Tag Archives: enjoy life
I’ve put together twelve tips for putting the “HAPPY” back into Your “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” after the loss of a loved one. Check out my SEVENTH tip: Party! Surround yourself with friends and family so you can talk about your lost loved one in comfort. Celebrate their life while enjoying your holiday season.
This is maybe one of the hardest facts of life to contend with, but it’s true – all of the people we care about will die one day. And even though this will never cease to be a tragic reality, and losing someone we care about will always, always cause emotional pain, we can use this honest, realistic knowledge to everyone’s advantage.
With this realization that our time on this earth is temporary, we can start to really feel appreciative of the time we get to spend with our loved ones. I’m not suggesting that you consume yourself with worrying that each time you see a friend, it might never happen again… but you should keep that thought somewhere in the back of your mind.
When we see our time with loved ones as a gift – one that we don’t know if and when we’ll ever get again – it makes the time that much more valuable.
This knowledge should prevent you from ever leaving important things unspoken; it should prevent you from walking away from a loved one in anger. Each moment we share with the people close to us is a gift, and wasting that time angry or letting problems go unresolved is an absolute squandering of that gift.
You never know what might happen – our loved ones can be taken from us at any time, for any reason. Make the most of every moment you have together. You never know when it will be your last.
Most of us want to live happier lives, but unfortunately, a lot of the things that we think cause unhappiness in our lives have more to do with how we interpret them.
Our own individual hang-ups and negative reactions have a lot more to do with the level of happiness we experience than events and experiences themselves. It isn’t necessarily what happens, it’s how we let ourselves react.
With this in mind, there are plenty of old habits that negatively influence our happiness every day, and making a concerted effort to let them go will free you from the bonds of disappointment and frustration.
Here are just a few of things that you should let go for a happier life:
If you tell yourself you can’t do something, you can’t. That’s all there is to it. If you start thinking that you aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough, aren’t strong enough – you will always see yourself as less than you really are. When you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you’re disappointed in yourself before you even try.
Much like self-defeat, complaining reinforces itself in your mind. When you start complaining about things you don’t like, you solidify them in the front of your mind, and will continue to focus on all of the negatives, no matter how many positives there are. Instead of complaining about the things you don’t like or aren’t enjoying in a given moment, focus on finding positives about anything and everything. Look for the silver lining on even the darkest clouds.
Trying to Impress People
There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement and setting lofty goals for yourself, but if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, you won’t find any happiness when you reach those goals. Putting time and effort into impressing other people, instead of going after the things you want for yourself, is a fast track to disappointment.
You can’t rely on other people to validate your interests or accomplishments. If you aren’t doing it for yourself, you’ll never be satisfied with your progress.
Excuses and Blame
This is another one related to self-defeat. When you start listing all the reasons you couldn’t or didn’t do something, you’ll really start to believe them. When you didn’t or couldn’t get something finished – own it. There’s nothing wrong with admitting a mistake or being honest about finding something difficult. There is no shame.
You don’t need to conjure reasons why you didn’t or couldn’t do something – simply accept the reality, and focus your efforts on how you can improve.
This goes for blame as well. There is no need to point fingers to take the heat off of yourself – and it won’t make you feel any better. It will just drag others down with you.
If you micromanage, you’ll drive yourself into unhappiness with stress, and overwhelm yourself with imagined responsibility. Some things will always be beyond your control, and lamenting them won’t get you anywhere. If you can set aside your need to control other people’s actions, and recognize when something is simply outside of your reach, you can relax and let things unfold as they will.
The past is gone. It’s behind you. It can’t be changed. Looking to the past with regret, or with too much nostalgia for the “good ol’ days” creates an unfair comparison in your mind. If you are stuck on the good parts of the past, you won’t be able to see the good parts of the present. If you are consumed with the problems or negative events from your past, you won’t be able to move toward a happier future.
Other People’s Expectations
The only person’s expectations you should live up to are your own. If you define your own self-worth by the opinions and expectations of others, you will always feel as though you haven’t done enough. Or, you will encounter so many conflicting expectations that you cannot possibly satisfy them all. It’s ok to fulfill your obligations, but do it because of the standards you hold for yourself.
If you want to live a happier life, let go! Focus on building your inner strength and happiness, and stop comparing yourself to other people (and other people’s ideas of who you should be and what you should do).
Create your own happiness by learning how to let go of all of the negative internal habits that build walls, make you feel small, disconnect you from others, and make you see negatives instead of positives. Happiness is out there – you just have to claim it!
I live a happy life. I truly enjoy life and I am grateful everyday for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. My life hasn’t always been so happy. One of the most difficult times was when my husband, Ian, was in his final months of life. Every time we would venture out into the world to participate in life, the looks and stares we would get from other people were devastating. There were looks of horror, glances of pity and the worst were the blatant whispers and pointing of fingers. Remembering these moments makes me weak in the knees and leaves a pit of fury in my stomach.
Even more difficult than enduring those moments of discomfort were the times I would be walking down the street, by myself, and watching the interactions of others. The mother pushing the baby carriage then stopping to bend down to straighten the blanket and then tenderly kissing the baby. The group of teenagers oblivious to everyone else, laughing, teasing and thinking nothing bad will ever happen to them. The most difficult was watching a pair of lovers, holding hands, window shopping, giggling and stopping for an embrace before crossing the street. I felt as though I was trapped behind a glass wall, cut off from the happiness of life. I knew that none of this was possible for me, at this time, and it broke my heart.
