The Happiness Project

So, I made a decision yesterday: I am only going to be happy from now on.


Yup. Just like that.

Yesterday was what I lovingly refer to as a “roller coaster day.” As you might imagine, this means it was filled with several highs and lows in rapid succession.

I started out pretty neutral, much like you might feel while waiting in line for the amusement park ride.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I accidentally made our coffee way too strong, so I was, ahem, buzzing a bit. (My mother-in-law gave us a free sample of Seattle’s Best because she has a Keurig and couldn’t use it. Because I’m apparently self-centered, I assumed the package would contain the usual amount of grounds I use to make coffee for two people and just dumped it into the filter. The “usual amount” is about three tablespoons. I poured at least 3/4 of a cup into the filter. Oops. Then I decided to “just go with it,” and turned on the machine. A few minutes later, I had a pot of coffee that was a smidge darker* than I usually make. But again, just went with it. At about 10 a.m. yesterday I was sort of convinced I could lift a car. A. Car. So…yeah. That is how I started out yesterday.)

Then my boss asked if we could talk. And we had a conversation that went well, but was about how (due to some changes that have occurred recently that are entirely out of my control) I don’t have as much to do as they thought I was going to, and he’s worried I’m going to get bored and be unfulfilled and leave, which he doesn’t want. So it was a nice conversation, but after we talked it out and came up with some solutions, I went back to my desk and was like, “Geeez…AM I unfulfilled?”

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I really don’t rely on my job to fulfill me. As I’ve said before, it’s the things outside my job that keep me going. But at the same time, you spend such a large part of your day at work, it’s pretty lame if it’s…well…lame.

So then I went on this mildly panicked (AKA, caffeine-fueled) spiral for a few minutes before pulling myself up by my bootstraps and doing a quick search for some freelance work. Then right around lunch, I got an email from a freelance blogging job I’ve been in the running for for a few months, and I got it!


The heavens opened, angels sang, etc., etc. But really, I was thrilled. I can’t tell you too much about it yet, but I promise to share when things get rolling. Suffice to say, it’s a year-long gig, so that should afford me some sanity for at least the next 12 months. *Sigh of relief*

Plus, it’s blogging, which you know I love, and I’m basically writing about how I see things, which, um, hi. I’m a lifestyle blogger. Obviously I’m obsessed with myself.

Then the afternoon went on, and the caffeine started to make it’s way out of my system, and I started feeling a bit blah again. I was supposed to run after work, and I was really just not feeling it. I mentioned this to another woman in my office who works out more often than I do, and she was like, “No! I better see you downstairs!” (Our office gym is in the basement.)

For some reason, that kicked me in the butt and I was all, “Fiiiiine.” And I went. And I had one of the best 5-mile runs of my life. It flew by. And on my drive home, I was in a swell mood.

And I started to think: Why do I let so many outside forces affect my mood? I’m obviously the happiest when I’m, well, happy. Why wouldn’t I just choose to be happy all the time?

Because I do firmly believe that happiness is a choice. I mean, I’m not a psychopath. I know that things happen beyond our control that can get in the way of happiness. This isn’t The Secret. I’m not saying I can control the universe just by thinking a certain way. I just mean, I will choose how I respond to everything. And I will choose happiness. I will choose to look on the bright side.

Obviously, this sounds like I’m just begging time and unforeseen occurrence to throw something awful my way to test this new theory. But if it happens, what can I do about it? I’ll tell you what: I can choose to deal with it. I can choose to do whatever it takes to get myself back to happiness.

I explained my new philosophy to Joey last night while we were watching TV.

Him: So…you’re just going to be happy no matter what?

Me: Basically. I’m going to focus on the positive and choose to be happy.

Him: So…if I switch the channel back to that show you didn’t want to watch, you’re going to be happy with it?

Me: Well…I won’t like it, but I will choose to focus on the fact that I’m here with you in comfy clothes in our nice apartment after a great run and a healthy dinner while drinking this delicious glass of wine.

Him: So you’re just focusing on the bright side of things?

Me: Pretty much.

I’m not saying I don’t ever expect to be unhappy again. When I’m tired or super busy or things get in the way of what I want, I’m sure I’ll slip now and then. But I’m just saying I’m going to make a conscious, active effort to push way negative thoughts and be happy. Because I kind of think it could be just that easy.

And when I’m happy, I’m my best me. I’m the best wife, the best friend, the best employee, the best daughter/sister/whatever. And you know I’m always trying to be the best version of myself. So let The Great Happiness Project begin!

Think I’m crazy? That’s okay. See? I’m okay with that. Because I’m happier being okay with that. So that’s what I choose. Simple, right? And if you think I might be on to something, feel free to steal my lofty ideas. Because, honestly, don’t we all want to be the best versions of ourselves?

*A lot. It was a lot darker.

15 thoughts on “The Happiness Project

  1. I LOVE this post!! I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately and it really only takes minimal effort to think positively about small things…and that snowballs into every day positivity and happiness overall. Love it, love you, love life.

  2. I was crackingggg up while reading about your coffee mishap…thanks for a mid-morning giggle!

    And thumbs up for the optimism. I love it! 🙂

  3. I love this post and the idea of choosing to be happy! Sometimes (okay, more than I care to admit) I allow myself to get into a funk so easy and to get crabby when things don’t go my way. I usually push it off as just my hormones, or the circumstances around me, but what is really is comes down to me being undisciplined about my attitude. I allow myself to think and feel that way, instead of working actively toward looking at the positive. Great idea!

    • Exactly, we can’t control what happens, but we can control how we react 🙂

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