June 13, 2011

Why I'm not using the word "happy" anymore.

(photo via favim.com)

Good morning love.

There have been numerous times in my life where I don'trealize it, but my world is completely out of wack. It may be a poor sleep schedule, weird moodiness, my inability to communicate properly, or just feeling sort of lackluster. By the time I realize that my world is going a little haywire, the universe is usually trying to pull it back together for me, which causes my realization of the wackiness

This being said, I think the universe is pullin' one for Team Liz and is finally bringing me back together. Various details are starting to align and make me feel grounded and calm. For example..

Remember last week a friend of mine recommended Zen and the Art of Happiness to me? Well, I read it in about 24 hours and was thrilled that I did. It's an easy read and discusses the power of positive thinking. At the end of my read, I felt like the book had the feel of a "self-help" book instead of a discussion of morals and principals. This was okay because I came to a really wonderful realization!

My husband and I always have the debate that in American society, women always feel like they need to be "happy". Everything is centered around the word happy. To me, I feel as if the idea of being "happy" is sort of juvenile, because society overemphasizes its use. However, I can't disagree with my husband. He argues that when women are down, or feeling crummy, we describe it as being "unhappy" and focus a lot on the idea of being happy again. There are days that I agree with him and there are days that I do not. After finishing this book, however, I finally realized that it wasn't happiness I was seeking all these years, it was just positivity. I am sure you could equate them with one another, but the distinction is important for me. Being happy, to me, revolves around the idea that everything is "good." That is not always the case in our lives... in fact, I would love to meet someone where EVERYTHING in their life at any given moment is "good." This is where the importance of distinction comes in.

Everything in my life, at any given moment, is not "good" or at least not up to the standards that I would like. For example, I have a tumultuous relationship with my brother and father. I wish they were better. However, I have an incredible relationship with my mother, stepfather, and other members of my family, plus a loving husband at home everynight AND his wonderful family. So, not everything is "good", but it definitely isn't horrible either.

This is why I think I am getting rid of the word happy. I just want to be positive. I want to know that when I'm feeling crummy, it's okay to feel crummy. It's not happiness I'm seeking--it's the idea of filling my life with positivity in hopes of bringing peace. I know that I am not in control of much of my life. I do, however, know that my perspective and outlook control how I perceive my life. This is why being "happy" is sort of ridiculous to me. I feel like whenever we're deciding if we're "happy" or not, it's because we are innately comparing ourselves to some standard of life. That's pretty ridiculous, if you ask me.

So, bare with me as I eliminate "happy" from my vocabulary. I do not want to feel obligated to look over various details of my world to meet a label. If I continue to ignore the parts of my life that may never be "happy", I will be doing myself a huge disservice. If I stop ignoring them, and start looking at them as "they are what they are" or through a positive lens, maybe I can really evolve the situation and improve them.

To many of you this may seem like a rant, but it truly is important to me.

I think our outlook is everything in this world, and it is increasingly becoming one of the only things we can control. We may as well take it by the horns and do something great with it!

Happy Monday,


  1. Interesting words.

    Here, in England, I do not see women as trying to be happy, or expected to be, so I am not tending to agree with your reasoning, but I do think it's great to refresh your approach to life and how to live in the best way for you.

    This year I decided that my life would be much more open and productive if I did a few things more often. This included doing my best to wash up straight after dinner, posting at least 12 letters a month and going outside when i feel like staying in. I have stuck to these main goals this year so far as much as I can, and even the most silly thing like not leaving the washing up all the time has such a great knock on effect to the rest of my day/next day! It's great. And now, you thinking of being positive instead of trying to be an ideal is much the same.

    A very positive thing to think about for the rest of today, thank you.

  2. I love this post. :) I always say that we can't control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it. I do my best to remain positive because when I'm full of positivity then the bad never seems quite so bad and I think I can finally say that I've reached a place of "contentment". To me, positivity breeds JOY and that's different to me than being happy. :)

  3. I just found your blog and this is a great post! I am now your new follower! Won't you come over and follower us too? We'd love to have you and read more of your musings! Hugs! Loretta

  4. I agree outlook is everything. Happiness is fleeting & it’s ok b/c it makes you appreciate it all the more when it happens. It takes hard work to maintain positivity and “happiness.” I actually made a list of “happy things” for Marcus & I b/c life is so stressful that I actually have to put “happy things” on my to do list!
    Moving (which you are about to do) can really make you out of wack, I once read that moving is up there on the list of most stressful things along with death and public speaking! Public speaking, death, moving in that order or something!

  5. oh!!! I totally, totally agree with you. My boyfriend always says "I want to make you happy". First of all, you can't "make" someone happy. It's not HIS responsibility to "make me happy". I do, however, agree that being positive can certainly put you in a happier mood. Mood and attitude seems key. Being happy seems unattainable, then you ultimately end up feeling worse than if you were just content.

    It seems like happy moods can be offset by sad moods, but if you're an overall positive person, then your life will have joy.

    I just realized that the above sentence made no sense at all. So, I'll stop typing. ha!

    Don't worry...be happy. I mean...positive!