I had kind of a crummy day today. I overslept and missed my work out this morning. A client didn't show up for her appointment and didn't call and cancel, which really grinds my gears. The heel of my favorite boots fell off. I stepped in a giant puddle and had to walk around in soaked socks for half the day. Running the finance numbers for the salon left me feeling a bit downtrodden. I marched my broken boots out of the door from work in a huff, ready to indulge in a very sulky drive home. I sent off my RSVP to A Pity Party; one guest will be attending. I plopped into the driver's seat and decided to call my husband so he could feel appropriately sorry for me and my sour mood. But the Air Force stole him this week, and he didn't answer. Add another point to my tally of "Reasons Why I am the Grouchiest Person on the Planet Earth." By now I am really festering in the bitter brew of bad moods. I flip on the radio, hoping some melancholy song will be playing so I can stare out the window wistfully, with the appropriate soundtrack.
Just guess what song was playing. It was that dang "Happy" song. If you live in America and have not been in a coma for the last few months, you know the one I'm talking about. The song is superfluously cheery and also makes me a bit twitchy if I listen to the perpetual "Because I'm HAPPEEEEEE" chorus for too long. But it has an undeniable catchiness and I always find myself unconsciously tapping my foot and grinning.
My foot started tapping and my fingers drumming on the steering wheel. Before I could stop myself, I started singing along. Just as the chorus reached my lips, I suddenly remembered what a terrible mood I was in; and that I was in no position to be cheerfully driving along when I had earned the right to brood all evening! I quickly reached up to switch stations, lest my personal dark storm cloud be chased away by frivolous pop music.
But I paused as my hand rested on the dial. My feet had the right idea. I wanted to be happy. I AM happy, dang it! It hit me then that I can't rely on my current circumstances to make me happy. I am happy because I choose to be. And none of the dumb things that happen during my day can take that away from me! I have to give it away. Who cares if my socks are soggy? Anyone can be happy with dry socks, the sun shining, and everything going their way. The real test of character is the ability to be happy, even when your boots break and your dog tracks mud all over the house and the gas station is out of Diet Coke syrup. Being happy is a decision. That ridiculous song was a little slap on the wrist to remind me that I can choose happiness. I can choose to rise above the crud and be happy, simply because I like to be happy. I don't need a reason to be happy, but there is always an infinite list of reasons I can choose from.
I tightened my grip on the steering wheel, sat up tall, and belted that insipid song all the way home. I am determined to be happy! Being happy doesn't usually happen on accident. It takes some effort sometimes. Wallowing on the couch and eating my feelings after a bad day certainly takes no effort, but yields only tighter pants and no change in whatever situations have me down in the dumps. Knuckling up to a bad day and knocking it out takes a conscious decision to be happy and an action to do things that make you happy. I walked in the door, threw on my big girl panties (and my work out clothes) and ran. I ate dinner that involved vegetables. I only ate a normal sized bowl of ice cream, rather than plopping on the couch with the entire carton and angrily eating my feelings. I put on cozy pajamas and compiled a mental list of all of the countless reasons I have to be happy. My husband is still not home, my boots are still broken, but now I have dry socks! And you know what? I'm HAPPY!