There a lot of things that make me unhappy. And, lately, I’ve been thinking “what exactly makes me unhappy” and “what can I do to be happier”. This sounds like a selfish thing to ask, but I think it’s important to narrow down the things that affect our attitude so that we can change to be more positive. Plus, adjusting my attitude, for instance, will help me be a better wife, mother, worker, Christian, etc. It will make those around me happier because I believe happiness is contagious, just like a smile. And, also because those I love would enjoy having me around, and I want them to want me around! So, in this case, I guess, sometimes there are benefits for being selfish. 🙂
One thing I’ve purposely been doing is taking mental notes of what makes me unhappy.
So, here is a list of some things that I’ve noticed recently that affect my overall happiness and the solution to be happier:
Unhappiness: A Messy/Dirty Home
Happiness: Clean Everyday! Stick to A Daily to “Clean” Plan.
Easier said than done for this working mom of two little boys. I am pretty good at the daily upkeep of things like the dishes and the bedroom, but I am not really good at putting in a little extra effort in getting ahead. Therefore, most of my cleaning is done on the weekends. This is not good; however, because I don’t really have a day of rest, which I would like to incorporate into my week in order to recharge and grow in my faith. Plus, I cringe at the thought of having unexpected guests show up to my home during the week. I want to be ready to be hospitable everyday. I need to clean a little each day and involve the family, because I’m no superhero either! I get tired.
Unhappiness: Bad Attitudes
Happiness: Positive Attitude
Sometimes I could be having a good day and then I come across a bad attitude and my happiness goes out the window, and I let myself be affected by someone else. I don’t like that. I want to practice having a positive and cheery attitude, especially when someone I interact with does not. The Bible talks about the Light overcoming darkness, I want to influence others in Jesus’ name, not be easily overcome by other people’s emotions.
Happiness: Healthy Meals and Snacks Readily Available
I don’t know about you, but when I feel my sugar level going down, I feel my happiness level going down too. I know I’m not the only one, I’ve met plenty people with the same problem. Some people; however, don’t know that they have that problem. The first step to changing is admitting you need to change. Then strategize and take action! I need to be proactive and have healthy meals and snacks readily available to eat. If not for me, then for others too. You never know who you will meet that might be hungry. And, there is no greater way of showing hospitality than offering someone something to eat.
Unhappiness: Running Late
Happiness: Be On Time
There is something about Mexican culture and etiquette that makes it okay to be late to appointments. It’s expected. But, in the U.S., it’s looked down upon. I even expect my own clientele to arrive on time to our appointments. I stress the importance of arriving on time to a job interview all the time, but a doctor’s appointment is no different. I do not like the feeling I get when I am running behind. It is understandable that there are inevitable circumstances that can occur like traffic accidents and construction, but for the most part, people run late to appointments because they leave their house late. They wake up late, they don’t manage their time wisely, etc..
I am at fault too. When I am running late, I am rushing everyone else with a not-so-cheery attitude. There is no time to smile! When I am on time, there is time to let a vehicle merge in front of me on the freeway. It also seems easier to breath on days like this. There is time to stop and look at the birds in the trees with my two year old; and time to appreciate the sound of them singing and flying high and low with the beautiful sky in the background. I want more days like this.
I enjoy being productive and seeing the fruits of my labor. In contrast, being lazy and getting nothing accomplished makes me feel guilty and I can kick myself for wasting precious time. Cleaning, cooking, and bathing my children are some of my main responsibilities in my home. If I don’t use my time wisely, then the cleaning piles up, we eat late and my children stay dusty for one more day! This is not good, especially during the hot summers in Phoenix! Also, by being productive and managing my time I am able to spend more quality time with my family.
There are so many little things that happen in one day alone that provide us the opportunity to respond in a positive or negative way. We can compare ourselves to others and think high or low of them instead of genuinely love them as we are called to do as Christians. We can literally cry over spilled milk after we just cleaned the floors instead of wiping it up real easy and moving forward. We can make excuses for our behavior, our thoughts and actions but God knows our heart and that is what matters. James 1:2-4 says “my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Happiness is a choice. It’s easy to be unhappy, it takes discipline to be happy. Choose to honor God with your actions, and don’t let your tiredness, your hunger, your idleness and your attitude get in the way of glorifying God, our Father in heaven.
I encourage you to create a happy home, it begins with you!