Happiness (and Keeping It Real)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You know how you read other blogs and everything looks so wonderful and fun and oh, what a happy patient and creative mom. Oh-and look, on top of all that she is absolutely beautiful and just happens to be  leaving on vacation with her family for a month in Italy later this week!
Sometimes it does seem like that though.
But I bet it's really not, even for that mom.
This has been on my mind lately and after reading Shauna's birthday post a couple of weeks ago
she just solidified it for me and gave me the weekly reminder that I needed to hear myself.
Happiness really is a choice. And sometimes it takes work.

There is always something we could wish for from someone else's life...
Their children their home, their talents, their marriage, their wonderful friends, 
where they live, their jobs...the list goes on and on. 
And it's okay to notice those things, but notice and move on people.
Stop comparing yourselves to others-to what they have and what you don't have.
Yes, a month-long vacation in Italy right now would make me very, very happy indeed.
BUT that mom is not happy just because they are able to take that vacation. 
And since I am not able to take that vacation right now it doesn't mean that I'm not happy.
Happiness is a choice. It really is.
 And you can just say you are going to be happy, or act like
you are happy, you have to live it.
And it's not always easy.
Some days are easier than others.
Some days are really freakin' hard, I'm not gonna lie.

Pictures don't always tell the whole story, blogs don't tell the whole story and people don't
 always tell the whole story.
Last week we stopped at the park on our way home from school because, scissors in hand, 
I wanted some branches from this pink tree. And I was going to get them today.
 These pictures might make it look like a magical day.
It wasn't.
It was a quick 15-minute trip where I hurriedly cut branches when no one was looking
 and telling half-lies;
"No honey, this is not stealing, we are helping the Park District trim their trees. 
Kind of like maintenance workers do."
Charlotte got scraped up on the tree she was climbing, Wyatt was laughing at her and kind of teasing her, he didn't want his picture taken at first and he wanted a snack because he was soooo huuungry.
Through gritted teeth I said to him- 
Then we both laughed because I actually threatened him into smiling for the picture.
And it worked. Then we were over it and everything was fine.
But magical, it was not.

But there are things we can do. And by WE,  I mean you and me...not just you.
Work on your marriage by planning a date night, plan fun things to do with your own children,
  get away with the girl's one weekend or at least just for a night. Daydream about that vacation, 
decide where you would want to go and where you would stay. Make plans for the future.
Relish in the little moments, the everyday moments. They are what really make up your life.
Not vacations and new cars and bigger houses, new clothes and jewelry
(although sometimes they really do help, too...i'm trying to keep it real, remember?).
Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and worry about what you are doing.
And what you already have.
Make the decision to stop comparing your life to others' and make the decision to be happy
 with what you have right now...not later, not what you might have in the future... but right now.
That's what I am trying to remind myself to do, every day.


  1. I agree - Amen, sister!
    This post speaks volumes to me today. I have been comparing myself to other blogs and others' photos and feeling inadequate. When I should really be focusing on what I do have and what my talents are. I'm new to blogging. And I'm still very new to photography - so naturally it will take time to get my pictures looking the way I'd like for them to look.
    And it's a nice reminder that those people who's blog post look all sunny and perfect, probably have their bad, hard, ugly days just like me. We only see a glimpse into their world - and probably a very selected glimpse.
    Thank you for the reminder to stop comparing and starting living!

  2. oh yes, all so true! i've been working on my own choices lately :)

  3. Very well said...Just what I needed to hear today!

  4. word.

    preach it sistah. Yes, not everyone has a fancy shmancy kitchen (my dream) or kitchen skills (my ambition) and not every picture tells the whole story, but but but... WE ALL have to be happy for ourselves and with ourselves. :)

    This post is definitely keepin it real.

  5. Shout it from the rooftops. Amy, hon, you are singing all of our songs. We all compare ourselves to the next one, but that's something we have to look past, and ultimately, make ourselves happy!! No one else can make us happy. We choose to be happy.

    Great post. Love your pictures too.

  6. Love this post. It is so true. It is really hard to break the habit of comparing yourself to others. I really needed to hear this today. I'd hate to think I spent my entire life just wishing for what I don't have. I'm a work in progress.

  7. yes! love every word of this post. it is never too often to remember that blogs, and LIVES to be honest, are never all what they appear to the outsider. we each have our own desperate struggles. we just reveal more or less of certain ones at times, or never at all. all you're saying is so important and great for us all.

  8. that is so good, amy. it's sometimes hard not to compare and be a bit jealous of other's when you read a lot of blogs...but you;re right...we don't know everyone's story, what might look like magic could've been a crabby mama pasting on a smile :) good stuff!

  9. well said amy! i love todays post!

  10. read my post tomorrow. even in hawaii...happiness is a choice. hard to believe you would have to choose it there, but ya do! great post:)

  11. I find myself feeling the results of comparing. This was a good reminder. I actually wrote something similar awhile ago. I'm trying to let the comparing thing go.

  12. Amen Sista. this post was a breath of fresh air and oh so true. Blogs are so not life. We usually blog about the happy parts of life. Its just easier I guess. And the bad things we dont want to remember so we choose not to document them. But your so right, we ALL have them. anyway, i just really loved reading this post...thanks for the reminder that I am not alone on those "real" life kinda days

  13. I love this post! I don't even have the energy to try to look like I have it all together!

  14. thank you for being real...
    I appreciate it!
    I definitely TRY to live in the moment!
    it's so hard to do sometimes!
    love the pictures and story behind them!! HA~!!

  15. Great post! Beautiful photos too, as always...:)

    We don't always have to be happy about what goes on in our lives. But we can control our attitude about all of it. Being positive is a gift!

    Thanks for sharing your heart!


  16. Thanks for the reminder.

    And I might need to find that tree and help "trim" it too! ;)

  17. We do tend to compare and it's sometimes difficult to remember that things are not always as they appear. What's going on in our lives tend to colour how we see the world around us. I believe it is so important to look right here and really be thankful for what we have right now...we never know how long we'll have it and how quickly things can change...for better or for worse.

  18. So very, very true!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Beautiful reminder to just be grateful for where we are huh??
    beautiful photos Amy!
    Have a happy day

  20. Love this post, your attitude, and your writing.
    I really needed to read this today. It's refreshing to see someone who is 'real'.

  21. I like to call that opening a can of woop-ass....and I really needed it.
    thank you


  22. this is why i LOVE you in my day!!!!

    brilliant post.....*no child ever remembers a clean house or a what we perceive as a perfect day* is my motto...

    life is there for the taking...
    happiness is there for all...
    the small things are the big things when it comes to memories and love in a family...

    brilliant post amy

    melissa xxx


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