How to be Happy

Around last week sometime I was messaging back and forth with a dear friend on Facebook. We talked about all the usual things, men, dating, sleeping (or not sleeping) kids. As I wrote a reply to one her messages I suddenly realized how insanely happy I was.

Now I’ve not been totally unhappy these last few years, but things have been less than rosy, which is to be expected. But I was getting really tired of feeling sad/discouraged/annoyed all the time. It wasn’t until I was writing back to my friend and giving a truly honest answer to the “how are you” question that I realized how much my attitude has changed. And in turn how truly happy I feel.

I’m sure part of this feeling is the whole “passing time” thing but I think there are a lot of other factors contributing to my happiness and many of them are new things for me; new in the last couple months.

The biggest thing I did was to let go of my guilt, especially my mommy guilt. I used to wrestle with feelings of guilt all the time. (And I still do occasionally.) A lot of it had to do with what kind of mother I am but I realized, pretty recently in fact, that I can’t be a supermom, no one can really. I could sit here and feel bad about all the mistakes I’ve mad, all the times I’ve left Jack with a sitter to go out, but that doesn’t do any one any good. If I obsess about mom guilt while I’m out I won’t have any fun and that’s just a night wasted. I can’t change my mistakes, but I can admit to Jack when I’ve made them and apologize. Which I’ve started doing and even though he’s just three and a half I think he appreciates the fact that I’m owning up to the stupid things I do. Letting go of all that guilt was the first step to really being happy.

When I let go of all that guilt there was this amazing freedom to just be who I was. I didn’t feel pressure to be perfect; the perfect mother, grieving widow, geeky nerd, the list goes on and on. The only thing I felt I had to be was me. As a result I feel more like myself than I have in years. I’m feeling more confident and less like I need to impress people.

It’s funny because now that I’m actually feeling happy with my life things that used to be bother me all the time just roll off my back. I don’t even have to chant my mantra “I’m a duck!” over and over, the rolling off just happens.

This feeling of general happiness is great. Of course I still get upset, or bummed out, such is life. As a whole though I feel really satisfied and excited about my life.

How about you guys? What do you do to feel happy? What do you think you could do to feel more satisfaction with your life?

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