Choosing Happiness is Not Always Easy!

Today’s blog is inspired by a post on Facebook by someone very close to me.  It has stuck in my mind ever since and so here I am to write about it…

Anyone who is a friend of mine on Facebook will know I post a lot about ‘the Happy’!  Finding it, living it, being it. I read a lot of things by others when they post and sometimes the sayings and things will really resonate with me and I share them.  Mostly because it helps ME and I hope maybe by doing it, it will help someone else be happy for even a moment.

When I post, it helps to be a reminder to ME to be happy.  Sometimes life IS extremely hard but I don’t want the bad and sad to win.  I can’t let it.  My life from the beginning has been full of adversity and things I wouldn’t expect to have to live through.  I could let it bring me down and probably have too many times.  But I don’t like how that makes me feel.

I was four when my father died and how that has affected my life is immense.  My mother remarried someone that I NEVER got a long with and that made for a long miserable childhood.  Even to this day, I can have my moments.  There are things to remind me about the things I missed out on.  I still can cry over some of them.  And do. I have lost many wonderful people much too early from different reasons.  From horrible diseases to tragic accidents.  It makes me angry.  I am sad that they are gone.  Life is truly not fair. I have to remember the good, find ‘the happy in order to handle it and to not fall into a place I don’t like.

I have a son with a disability that changed my life forever in ways I never anticipated.  It has been a life of many many struggles and grieving over the lost ‘things’.  I try not to think too much on what he missed out on, or we did with him or how our life might have been, the things we could have done.  It hurts.  I can still cry over the struggles sometimes too.  Some of you might be surprised at that.  Some days it still isn’t easy and it can still be overwhelming.  I deal with it and on we go!  I AM thankful for all the wonderful things and people his disability has brought into my life. So to say it changed my life forever, doesn’t always mean in a bad way.  It has been in a good way, too. More so!

Twelve years ago, my life changed again. I never expected to be diagnosed with cancer at age 44.  I went from being in a somewhat normal life one day to total chaos the next. One day my worry was job, money, family, all the normal things.  The next day I just wanted to live and worked at doing just that for awhile.  I had many many dark days then. It wasn’t easy.  I still had to find things to make me happy.  I didn’t like the feeling of those dark days. Looking at my kids could do both…they made me extremely happy of course, but also worried.  It scared me at the time to think I could leave them so young. I knew it could happen.  It did to me with my dad! I deal with body issues still from this.  I am reminded every day by my scars and not so great reconstruction! I can still have my moments of anger or sadness but I have to try not to dwell on it!  There are so many other more important things!

Being married is a thing that can make you happy, sad, mad, lonely, fulfilled-or not. It can make you content or make you want to run for the hills.  I have felt it all. We have been together almost 29 years now. Some good, some not. Which I am SURE is the experience of most! There have been times when I thought I would never find the happy and times when it was easy.  But I know through the tough times of sickness, loss and  struggling, we have stuck together, figured out we really do love each other, and stayed together! I can’t imagine my life without him!

Just two weeks ago, as you know, my husband had a stroke.  So here we are dealing with something new. Something unexpected.   I talked about being the one NOT in the hospital bed in the last blog.  It isn’t easy being the one watching your loved one struggle with something like this, something so life changing.  I know it has been overwhelming for him at times, I know how it feels to be forever changed by a diagnosis, a medical ‘crisis’. It hurts my heart to watch him. I am an observer at his therapies. I wonder sometimes how we got here and I think how it can’t be easy for him at all.  It can also be overwhelming at times-all the things I have to do each day now, most of them filled with appointments, all with things to do. I will admit, I have had ‘those’, moments with this, too.  I have to walk and find a quiet place and let the tears fall.

Then, yes, I post a picture and say “Cherishing every sunrise, still.”  Because, I REALLY do. I am sometimes stopped in my tracks in the morning when I pass by our windows when the sun is rising.  I stop and drink it in. I give thanks, sometimes silently, sometimes aloud, at just being able to see it!

Yes, I DO post things on Facebook about being happy, choosing happiness, finding the joy, not letting life get you down, etc.  It is NOT because I think it is that easy. Sometimes it is not even a daily thing…sometimes it is a minute to minute choice that I must make. I post them to remind myself, to help me to remember to find ‘the happy’. I can only hope it helps someone else too.  For I have dwelled sometimes in the sad, sat and cried, wondered why. For ME I don’t like how that feels!  I DO like the happy. I do try to find the joy every day.  Sometimes it is simple as a sunrise. Or to see my kids-one of THE biggest joys in my life. It might be hearing from a friend. Or a song. Or seeing a post on Facebook. There are just so many things in my life that do make me happy and I choose, for myself, to concentrate on that!  Even, though it isn’t always easy, I find, for me, the more I do it, the easier it is becoming!



  1. Lovely post, Joy. It really resonated with me. I think you and I are alike in the fact that we try to choose happiness and focus on the positive in life rather than let the sadness invade. It is not easy. You have to work at it. We all have “things” in our lives that are less than wonderful and you have way more than your share but yet you put it all in perspective and move on. Thanks for sharing this today—I bet it felt good to get it written down, right? Hugs!

    • It did. Thanks! And we ALL do have ‘things’. Funny how some have pointed out to me all the many things I have dealt with. Sometimes if I think about it, yeah, I guess it has been a lot. But to me? It is just my life! Easy? not many days. Wonderful? Always!

  2. I found your blog when I was searching for you. I have read several of your posts, and it reminds me of our time in Des Moines when we would talk and talk. I’m so HAPPY we reconnected!

  3. Thanks for sharing your these thoughts and your life experiences, Joy. This post makes me feel so many things, but most of all encouraged to share your perspective. Thinking of you and your husband and praying for his continued recovery.

  4. My status update was not directed at Your posts
    , it was the idea in general. I’m grateful for many many things and count my blessings daily. Sometimes, the choosing Happy doesn’t work for everyone, me at least, that’s all I was saying. I’m not going to list all the reasons why, I feel them, that’s what makes me me. I have the right to my feelings, just as much as you do. My status was just that Mine, it wasn’t targeting or intended to point fingers at anyone.

    • I know that…but it got me to thinking, as things tend to do…and when it wouldn’t leave my brain, I knew I had to write about it. So I did…. Everyone has their life to live as they see, of course! I explained here how it is for me, is all! I had been having a hard time thinking of what to blog about….your post was only the seed for it…and I thank you!!!!

  5. Hi Joy! So sorry to hear about your husband but I completely agree that a good approach is to recognize that the path to joy is the most positive one any of us can take regardless of what we are going through. And yeah, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. As a teacher of mine once said, “If you are going through hell, that doesn’t mean you should stop and buy a condo!–Keep going!” There is always light at the end of the tunnel. ~Kathy

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