I have never been happier!!! There, I said it! Most of the world is in some sort of quarantine and is freaking out and I, personally, have never felt happier!
I have slowly been admitting that to my friends because I feel guilty. What gives me the right to be happy when so many around me are not? I’m part of a handful of groups that have been meeting online or I’ve been reaching out to friends and I hear the fear and frustration. Some miss what was normal, going out to eat, going to happy hours, hanging out at people’s house, going into an office, etc…. Some have been impacted by loss of income or job or have the fear of being impacted. Some have kids and are now trying to multi-task like a champ, teaching their kids and working at the same time. I couldn’t even imagine.
I quit my job in January, not realizing what was coming. My last day was at the end of February, around the same time that all of the cases were identified at the nursing home here in Washington state. As we entered March I started to feel so much anxiety and fear. I mean, how in the heck was I supposed to find a job now?!? I had recently read three books (Super Attractor, The Universe Has Your Back and You Are a Badass) back to back all around trusting the Universe and having Faith, but this was like jumping into the deep end of the pool of that practice.
But I did it. Every time I started to get anxious and feel the fear of the the “what ifs” starting to pile on me, I took a deep breath and chose to feel happiness and love instead. I used music, exercise, and my reading to help enforce those feelings. I reached out to friends as needed and that helped remind me how much I am loved and supported. I started to change my thinking by thinking of things I’m grateful for instead of focusing on how bad things could get.
As I moved into April and the anniversaries of losing my brothers passed, I was sad. I just let myself feel the sadness. I wrote in my journal and I read tearjerker books (Five Feet Apart and The Sun is Also a Star) and I cried. It was so cathartic. I’ve done a lot and I mean A LOT of introspection. I’ve been giving my needs a voice and I’ve been listening to it.
I think the hardest thing through all of this, for me, is the need to be productive instead of just being. Seriously, who is going to check and judge me to find out if I accomplished the things that I should be accomplishing right now. And really, what do I have to accomplish? Why do I need to track of how far or how fast I walked today. Who cares if I even walked? I remember when I read Brene Brown’s Gifts of Imperfection she talks about this and how we’ve lost the ability to play. The ability to do something just because it makes us happy. I had to relearn that. I’m still practicing on a daily basis. What an apropos time for the assigned book for my book led group coaching to be Deep Play by Diane Ackerman.
Then one day I woke up and decided to start a blog. It was a week ago today and I don’t remember what drove me to do it, but I did it and it wasn’t near as scary as I thought it was going to be. In fact, 8 posts later, I’m having a blast. I never thought I would have so much fun writing about books, reading challenges and just random musings like this one.
This week I’ve started listening to The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I think there is so much goodness in that book. There are too many good nuggets to copy down as I’m trying to listen that I decided to purchase a print version of the book and check out her blog. A lot of what I’ve been practicing, and what has allowed me to find happiness, is in her book. The parallels gave me goosebumps. I highly recommend checking out her site, she has a ton of posts on happiness.
To wrap up, what’s helped me is making choices. I can choose to dwell on the scary or the bad or I can choose to put on a happy song and dance in my seat as I read a funny book. I can choose to morn what use to be normal or I can practice gratitude about how I’m an introvert and I’ve been training to stay home my whole life! Personally, gratitude practice has been huge for me right now. I feel so much gratitude for so many things that I have in my life and that just uplifts me and makes me happy. I choose happiness.