How many times have I seen this inspirational quote pop up in social media lately? Well, enough for it to stick in my brain, swish around like mouth wash and form itself into a blog entry.
I whole heatedly believe in this motto. Who wants to do more of what makes you sad, angry or uncomfortable? Almost no one would volunteer for that and it isn't healthy to wallow in self pitty/denial and
Work makes me happy. I'm thrilled to be throwing myself behind leading my little early education center and we have such big things plan for the next 9 months. Lots of funding applications to completely revamp our outdoor play area keeps me motivated as does the wonderful staff I have working for me. I am excited by all the possibilities in front of me.
Gardening makes me happy. To see the massive landscaping changes we've made since an injection of funds last December brings happiness daily - the tiered veggie patch, the terraced lawn, the floating wooden bridge, the new driveway, the imminent new front fence and arbour. I come home from work and go straight to our garden for that calming effect.
My family makes me happy. This is a given. I adore my girls and my Bear as much as the next wife does her family. I love seeing my little Viking asserting herself and learning something new each day. I love hearing my middle girl piecing together her letters and making words, always asking how to spell this or that. I love watching my big girl reading; I mean reading everything she can! We can't even pause at a set of lights without her reading the shop names!
So... to do more of what makes a person happy.....
I was blessed today to spend hours upon hours just sitting with amazing friends, eating, drinking and chatting. Peppered throughout that happiness were moments remembering (and explaining) that our path is a little different to most.
The idea of being a regular, non-marginalised family makes me happy. However, when I drop my big girl off to Girl Guides I am reminded of how patient the other girls are with her. Why does this thought even have to cross my mind? Why do I need to be reminded that we are 'different' when I pick my big girl up from school at the end of the school day because her teacher tells me of how tired she is? Daily I am reminded of how my big girl struggles most of the time to initiate play even with her sisters.
My darling big girl has many interests in life. Singing and dancing is a particular freedom that I've taught her to embrace. It is what makes her happy and we even recycled some wooden pallets to make a stage for her and her sisters in our yard. Even so, I couldn't count the number of times she has tried to sing a song she is learning, or tried a new dance move, only to have her brain and her body fail her - to not do what she wanted them to do. How do I help her overcome the frustration that is inherent in doing what makes her happy? How do you overcome the fact that you can't do more of what makes you happy because of the thing that makes you sad?
It's hard to do more of what makes you happy, when what makes you happy also inadvertently reminds you of the grief and pain that exists in your life. It takes a lot of work to overcome that background noise, to rise above it and be just in that moment of happiness.
I wonder how many other families out there touched by disability would like to do more of what makes them happy but cant due to lack of support or resources. Or more importantly, need to do more of what makes them happy, for their own mental well being and overall health.
I wanted to share this clip again. Like so many other 'happy things to do' it is a bitter sweet mix of happy with the reminder of that background noise. I've already shared in on my Facebook page but watching it again is certainly on the list of doing more of what makes me happy.
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