Just because you’ve had an “off” day or an “off” week (month, year, decade), doesn’t mean you have an “off” life.
You can always get back “on.”
Um….I fell off the wagon.
I hope you all appreciate my honesty by the way. Cause I’m being so ridiculously honest and vulnerable with my feelings, it’s starting to freak me out. But I feel like I’m able to help others because they can in some way or another relate to something I’ve said. We are all humans after all. Which means we have weaknesses. And I KNOW everyone has something hard in their life. Even if it’s just a painful hangnail. But I’m guessing it’s more than that.
So, my Happiness Week #4 was UNBELIEVABLE. It was beyond awesome and that is the honest truth. It was full of so many wonderful miracles and experiences. Unfortunately, we don’t get to ride that wave ALL the time.
Happiness Week #5 wacked me in the nose. Picture me getting hit in the face and doing a back flip off the wagon and then landing face down in the dirt. In the desert. Next to a cactus. In the middle of nowhere. Yep, dust was flying everywhere. Sand got in my teeth, it wasn’t pretty. I was tempted to just rest there for a bit and watch that old rickety wagon called life bump along its rugged path and leave me behind.
Last week, my 2-year-old, 10-year old and my husband got sick, they puked and puked and puked. That’s how I got wacked in the face. Sickness always has a way of doing that to me. The kids started Fall Break, things got busy and I stopped doing my happiness chart.
Did you catch that?
That simple, little detail?
I didn’t get around to printing off my Happiness Chart on Sunday night. I thought I could just mentally jot things down and I would be good. I thought I could just go with the flow of the day. And sure, the first few days were OK, but after about 3 days, I snapped. I lost my focus. I felt like a lost puppy. I didn’t have my chart that keeps me on track. Silly what a little piece of paper can do, isn’t it? I woke up every day and my purpose was different. I wasn’t focused on who needed love from me that day, I didn’t start off with the things I was grateful for or even a healthy meal and my normal routine of scripture and prayer. I didn’t make the time to go for a run or step outside my house and help someone in need. Instead, my purpose was getting the house cleaned, chop-chop-chop, had to get the science project done, more chop, chop, chop, etc… I slipped back into my old ways. And so did my kids. You see, they follow our lead. They met my demands with resistance, anger, sadness and apathy. So, I marched around the house frustrated, barking orders all day, and guess what we accomplished?
Were we happy? No.
Science project didn’t get done, house didn’t get cleaned. We were all WAY OFF course. We all kind of wandered around aimlessly. We were “off.” But that’s okay, because everyone falls at some point or another. Whether it’s for a day, a moment, a week, whatever. We all get wacked in the face and have to muster the strength to get back on the wagon. Whatever wagon it is we are riding. We get sick, we are tired, things get busy, cars break down, we break down, we get stressed, we lose our jobs, we lose our focus and so on. It happens. What we do next, is what’s important. When we are face down in the dirt and we see our wagon is still moving, we have to make a choice. You see, the wagon, is like life and time. It moves on with or without us. It takes our belongings and our hard work and just keeps rolling. We can hang out in the middle of nowhere sucking dust through our teeth, waving goodbye to our dreams and our efforts or we can…
3.)Hop back on.
So, what did I do Sunday night, the eve of Happiness Week #6? I jumped up and printed off my Happiness chart. That’s right folks, I’m getting back on. No more sucking dust for me. My focus will be back on course. Instead of focusing on the things that can get overwhelming, I will focus on gratitude. I’m really thankful I have clothes to fold and dishes to do and food to eat and a wonderful family to raise. I will thank God for a new day and for helping me hop back on that wagon. I will especially be thankful for good health and sleep. I will be grateful for my kids’ smiles, because I will get to enjoy them tomorrow. We will create a beautiful day because our attitudes will be beautiful and we will be thinking about those around us who need us. And because our brains are soaring with gratitude, we will accomplish great things. Yes, things will be different this week.
If you have fallen off your “wagon,” I hope you will jump up and run. I hope you will do whatever you need to so you can get back on. Give thanks for what you do have and go from there. You are a fighter, just like me. And we can all do hard things.
“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” -Alma 37:6 (The Book of Mormon)