If you’re Happy and you know it…….

but what if you aren’t happy, or don’t seem to know what happiness is?

We seem to have got in a rut of misery and even doing nice things doesn’t make us feel good and everything seems hard work and not worth the effort.  We just seem so bogged down and can’t see the wood for the trees in anything we do.

Now I have depression and ME so am used to being like that, but the rest of the family seems to feel the same and I don’t know how to help.

Apparently, today is Blue Monday and Leeds is one of the most depressing places to be, according to Yorkshire Evening Post story.  Trust me to be in the most depressing place on the worst day of the year, but I don’t think my location makes much difference as I am not out and about and mixing with other people.  It’s not post Christmas blues either as we didn’t enjoy the festive season or do anything exciting and were glad when things got back to normal.  Emily was really unsettled by the holidays and just wanted to be back at school, which is a bit soul destroying when it took me so much effort to get ready for Christmas and make it happen.

So what is happiness?  How do you be Happy?  According to Google, who of course knows everything!  Happy is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.” and other words for happy are 
contented, content, cheerful, cheery, merry, joyful, jovial, jolly, joking, jocular, gleeful, carefree, untroubled, delighted, smiling, beaming, grinning, glowing, satisfied, gratified, buoyant, radiant, sunny, blithe, joyous, beatific, blessed.  How often do we use those words?

I think there is a lot of pressure to be happy, with sadness or displeasure being viewed as wrong, and we are always being told if you have somewhere to live, food and family you should be happy.  We accept that we are lucky to have those things and are grateful to have those things, but also work hard for them and been made to feel ungrateful when those things don’t make us Mr Happy of course then makes us feel bad and it all becomes a bit of a vicious circle.

Being ill gets me down a lot and the limitations that are put on my life, but if I complain, I get responses along the lines of how can you unhappy with what you have got?  You are lucky to not have to work, you are lucky to be at home all day.  Those things don’t make me happy though as they are not the things I want to be doing.  I know I am lucky to have a nice house, but it is stressful keeping it like that and having to ask for help with anything that needs doing and any jobs we try to do taking months and months, if not longer many never get finished, and always trying to live up to others expectations.  Yes I am lucky to have a relatively new car, but it’s not actually mine and I could lose it any time that DWP decide I don’t deserve it any more.  Even the car takes effort to keep it clean and running well, tomorrow it’s off to be repaired after part of the roof fell on it during the high winds, so more hassle and more money to pay out.  I hate every time I get in the car as it is filthy inside and so needs cleaning out, I am hoping it might get valeted when it goes for repair!!  I have to remember tonight to take out anything that we need from it as we don’t know how long we will be without it.  We will get a courtesy car, but have no idea what it will be.

Yes I am lucky to have my daughter and husband, but it doesn’t mean they make things easy and at the moment tensions are running very high and we are having a lot of problems with Emily’s behaviour and having trouble getting any support or getting anyone to believe us as she is an angel to everyone else.  

This graphic that someone sent me about sums it up

I know the graphic relates to children on the Autistic spectrum, but I think all children and adults can be like that sometimes, we spend all our time putting on a brave face and being nice to people, get over loaded with stimulation and when we get to the end of the day in our own homes it hits us and we get bad tempered or tearful or withdrawn, however our bodies decide to cope with it.  Or am I just making excuses to justify poor behaviours?

I am showing my age now, but as I have been writing this song popped into my head, originally sung by Ken Dodd in 1964!

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord I’ve been blessed
With more than my share of happiness

To me this world is a wonderful place
And I’m the luckiest human in the whole human race
I’ve got no silver and I’ve got no gold
But I’ve got happiness in my soul

Happiness to me is an ocean tide
Or a sunset fading on a mountain side
A big old heaven full of stars up above
When I’m in the arms of the one I love

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed
With more than my share of happiness

Happiness is a field of grain
Turning its face to the falling rain
I can see it in the sunshine, I breathe it in the air
Happiness happiness everywhere

A wise old man told me one time
Happiness is a frame of mind
When you go to measuring my success
Don’t count my money count my happiness

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord I’ve been blessed
With more than my share of happiness

Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess
I thank the Lord I’ve been blessed
With more than my share of happiness

Makes it sound so simple to be happy and it is quite a catchy song that makes you smile I guess.

Another in similar vain;

Bring me sunshine
in your smile,
Bring me laughter
all the while,
In this world where we live
there should be more happiness,
So much joy you can give
to each brand new bright tomorrow,
Make me happy through the years
never bring me any tears,
Let your arms be as warm
as the sun from up above,
Bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love!

Made famous by Morecambe and Wise (lyrics Metro).

 Perhaps if I sing these each day it will make me happier?!!
It’s strange how songs appeal to me, it usually the tune that I notice as I can’t hear the words, but then if I look up the words to something I like the sound of they are quite meaningful.
One that sticks in my head a lot is Reflection from the Disney film Mulan, I have never seen the film, but the song is very powerful and my daughter is learning to sing it. The lyrics tie in with my previous blog Who am I.
Look at me
I will never pass for a perfect bride
Or a perfect daughter
Can it be
I’m not meant to play this part?
Now I see
That if I were truly to be myself
I would break my fam’ly’s heart

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight
Back at me?
Why is my reflection someone
I don’t know?
Somehow I cannot hide
Who I am
Though I’ve tried
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

(lyrics Metro)
We can learn a lot about happiness from children, watch what makes them happy, seeing it snow, blowing bubbles, splashing in puddles.  As adults we miss all that and think we are too grown up for it, but if we try it, it does make us smile and laugh, even if we do get cold and wet!
I keep trying to be mindful and live in the here and now and savour the little things, but they easily get missed amongst the daily routine and trials and tribulations.
Today I managed to do a small craft project that have been meaning to do for ages and I am pleased with it and it made me happy, but I am overwhelmed by the huge number of things waiting to be done and that takes away much of the pleasure of actually having done something.
I will end with a few pictorial quotes

Definitely food for thought.
Here is a happy picture of my daughter take the other day, she was happy because she had just drawn a picture of the cat, it’s in the little things.

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