Let me just start by deciding that life is good. Can we agree on that? That the fact that we are alive is something to be embraced and to be grateful for. That no matter if it has its hard periods and can be pretty unpredictable, that it is still a priviledge simply to have a chance at a life in this world.
This morning I came across a post on a Danish ‘second hand’ ‘buy and sell’ type of Facebook page. The girl posting was attempting to sell a small coffee table that she had bought the same morning at a big sale – the kind where people stood in line waiting for the doors to open. The girl had been there when the store opened. In the craziness of determined shoppers she bought this table without being completely positive that it would match and fit in her apartment. When she returned home and unpacked the table, to her dismay, the table wasn’t a good fit for her living room. She then decided to post it on this Facebook page, thinking that it shouldn’t be hard for her to get her money back, due to the packed store earlier. On the post she then asked for the price she had paid herself or any higher bid. The post didn’t seem to have been up for very long before it was attacked by a few people who were very angry that she had the nerve to buy the table in the first place when others apparently wanted it more than her. Others got angry and threatened to call the authorities on her if she sold it for more than she had paid for it. I wasted half an hour and read the whole thread. I observed that a few of the upset girls devoted their entire evening till the auction was over to following the post and repeating over and over again just how horrible they thought this girl was to anyone who tried to contradict them. Although they were not the least bit interested in buying the table. Goodness! That is true will power!
I won’t elaborate on whose side I was on but I will say that I was shocked that anyone would be so determined to scold someone else. When Marcus came home from school I told him about it, but he just laughed and said “If you think that’s bad, I have something that will top it”. He told me how one of his Facebook friends had posted a picture of an anonymous letter he had received from someone who in strong words and harsh language told him just how incapable and useless he was for not yet being able to impregnate his wife. The gross language used made me feel sick to my stomach and I can only imagine what destructive thoughts and feelings it may have caused the poor man and his wife.
Later this afternoon Marcus and I were confronted with an issue that will result in us losing some money that we were counting on getting. As we are still relatively newlywed students, money isn’t something we like seeing go out the window too much. Due to my continued astonishment at the behavior exemplified in my previous Facebook readings I decided to to not lose it. I was definitely not going to waste my breath getting upset with someone who was merely doing their job or to let this ruin my entire day.
I decided that life is too short. And that happiness is a choice. Why take upon yourself the burden of pointing out everyone else’s failures? Why cause others grief and then take part in their grief by filling your mind with unpleasant thoughts? Why look for opportunities to complain? …Why?? Why actively choose to focus on the negative things in life when you can focus on the positives? The things in life that I’m sure we all know to be true. That being loved and loving others makes us happy. That overcoming hardships makes us happy. That serving and helping others makes us happy.
I guess part of my being easy to be overbearing… or rather to not care enough (sometimes it might even come off as laziness) comes from my years of working as a waitress and with customer service, listening to complaints and even being yelled at regularly. For those years I decided every day that I would never allow myself to be that kind of customer – or person.
When Marcus and I were first married I quickly found out that I had a thing or two to learn about living with someone other than your family. Basically the first many arguments and disagreements we had were my fault. Over time I learned from Marcus to be patient, overbearing and slow to getting angry. Since then our marriage has been a piece of cake. I can’t even remember the last time we came close to being in danger of going to bed angry. Every day is a good one!
Happiness is a choice. So let’s choose to be happy! It may not always be as easy as that sounds, but it IS that simple. Someone may argue that I’m too young and that I haven’t experienced enough trials and tragedy in my life yet to know what I’m talking about. That may be true. But as far as I have experienced so far there are few – if any – situations that can’t be helped by focusing on the things we know to be true. ‘I know that my husband and I love each other – so why waste a nice day being upset?’ Or simply having a little faith in people. ‘It sucks that that guy just scratched my car pulling out. But he probably didn’t do it on purpose, so I’ll try to be patient when I go talk to him.’
There are always at least as many happy things to think about as there are bad things. It’s really all about which ones we choose to act upon. The choice may not always be easy, but it is simple. So let’s just enjoy the gift that life is and help others to enjoy it too.
And be happy!
Fun fact: When I had finished writing this post I accidentally hit the ‘refresh’ button and lost everything I’d written. Guess I got an opportunity to listen to my own advice.