I saw this picture posted on Facebook today and I absolutely loved it. How often do we think “If I could just find happiness…” or “I would finally be happy if _____ ” or “this extremely expensive, beyond my budget ______ would make me truly happy.” But happiness isn’t something we can buy, it doesn’t come with finding your Prince/Princess Charming and it’s not a destination you can “arrive” at. No, happiness is just the mode of transportation in which we get to our destination. And that my friends is why I drive a Sienna! (Stop laughing, Siennas are a sweet ride. Hello? Swagger Wagon?!) Anyway…
I think that happiness comes down to the choices you make everyday. We all have situations and circumstances that make our life hard. But no matter what your situation you always have the choice. Whether you choose to focus on the negative and ruin your day/week/year and possibly that of the people around you. Or instead choose to learn from the experience and focus on moving forward with the positive. No matter what you do, your happiness in the journey is ultimately up to you.
Too much of my life has been spent focusing on those that have “done me wrong”, letting the challenges overcome my thoughts and emotions. And the only thing that this has brought to my life is bitterness and resentment. And that is why I am doing my best to change my thinking patterns. I can’t always choose the things that happen to me but I can sure choose my reaction!
Since the picture above reminds me of camping I thought I’d tell the story of our camping trip last summer. We were headed out on a 1 week camping trip to beautiful B.C.. It should have taken us
about 8 hours to arrive at our destination. The kids were in the car, the trailer was packed, we’re on the road and excited for our journey! Just over an hour into our drive we noticed that traffic had slowed down and there was a HUGE line up of cars. Apparently there was a mud slide and the highway was shut down. All traffic was detoured which meant this was going to be a slooooow ride. After crawling in traffic for about 2 hours the kids finally started to get a little antsy. We were now at a dead stop and I decided to take Izak out of the car. He smiled at all the ladies and acted extra cute but when it was time to get back in the car he was just not having it. Talk about screamfest! So now, not only were we crawling through traffic but we were listening to the screams of our 2 year old serenade us. (Music to a momma’s ears I tell ya!) After about another hour of this we FINALLY start moving. Once again we’re excited! We’re ready to get moving! We’re ready to….fix a flat tire? Oh yes, just as we pull into the next town my hubby realized we had a flat tire on the trailer. *sigh* At this point I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to arrive.
But you know what, I was not letting these circumstances ruin my trip. Oh no! We were on a family adventure! And although the “adventure” part started out a little earlier in the trip than I would have liked and it wasn’t actually the type of adventure I anticipated, it was an adventure none the less. We just kept on trucking (or van-ing?) and made the most of it.
How easy would it have been to get super frustrated with the circumstances that were given? Adding an extra 4 hours to a trip with two kids, arriving at our destination at 11pm to set up our tent trailer in the dark was not exactly the ideal start to our trip. We could have turned around, my hubby and I could have started yelling at each other or the kids, I could have started crying about how life sucks and how it’s so unfair that this happened to us, that my life was over and that we are never ever going on a trip ever again. (Ok that was slightly dramatic but I AM kind of a drama queen). But what does any of that accomplish? Other than making the rest of the journey suck, not much! So instead we laughed, we shook our heads, we stayed patient with each other, tried to entertain the kids and chose to focus on the fact that we would be on vacation for 2 weeks!
In my journey of life I’m choosing to travel in happiness. And although everyday is not easy, in every journey there are bumps in the road. Sometimes you even have stop and fix a flat tire but that doesn’t mean you call it quits! Sometimes you need to pull over and take a breather, catch a quick nap, but the important thing is that you get back on the road and travel in happiness. See the beauty of the scenery around you and stop focusing on the potholes. Happiness is there for you to choose every single day. Why don’t you take it for a test drive? 🙂