maximum, when 2,000 words might not have been enough.
From interviewing his brother and my experience researching and writing that piece, I learned something, was impacted and amazed by his story – appreciation of how a kind and humbled man spread comfort and joy to so many.
I don’t know if the editor will like my piece.
I hope so, because I would like to do more – but it doesn’t matter really, because I got so much out of doing it.
I know I can continue to happily leap out of bed every morning, inspired by knowledge of an incredibly kind and dedicated man who impacted so many lives – not to make his life easier, but to make their burden lighter. His example is stirring, reminder that we all can do so much for others without having to try very hard – and we all win when that happens.
That makes me happy.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 0C/32F, clear sky, strong westerly wind – traction improved due to melting. We had a long long 2-bagger walk. Gusta needed skate in some spots …