My heart broke again the other day. Robbie, my fourteen year old, and I were eating pizza at an outside cafe. We were laughing, Robbie was texting his friends, I was checking my email on my iphone and life was good. Robbie went in to pay the bill. As I took a deep breath and felt the joy of my life, a man and boy walked past my table. I only saw them from behind. The man, the father, was walking next the the boy, the son, with his arm around him. I caught a glimpse of a black eye patch around the boy’s head. The boy’s hair was thin and frazzled, just like Ian’s hair was, after all the chemo therapy treatments. The boy walked with a limp and was extremely frail. I would guess that this boy was in the throws of a cancer battle. Tears welled up within my eyes and a lump caught in my throat. Here I was now casting a glance at such a sad story and there was nothing I could do to change it.
The way to enjoy life when life isn’t so happy is to always look for the goodness in every moment. There was nothing I could do to change the situation I observed the other day. What I can do is be grateful for every thing in my life, even the bad things, because I now know that when bad things happen the good things are so much better then they could have ever been before.
I don’t know how I would be able to enjoy life without my Angels. This is just one small example of how to talk to your angels when you are in a tight spot…
I have just returned home to Connecticut from visiting my family in Minnesota. The kids and I travel there, on our own, every summer, as my husband, David has to work. My brother, Eric, and his daughter, Kara, met us at my mom’s house – they drove in from Denver, Colorado. We then packed up the cars and caravaned the two hours to Lake Norway to stay at my mom and step-day’s picturesque log cabin on the lake.
We so enjoyed our four days there, however; the kids and I almost didn’t make it! We boarded our Delta flight at 10am at the Westchester County Airport. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 10:30. At 10:29 the pilot came on the loud speaker, “Folks, our flight attendant has misplaced her bag, which contained her flight manual, we are therefore unable to fly this aircraft. We are having a new manual flown in from Detroit, which should take about 3 hours. Therefore, we are asking you all to deplane this aircraft and check in with the Delta desk about re-booking your flights, if necessary.” They can’t fly the plane because the flight attendant lost her manual! What?
Within seconds, while still sitting on the plane, I called the 800 number for Delta reservations and was told that the best they could do for us would be to have us take a cab from Westchester to LaGuardia Airport, then fly to Atlanta to catch a connecting flight to Minneapolis which would land at midnight. “No, thanks!”
This is where my angels came in to play:
We got off the plane, and stood at the end of the line for the Delta counter.
I then asked my angels for help: “Please Angels, allow for the kids and me to be put on safe flights, that will allow us to arrive in Minneapolis as soon as possible.”
I then phoned the Delta reservation line again… “Yes, we can book you on a United flight leaving in an hour to Chicago, and from there you will be on a Delta flight to Minneapolis arriving at 4:00pm.” Perfect! “Thanks, Angels!!!”
Everything seemed in order until we arrived at the United ticket counter. “Ma’am, we have no seats available on this flight – who put you on this flight?” I explained that the Delta representative did. “Well, you can go and sit at the gate, but we are overbooked and there is no way that there will be seats on this plane for you!”
So we dragged out bags (thank goodness we had only brought carry on bags!) down to the gate and waited. People streamed onto the flight. I was getting nervous, but I calmed my fears by continuing to talk to my angels and they were very re-assuring. “Mrs. Jones, it’s your lucky day – three people booked on this flight did not show up – you and your kids can board the plane, and I’m sorry I was so rude to you earlier, usually everyone booked shows up, so I really thought you had no chance of getting on this plane. Have a safe flight.”
Wow, we got on the flight and we got an apology – my angels were working overtime!
We arrived in Chicago without a problem, in large part due to an earth angel who shared with me half of her turkey sandwich. When we boarded the plane we were told that a passenger on board was severely allergic to peanuts and that we would have to divert the plane for an emergency landing if peanuts were opened on the flight. I had picked up a package of mixed nuts (no peanuts) to have while we were flying. If I don’t have protein regularly I tend to pass out. I mentioned this the the flight attendant, who looked as though he were going to pass out because of this catch-22 scenario. He told me not to open the nuts and to press my call button if I was feeling faint. Great plan… About 20 minutes into the flight this lovely woman sitting in front of me asked if I would like half of her sandwich. What a generous offer – I almost burst into tears. I graciously accepted, felt a lot better and thanked her profusely.
We walked to our departure gate, where we discovered our next obstacle. I was told that United wouldn’t release our tickets back to Delta! Until they were able to regain control of our tickets we could not board the plane. Oh my goodness – this was really turning into a nightmare. After a second agent arrived and worked on the problem for over 30 minutes, without resolution, I started talking to my angels again. “Angels, please allow for an easy transition of our tickets from United to Delta, with both parties getting exactly what they need, so we can board this flight and arrive safely in Minneapolis.” I felt tingles all over my body. When I looked over at the desk, where the gate agent was sitting, I saw her say, “Okay, great. Thank you so much for helping me resolve this situation. We are all set at this end, okay, you’re good, right? Great, take care. Goodbye.”
She looked at me, and gave me the thumbs up. I looked at her, smiled, and in my head thanked my Angels once again for saving the day.