The Guide to Happiness Starts Now
Happiness. It can be a loaded word for some…
For most of my life, that word seemed just out of reach.
When you’re growing up in a Midwest middle-income household with three older sisters and one younger brother, you basically only wear hand-me-downs for your entire childhood. That does not equate to happiness as a pre-teen. That usually means misery. Add to that an alcoholic father and losing your sister in a car accident when you’re eleven years old, and happiness is like a red balloon that you let go of in your yard. Never to be seen again.
When I turned 18—the same age my sister was when she died—I realized I had to fight for my own happiness. No one was coming to save me. This was an internal job. It started with me.
My journey to happiness began with a steep but steady climb. True happiness, as it turns out, doesn’t happen overnight.
I took on this mission like a J. O. B. Diving headfirst into the world of personal development, I read every book from Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to Power Vs Force. I studied every guru out there: Pema Chodron, Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsh, Eckhart Tolle, Oprah. (Oh wow, did I watch a lot of Oprah.)
The climb was long and hard at times, but I found my way to the top of the mountain and even started downhill. (The view, the trees, the easy road ahead! I’d done it!)
Then at 35, I got married to the man of my dreams. Brand. New. Mountain. At 38, I had Jack. He was seven weeks early. And then he cried for six straight months. Zoe came along at 40. And I realized I was only at base camp. There in front of me stood Mt. Everest.
I had to start climbing again…
So, that’s exactly what I did, and what I do. Every single day.
I climb for my kids.
So they don’t have a mom who acts all happy on Facebook but yells at them every night.
I climb for my husband.
So he’s not married to a woman who gets resentful when he works late and punishes him by withholding sex.
I climb for my siblings.
Because they already lost one sibling and don’t deserve to lose another—to anger, sorrow, frustration or stress.
I climb for other moms.
Moms who know deep down that they deserve more and desperately want to go to the edge but are afraid to even venture out of their tents.
The journey isn’t easy. It’s long, hard and treacherous at times. But one thing I know for sure is that we can’t climb alone. We need a team. We need a whole village of sisters to help us up this mountain.
We need Oprah and Deepak and wine. (So. Much. Wine.)
Together, we can uncover what true happiness looks like. Hell, we can even design our own path to get there. We don’t need a map. We need a sisterhood. We need some accountability. We need the right tools, support and some dark chocolate. Then we can master this mountain together, with the right mindset and the right women. That’s the tribe I’m building, with every blog I create.
Because we need to share our wins. We need to own our happiness. We need to find as much joy along this journey as humanly possible. We need to share more of what we DO want. And put some energy, attention and focus on the GOOD in our lives. No more ranting about the rain or venting about our negative spouses. We need to blow up our own damn red balloons and fill our entire lives—our houses, our cars, our minds—with happiness.
We need to take each others’ hands, get to the top of the mountain and shout down over the tiny rooftops: We love our lives!
So, I’m asking you to climb. To climb for you, to climb with me, to climb for your kids, for your relationship, for the happiness that you know you deserve.
Who’s with me?
We start now.
Photo courtesy of Colibri Photo