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Totally Together

How to be Blissfully Happy

April 27, 2009 by  

I went through the computer files yesterday, and PROMed some of my old writing, and the overflowing downloads folder that was causing the desktop to run slower than I’d like.

I found a folder of writing I did 3 years ago. I’m going to copy and paste what I wrote—I entitled it, “How to Be Blissfully Happy.” I wrote this to myself, during a time where I felt like I was just “going through the motions”—we had just moved again, and I was working full-time at a job I hated. Hated.


How to Be Blissfully Happy

Why are some moms happy and others are not?Are you happy right now?Why?Why not?

Our family has moved a lot.5 times in the past 2 years.That’s an awful lot.During all the turmoil, I kept finding myself thinking “when we get to XYZ, we’ll be happy.”I would rush through my day, doing as little as possible do “just get through it” so the next day would come just so everything would start all over again.I was moving fast, the family was moving fast towards our “new life.”

But things were happening around me without me truly enjoying them.The baby learned how to walk.I took the pictures and video like a “good mom” but I didn’t have the wonderment and the joy that I would have liked to experience.My elder daughter said goodbye to her friends—friends that were so close they felt like siblings.I was there—I again took the pictures—but I was thinking about “getting this done quick” so I could go home to pack.


I don’t beat myself up for these things.I made a mistake.I’m human.

But, as a human, I have the choice to do things differently.I can choose to spend more of my day in a blissful/thankful/joyful/HAPPY state then in a sourpuss/frowny/nothing is ever good enough state.

Because that’s what I would wish for my daughters when they become moms.

I’m not talking about being the Resolve lady who answers from the other room “That’s Okay!” in a sing-songy voice when her kids say they just spilled grape juice on the carpet.

She must be on crack.Who in their right mind would do that?It’s grape juice!Grape juice stains!

But so does yelling.And freaking out.And closing cabinet doors a bit too rough.And being so mad that you want to throw things or hit.

Over what?

Grape juice?

On carpet.


Is that worth it?

But we all do it.We all get so caught up in the moment we lose our cool, our compassion, our quest to be supermom.

And we crack.

Those moms who appear on the outside to be supermoms–do they not have babies up at all hours of the night?Do they not have dishes to wash, a husband who works too much, kids who act ungrateful and the forever-growing Mt. Washmore in their house?

Or have they just decided to be happy?

Is that all it takes?

To just *decide*?

But I can’t be happy right now.I’m too fat.My house is too disorganized.My kids don’t listen.They don’t sleep, either.I have a deadline at work.My husband doesn’t help.And he’s losing his hair.And he never cuts his toenails.I need new bras.I have too much laundry to do.That lady in the grocery store looked at me funny. I haven’t done the baby’s scrapbook and he’s turning 14 next month.

I can’t possibly be happy right now.I have too much to do.

It’s up to you.

You are the boss of you.

You are in charge of every experience you have today and tomorrow.

You are your child(ren)’s best role model.

Choose to have fun today.

Choose to love a stranger today.

Choose to be happy.


The computer stamp on this writing says May, and I remember my last day of work at this job being July 30.

Making the decision is the hardest part of all change. Once the decision has been made, you (me, us, the universe) can move forward.

Have an absolutely wonderful week.

Post a comment · 26 Comments »


26 Responses to “How to be Blissfully Happy”

  1. Leann I Am on April 27th, 2009 10:50 am

    BRAVO!!!! This was so good…so true! So many of our lives and situations are not all that different, but our attitudes are what set us apart from one another. We all notice the miserable soul with the unhappy eyes and the crying kids at the grocery store, yet we don’t necessarily realize when we ARE that woman.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Birgitte on April 27th, 2009 12:00 pm

    Loved this! I am facing our 9th move in 8 years this month. 3 of those moves have been across half the planet. I am SO happy that this next move is only 20 minutes away. And I am SO happy I just quit my job last week and will be a WAHM. I am not so happy that my freelance job will be our only income for a while, but I will decide to be happy and live for the moment. Thank you!

  3. Caitlin on April 27th, 2009 12:13 pm

    This is so very true, and so very timely. I have a five-month-old daughter, I work full time, and have some pretty strong aversions to clutter and disarray. As you can probably guess, I rarely get (or give myself?) a few minutes to just sit and enjoy what I have.

    Thank you for reminding me how important it is to not worry about the bottles in the sink waiting to be washed, and use the time instead to just sit and hold my baby while she still IS a baby.

  4. Jodi on April 27th, 2009 12:44 pm

    I really appreciated this. I am a SAHM of 3 wonderful boys ages 5, 2, and 3 months. I get so wrapped up in keeping the house organized and clean, doing my things that need to be done, etc, that sometimes I get annoyed when the boys just want to spend time with me. Thank you for reminding me to just enjoy, relax and laugh with my boys. They won’t be little very long!

  5. Michelle on April 27th, 2009 2:19 pm

    Thank you.

  6. Kate Hesser on April 27th, 2009 2:30 pm

    For so many reasons, this was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for reading my mind and for all of the things you do to help people make their lives better!

