It’s raining outside, it’s Saturday, there is a roast cooking in the oven, the kids are quiet and I’m sitting, fireside writing. I don’t get a lot of time like this.
Just call me Larry because I really am that happy in this moment.
Capturing this bliss on a ‘normal’ day is pretty impossible between the running about, commitments, frustrations, bills to pay, people to please. But that’s just a pretty normal life isn’t it?
Seems to me that there aren’t really a lot of people who happily tip toe through life with a grin from ear to ear. Certainly not like this Larry I keep hearing about.
Last week normal days were further frustrated as it was my first week back at work from a fabulous holiday. And it’s fair to say I fell into quite a funk. It was so difficult to get started again and I was asking all of those ‘why am I here’ questions. Couple that with a few of the regular and ongoing contentious topics that I usually glide through on a day to day basis at work and I was really pondering my future.
Who is this Larry guy anyway and why is he a hailed beacon of happiness? I pondered from my desk, considering fashioning a slingshot, chasing him down and giving him a good ‘ping’ for creating an expectation I just could not live up to. I’m a very smiley creature most of the times but being happy ALL OF THE TIME? Forget it, that’s just a false reality. I tried it, didn’t work.
By Thursday, another series of lunchboxes and morning complaints the contempt I was feeling for my ‘lot’ in life (first world option) was like acid in my mind quickly dissolving every glimpse of positive that is usually in abundance. I knew it was time to tackle the matter at hand. I could choose continue to be a grumpy, dissatisfied bore, or I could choose to turn it around and find some joy in life.
So, here’s what happened during the week that helped me to turn this miserable state of affairs around:
1. I was accountable; Feeling sorry for myself was not going to get things done so when my associate Rosemary offered an exchanged of accountability – I’ll do something each day and let her know and vice versa
2. I realised that every thought that enters my mind does not have to be spoken; Measures have been taken to defuse nasty thoughts which I’ll write about soon (the measures, not the thoughts that is).
3. I reminded myself that not everything is about me; I think it’s a human condition to take everything personally when we are feeling a bit low.
4. I exercised; My body really needed to move. Movement always helps
5. I fueled my body with good, nutritious food; Not EVERY meal, but most were designed for health, not just amuse my tastebuds.
6. I reached outward; As my new team member, Linda says it’s all about connection. Connection with others in person and online really made this week look up.
7. Fun; To add a bit of fun to the work environment I got my hands on a gold unicorn which is now awarded to the team member that achieves all designated tasks in the day. Sounds silly but it’s just silly enough to work.
8. I let the little things wash away; There are always small opportunities to get annoyed. I started building strength in letting them wash away.
9. I took responsibility; There were some things that I just didn’t want to do (adulting can really suck). I started chipping away at that list.
10. I let go of the things that were beyond my control; What other’s think and how they behave, I can’t do anything about that except choose how I feel about it and react.
I didn’t see anything change immediately, but the sum total obviously did the trick. A personal investment made and further impacted by delicious, rainy weather.
Being happy,content if you prefer, isn’t the holy grail of being but it sure does make life easier.
By the way, just in case you were wondering, turns out, Larry Foley was a boxer who won a big fight with a massive prize pool in the 1890s. An NZ newspaper published his story with the strapline ‘happy as Larry’ and the saying stuck.
Don’t think I would have chased after him with a slingshot afterall but I am very pleased to sit back in my armchair and declare myself HAPPY AS LARRY on this day.