What is happiness?
At my age (turning 43 in a couple of months’ time by God’s grace), this Bacolod mommy blogger has seen and experienced so many things. I have had so many highs and lows. But it was only recently that I have turned my happiness into a personal crusade.
While I know that happiness is not just about unicorns, rainbows, and mermaids, what I do know and am sure of is that much like love, happiness is a decision. That is why a lot of my posts on Facebook have the hashtag, #MakingMamaHappy. It’s a note to myself.
Loving Myself First
All my life, I have felt that happiness is in making others happy, like having a sacrificial kind of love. I was made to feel guilty when I indulged in life’s little pleasures that make me happy. This feeling became stronger when I became mom. It had to be the kids first, always, so I devoted my time and energy to building our home.
In truth I found happiness in making other people happy, but it ran me aground many times. I have exhausted myself in the process.
But about a couple of years ago, I felt an awakening. It was like my happiness renaissance. I decided that I will take control of my own happiness. I will no longer let people harass me, bully me, or abuse me emotionally again. Though I am still not going to fight back, but I will not allow their words and actions to bring me down. That’s what’s important.
I have decided to love myself first and strive to be happy. It’s also the best way to love the people closest to my heart — my family, especially the young girls that we have who are relying so much on me.
10 Things That Make Me Happy
I am the kind of person that you would call, “mababaw ang kaligayahan.” I don’t require a lot of material stuff, after all, I’m low maintenance. But here are some of the things that make my heart swell with joy and happiness.
1. Being able to guide my daughters to be thankful in life and seeing them happy in whatever they have.
2. Being able to teach them good values and life skills, like budgeting their money, and seeing them apply these lessons in their young age.
3. Being able to pray for and with the family (like praying for the kids to always tell the truth) and seeing the fulfillment of these prayers.
4. Being able to balance being a wife, working at home, homeschooling in Bacolod, and of course, parenting and seeing the results.
5. Being able to live peacefully and harmoniously with family members and others.
6. Being able to provide nutritious food like vegetables and milk like Nestokid to my daughters and seeing them appreciate nutrition. They are aware that whatever they put in their mouths affect their health and will make them grow happy, so they try to eat as healthy as they can or as these are made available to them.
7. Being able to jump start campaigns and movements about issues close to my heart and seeing them bear fruit.
8. Being able to create our own happy family traditions in our little family, like the girls’ yearly themed summer pictorial. This year, our Flower Child summer photo shoot was held last March in Lantawan View Silay.
9. Being able overcome bouts of depression and not be a slave to my emotions anymore. But what would really make me happy is to be able to encourage more moms to do the same.
10. Being able to listen to intelligent and rational discussions that exercise my mind and build up my spirit.
Happiness in Simple Things
I also find happiness in simple things. This is like my list of favorite things. hihihi I love that song by Julie Andrews.
- Caramel sundae
- Watching TV with hubby
- Gel nail polish
- Winged eyeliner and lush eyelashes
- Collection of earrings
- Flip flops
- Sea breeze
- Fast internet connection
- Plants and gardens
- Hugs and tickles with hubby and kids
- Body massage
- Family adventure
- Photobooks and family pictures
- Baking and cooking
- Freshly laundered sheets
- Losing some unwanted weight
What Makes Me Unhappy
One thing that used to make me unhappy are TOXIC PEOPLE. And it seems, they are everywhere. They can choke the life out of me with abusive words and controlling actions. It seems there are people who think they can say mean things to you, like you deserve it because they are saying it like a matter of fact. There are also those who want to run your life, thinking that they have better ideas for your career and parenting style.
I used to cry so hard and get depressed when I encounter such people. Then when Facebook became popular, I would see this meme often.
Reading this, I would like to reply, “What if that person is your closest family member?” You cannot simply just rid yourself of that person. So what do I do? I wanted to cry out in frustration.
Dealing with Toxic People
Then I realize, you don’t have to. It still comes with a decision. I have decided not to let the words and actions of toxic people affect me. They can still be around me, but I have decided not to cower and cry anymore with every hurtful word that they say. I may or may not reply, but the important thing is my reaction — that’s the only thing I can control.
Because of this realization and decision, I have found myself in a happier place. I no longer am a slave to my emotions. And in fact, I feel healthier and more productive, too, as a work at home mom and as a homemaker.
Special Love and Thanks
I am super thankful for the support of my husband, Dennis, the father of my two daughters and their ballet dad, who has always been a light and a rock in our family. 🙂 And of course, my two lovely, strong-willed, opinionated, smart, and pretty girls. They are reminders of God’s grace in my life and they inspire me to become a better person, not just a better mom.
Actually, their names, Shawna and Shane, are variants of the biblical name, “John”. The meaning is, “The Lord is gracious.”
And indeed, He is. For all that I am, I am grateful to God and His neverending grace.
Note: I am also classifying this post under WELLNESS because our state of mind is also part of our overall wellness.