I have given birth only once, and it was not my idea at the time. I’d decided in my late teens that I would never have children, thinking I was too selfish. Yet, the moment my son was born, I fell hopelessly in love with him. I didn’t let him out of my sight, literally, for a year. I never knew I could love someone that much. Until then, I thought I was flawed, unable to feel the deep love that others experienced. Read more →
I try to practice being grateful every day, but it’s important to put it into words sometimes. Today, these are some of the things I’m grateful for.
- An extended family, most of whom live close by. They’re my best friends, (and I don’t have to travel on holidays).
- A part-time job and 2 steady freelance clients. No immediate money worries.
- The life circumstances that allow me write novels. Because telling stories makes me happier than anything else I do. Read more →
Lately, strategies for happiness have been in the news, and I’ve adopted them to my benefit. Two prominent ideas have a common theme. The first is to stop complaining. Completely. No exceptions. You train yourself to do this by wearing a band on your wrist. Every time you complain, you have to move it to the other wrist. The goal is to go 21 days without complaining—or moving the band. I’ve never made it 21 days (because some whining is cathartic!), and I stopped wearing the band (it’s summer!). But I keep doing the mental checks. It’s very productive in controlling negative thought cycles.
A second secret to happiness, which has been promoted recently in articles by psychologists and counselors, is to be grateful everyday. They say the strategy is most effective when you write down, everyday, the things you are grateful for (more listmaking!). The theory is that feeling grateful is a clear path to happiness. And it works by keeping your thought processes in a positive mode.
Then if you throw in the concept from the popular self-help book, The Secret, the formula for happiness is this: Stop complaining, express gratitude every day, and ask the universe for what you want.
The universe has not yet given me everything I want, but I have everything I need and I’m happy in my effort to go out and get the rest for myself.
PS Here is my gratitude list for the day: great family (husband especially), good health, flexible lifestyle, readers who love my work. What are you grateful for? What keeps you happy (and sane)?