It is this power, to choose my path, that gives me the greatest joy. I was reminded this weekend, in a conversation with a new friend, of a time in my life where I could have easily chosen anything other than happiness. About five years ago, my husband was out of work for six months. During those six months I started a new, lower paying job and had a baby which prompted eight weeks of unpaid leave. During this same time, my mother’s cancer was deemed terminal. In the seventh month, my husband got a new job which prompted a move. During the move, I resigned from the job I loved and lost my mother-all while living with my family of four in the basement of my in-laws spatially challenged Cape Cod.
I don’t tell you all of this to garner pity. I do not tell you all of this to make you think I am some amazing person. I am not. I am a regular girl just like many of you. I CHOOSE to be happy. I chose then to focus on my toddler and my new baby. I relished in their simple perfection. I chose to focus on the new house and new opportunities, not the loss of the old house and job. I chose to focus on my husband’s happiness, not on the time it took him to find it. They were all choices and they all had flip sides I could have easily seen. There is no secret. There is simply the decision to be happy with what you have and not dwell in all you don’t.
The question was posed to me, what if you choose happiness and you still lose? I would argue, if you choose happiness you never really lose.
This post was inspired by the book This Is Not The Story You Think It Is… by Laura Munson. In this book Munson tells her story, in real time of choosing not to accept her husband’s request to leave her. Munson chooses the power to control how she reacts to her own life-probably the only real power we have-over our actions and reactions.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. You can read other inspired posts there.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.