A step away from food and home keeping to a little rambling on more personal things.
First off, I will say I in no way know the real secret to happiness for the population at large, but I do know the secret for myself. That is what I am sharing but if it in any way it helps someone then I will be happy I shared.
As one gets older we hope that we can say we are happy. In my late forties, I know exactly what makes me happy these days. This was not always the case. When I was younger I often would ask myself, "When will I be happy?"
The problem I had with how I looked at happiness when I was younger, was that I thought it was something I had to go out and GET! Something I had to go do or buy or see. What I have realized is the key to happiness is to look within.
1. Look at family, happiness is within your family. I could not find happiness if I was running around and not taking care of things at home. When my family is taken care of and the house is in order and the chaos corralled then I am at my happiest. This does not mean the kids or even my hubby are responsible for my mood, though they can affect if for sure, but that for me, knowing my own home is in order, means a peace of mind.
2. Look within your house. Yep, happiness is right in my four walls. If I was looking at what others had or what they were doing to their houses that I could never do to mine, I could easily get a sense of envy or dissatisfaction. The more I just stopped looking at others and instead kept my eyes on my own home, the happier I became. I spent more time fixing what I could around here and accepting the things I could not change and letting go. At some point we have to say this is good, good enough for me. I am thankful for what I have and do not need more.
This is not to say I don't want to fix things up but we can all see homes on TV, in magazines and online and think our homes are not good enough. Let that all go. I never ever heard my mother say she wished she had something. I am sadly not able to say that. But I can strive to be content with what I have. I will never have a home with bedrooms for everyone or the latest gadgets but I don't care about those things any longer.
Want to know my most favorite things in life? Being able to go to the grocery store and fill my cart and coming home and stocking the fridge and pantry. My husband laughs at me but this truly is one of the highlights of my week. A basic need to feed my family and know we have plenty. I do love that feeling. If you can imagine the stress of not being able to meet that basic need for your family, then the ability to do it is something that gives me joy. Crazy I know. But there it is.
3. Look within yourself. Boy, that is a loaded statement I know, but it is so true for myself. We are all different and we cannot look to others to make us happy. I know that is easy to say because of course the folks we live with can very much affect our happiness but it boils down to this...doing things that make me healthy mentally and physically and giving myself some time on the schedule, goes a long way to help me with my level of contentment.
Also, looking to my own self to make changes I need to make. Stop my negative thoughts, controlling my outspoken tongue, have all helped me to find more peace as I age. I have rambled on but it is true that as you age, you learn what really makes you happy and what you need to let go. Actually keeping focus on fewer, more important areas of life have helped me to feel a higher level of contentment.
I am a simple woman, with a simple life and I love it that way. I am happy. The when is now.