Be Happy

First of all, today is my birthday. 🙂 This year has been fantastic, mostly because – no, entirely because – the Wee One was in it.  This time last year I was gargantuan and having trouble breathing on my waddle to the bathroom.  Today, as I was crawling on the floor putting a new duvet cover on, my little girl was literally screaming with laughter. Screaming.  She made me jump a few times, actually, it was such a surprise.

As I wrote in last week’s Weekend Coffee Share, I’ve been thinking about happiness and what makes people happy. I find that I am not happy a lot. And why not? Frustrations with Cohiba or with motherhood or whatever. Then, having grown up in a household with abuse and addiction, ducking around the latest drama and I spent a lot of time dreaming of being happy after ______. Anything. Something better. And I didn’t learn how to just be happy.

But now I have Something Better, and I still struggle with being happy. I don’t want my Wee One to struggle with that as well and so I’m going to be more intentional about being happy now. To help with this, I am going to list 10 pictures and phrases that I will remember and call upon during dark moments when I need help.

  1. When I was a kid, I used to repeat the word happy again and again, with the accent on the second syllable: Haaaa-PEE, haaaa-PEE, haaaa-PEE. I even remember imagining the word with the syllables reversed: BEE-haaa, bee-haaa, bee-haaa.


This is one I like because my Wee One makes a face like that when she’s looking up at something in happiness.


Most of the quotes I know are a variation of this: that happiness is a decision.

4. One of my classmates in undergrad had a picture on her dorm room door of a rainbow and the words, “Tomorrow will be better.” I always liked that, the optimism of it.

5. e00fdd24a8ed5e8756603bd36272fe68

See, it’s all about reframing things.  Only children do this regularly.


I think this is beautiful on so many levels. First, the zen simplicity of it is awesome. Second, a little person playing with bubbles is the best.

7. quotesaboutlifeandloveandhappinessandfriendship

This is especially helpful right now when my days as a stay at home mom are filled with little things of helping my daughter walk, picking her up when she falls and making her laugh. Thinking of this helps me feel less anxious about life.

8. Singing Bob Marley “Don’t Worry Be Happy” helps, too, partly because of the words and mostly because it reminds me of Jamaica, where I was irie.

Okay. I have been looking and looking, and these are really the only ones that resonate with me.  I hope that the combination of the words and images (I have a visual memory) will help me call upon them when I need to. Do you have any “happiness mantras” you go by?



8 thoughts on “Be Happy

  1. Happy Birthday! It sounds like such a simple thing, to decide to be happy. But actually it’s a very deep, spiritual process to transform the way that we view and experience ourselves and the world. A very noble endeavor to take up on your birthday.

      1. Maybe that’s why I’ve enjoyed this year so much – I was playing with my daughter. I don’t remember peek-a-boo being as fun as it is. 🙂 I’ll take that to heart; thank you!

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