Thursday, October 14, 2021

October 14--Work for It!

People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort.  You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.  --Elizabeth Gilbert

    If you have read Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray, Love," you know she literally did travel around the world looking for happiness. Her happiness found in some instances became happiness lost, so she certainly knows that it is something we have to strive for and insist upon. 
    I have to credit the 12-Step program as the basis of my personal effort to maintain my happiness. It is noted as a "simple, but not necessarily easy" program for living successfully. I have a great husband, two wonderful sons and a daughter-in-law (official in 8 more days!), a great home, friends and family--all these contribute to my happiness, but all require loving care, i.e. personal effort, to keep the happiness flowing. 
    I learned a powerful lesson on happiness traveling to Uganda in 2005 on a mission trip. My group built a house in the Watoto village to be a home for a house mother and eight orphans. We met many mothers and children on that trip. Compared to their pre-Watoto life, these simple homes are a palace. Having someone to care for them, shelter, food, clothing, a faith community and schooling--what we consider only the bare minimum for happiness--is abundance beyond imagining for them. They are extraordinarily happy people with a profound, infectious happiness. Note to self: it is not our stuff that makes us happy. In fact, it's just the opposite--our stuff, or desire for more stuff, detracts from our happiness. 
    Less stuff, more happy,
Part of my woman cave
window garden and 
my laughing Buddha

P.S. This is the one-year anniversary of my hip replacement. Every day I am happy to be able to move and sleep without pain!

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