  7. Jessica Moore on April 27th, 2009 3:12 pm

    awesome! what an inspiration!
    Thanks for sharing : )
    Jessica Moore

  8. Hanneke Nelson on April 27th, 2009 3:54 pm

    Thank you, I needed to read this!

  9. PJ on April 27th, 2009 5:26 pm

    So well said! A great reminder that really applies to everyone. Enjoying your site very much. Thanks!

  10. gfe-gluten free easily on April 27th, 2009 8:23 pm

    I laughed so hard about the grape juice part. It made me think of the time that my niece spilled red Hi-C on the white carpet at the beach rental we were responsible for. It took a lot of patience and Resolve, but eventually it all came out and we got our security deposit back. Relief.

    Hope you guys are more settled now. No matter what, I think we all do the part where we fast forward our lives. We’re human.


  11. Michelle on April 27th, 2009 8:40 pm

    Thank you! I really needed to read this. Sometimes I feel like I’m “missing it.” Your post gave me a little perspective.

  12. Marita on April 27th, 2009 9:24 pm

    Thank you.

  13. Amy on April 28th, 2009 5:35 am

    21 years ago I brought a baby home from the hospital. My (then not now) husband and 2 1/2 year old went to a block party. She came home and proceeded to throw up red koolaid and assorted picnic food on the carpet outside my bedroom door. Husband never came back until 4 a.m. Today, it’s a good story. 21 years ago it was hard to laugh about. We have to work hard to get past the moment we are in and really see it for what it’s worth. Thanks for continuing to share yourself and your experiences with us.

  14. Beth Riley on April 28th, 2009 10:10 am

    I noticed a few months ago that mentally I was always thinking and planning ahead: the next appointment at work, what to fix for dinner, when to pick up the groceries I’ll need, my mother’s next Dr. appointment, the next due date for the bills, etc etc. I realized I was not even making direct face contact with people because I was not really Present to them. I stopped and decided to take the time to be Present to the people I’m with and to be Present to my surroundings. What a difference its made in my life. This has become a time of splintered attention deficit. I am so tired of young people talking to me while texting, and/or having the iPod earbuds in.. and older folks just Not listening! But, I can’t them – only myself. Being Present is my way of doing that.

  15. Corrie on April 28th, 2009 11:32 am

    “Wherever you are, be all there.” I think it’s a Jim Elliot quote, but I could be wrong. Either way, it goes along with what you’re saying. And it helps with making it so you live your life with as few regrets as possible.

  16. Aleisha on April 28th, 2009 8:52 pm

    Thank you. This is one of the most inspirational things I’ve ever read.

  17. Sarah on April 29th, 2009 9:58 am

    Thank you so much!!! I needed this! My 23 month old daughter is trying our patience and I admit I lose it. I alternate between the understanding/supportive mom and the mom that loses my patience and my temper. I don’t want to be that mom. Thanks for posting this – it really speaks to me. I’m going to print it out and keep it at home!!

  18. Jenninfer on April 29th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Thank you! I have been SO not happy the last 2 days. If you weren’t w/ me then you were against me. Most of my list ‘WHY things were so bad’ matched yours including needing a new bra.

    Now I will choose to be happy! And to think my memory verse for the last 14 days has been about casting my cares upon the Lord. But somehow I didn’t include the daily work or my little frustrations.

    Thanks – I will go to bed happy and tomorrow will be a brand new day. I can’t wait to see my kids smile.

  19. Denise M. on April 30th, 2009 3:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Quite timely.

  20. Amanda on May 1st, 2009 10:00 am

    oh my goodness, that is so true! thank you for sharing. that is exactly what i needed today!!!

  21. Sera @ Laughing Through the Chaos on May 2nd, 2009 10:06 pm

    This is something I’ll need to come back to from time to time. I’m definitely having a pissy day today, and sometimes I find it hard to get out of that funk. One thing ticks me off, so suddenly I focus on everything else that’s irritating. But that’s not who I really am – I’m happy, optimistic, and fun. And there are times when I need a swift kick in the pants, reminding me to knock it off, so thanks. This was just perfect. :)

  22. Meredith Jane on December 12th, 2012 4:40 am

    THAT was wonderful and just what I needed to read this morning. I laughed out loud so hard when I read… ” I haven’t done the baby’s scrapbook and he’s turning 14 next month.” SO me. Great piece. Well done.

  23. Rebecca on February 8th, 2014 10:27 am

    This is excellent, thanks so much, not just for sharing a great perspective but also for letting us see that there’s so much we moms share in common and struggle in common. I really needed to read this. Too much coffee :)
    The only thing I would add is that when we can’t make this change in our own strength, Jesus can help. I need to remember that, too.

  24. Evelyn on May 3rd, 2014 7:27 pm

    I have read this before… But I needed to read it again, terribly so. Thank you so much.

  25. Stephanie on April 30th, 2009 1:30 pm

    We’re definitely more settled, thank you. WTG on getting the security deposit back!
    xoxo steph

  26. Stephanie on April 30th, 2009 1:32 pm

    Beth, that Capital P present is such a valuable skill, and I’m so happy that you’ve found a way to make it work in your life. I am still struggling, and unfortunately it seems that those you care for the most are the ones often pushed to the back burner. It is something I am definitely working on. xoxo steph

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