Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Hour

I've been singing "It's five o'clock somewhere" in my head all day after talking to one of my cute aunts this morning.  She was checking in on me to see how I was doing after reading a blog post from a couple weeks ago.  I told her that I was in a good place and that my Derby party had been a success.  We briefly talked about anxiety and some of the things that I have learned in the last couple years.  I found myself asking her why I am I like this?  Not so much, why does it have to be me?  But, why is it me?  Why do I think and respond the way I do?  She didn't have a scientific answer for me, I may never have one, but she reassured me that I would be able to help someone else or have empathy for others while they are going through difficult times.  I cried as I heard her say those things knowing them already to be true.  

I opened up about being a "good" mother.  I shamefully admitted that I don't know how to be happy at home.  I'm grateful that I am a mother.  I'm grateful that I can be a stay at home mom.  I love each of my seven children.  I love D and all that he does for our family.  But I'm not "me" around my family.  My children and D don't see me laugh like others do.  I'm not playful and I don't kid or tease.  All I do is nag and say, "I'm sick of it!" I don't know how many times a day.  If I died today my kids would probably say that I'm always "ticked".  It's a lovely feeling.  

D was thoughtful earlier this week and came to the conclusion that I am overwhelmed and offered to get me some help rather it be counseling, a maid, laundry service, yard care guys, etc.  I think I'm resentful.  Feeling like I can't do everything and wondering why no one else notices things that need to be done or picked up and then just do them.  

It seems so easy.  That my being happy is conditioned on "them" and the condition of my house, yard, suburban and rental house.  

After hearing me sob through the phone, my cute aunt pointed out that being a mother is the hardest job in the world.  That it is a relentless job.  That it is a thankless job for years.....until one day........some day.

She had recently heard a talk about just this and the challenges mothers face.  They spoke of trying to be happy for just one hour.  She looked at the clock and said, "Okay, it's almost noon here so for one hour, we're going to have a happy hour".  Then we can message each other tonight and tell each other what we did in our happy hour.  

There was something about what she told me that gave me this new found hope for happiness. It seemed attainable.  I could be happy for one hour.  I then realized that I could choose to be happy during my "Happy Hour".  That's when the song hit.  All of a sudden I realized that it's five o'clock somewhere.  It's happy hour somewhere.  I could choose to have my very own "Happy Hour" when ever I wanted because it's five o'clock somewhere.  I could even choose to be happy one hour and then another, and then another.  I got this new excitement for the day and what I could accomplish with this new attitude.  

I hung up the phone and picked up my pick and got back to digging up the front walkway out front, happily.  It was almost as if I were playing a game with myself.  What else could I do in my hour?  I finished the morning dishes, and then I talked with the girls on the couch in a funny voice.  I was doing it.  I was happy.  Was it really that simple?  

But then the thought came to me.  It's easy to be happy right now because almost everyone is gone and no one is making a mess.  But that is when I remembered that I could have my "Happy Hour" whenever I wanted it, and I mostly needed it when my family was around.  I thought of all the "Happy Hours" I could have and what I'd do.  Some "Happy Hours" might be filled with a different tone of voice when I ask the children to put away their socks, rinse off their dishes, pick up the pillows, etc.  Other hours might be doing my daily cleaning but happy to do so because I love my family.  Other hours might be slipping away to my beloved bubble baths.  If I take one hour at a time, make it a "Happy Hour" doing whatever, I will begin to be happy at home.  My children and husband will see the person I am to everyone else.  They too will be able to say that I laugh all the time.   That I'm a tease.   The real, happy me.  

It's been a good day.  I've been happy.  My voice has been different.  My smile is back.  My real smile.  I had a talk with the three older boys this evening.  They all lost their iPods for a few days.  I explained to them that I'm making a conscious effort to be happy, and part of that is to follow through with consequences when I'm not minded or family responsibilities aren't done.  It went well, just because I did it without saying, "I'm sick of it" in the conversation.  It's amazing.  :)

I bought myself a clicker today.  I discovered it while looking online for the talk I mentioned above.  I never did find the talk but I found a clicker that will help me "click" for every happy thought.  Who knew?  I'm excited to get clicking.  Want to join me?  Click HERE to see how.  :)

And just when the day was about to end got even better.  Sitting here blogging I heard some thunder that shook the house.  Where on earth did that come from?  It hasn't been overcast at all today.  And then, then I thought I heard some rain.  Could it really be?  I jumped up, ran out to the balcony and yes, it was indeed raining.  I walked out into the rain where there was a gentle breeze, closed my eyes with my face up to the sky and sang the words in my head, "When ever I feel the rain on my face, or the wind as it rushes by"..."Of all these creations of which I'm a part; Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me".  What a tender mercy.  Oh how I needed my Heavenly Father to tell me that He loves me right then.        It was just yesterday that I taught the children in primary that song.  I didn't know that I was really teaching that song to myself.  

This is a very private post, but hopefully it can help someone else.  We're all going through different things.  There's no sense in always acting as if everything is "okay".  That only leads to comparing with everyone else thinking that it's only you.   So if I can be the voice, so be it.  So grateful for my "Happy Hours" and that it's five o'clock somewhere.  Here's to "Happy Hour" everywhere and more importantly, my "Happy Hour"!


Erika said...

Being a mom IS the hardest job. I've been trying really hard to change my voice too and just choose to be happy lately. And to remember that I shouldn't let the actions of the kids, the dirty house, the things I need to do, etc. influence my happiness. I'm the only one in charge of that. Anyway, I agree with your thoughts...and the "I'm sick of it" sentiments, because I find myself saying similar phrases all the time! Thanks for sharing and for listening. Life is a journey and I guess we just figure it out a little at a time. It's a darn good thing we have friends/family to help us along.

Angie said...

your aunt is a very wise woman. Attitude is huge. I have watched my very negative grandmother be sad, self-deprecating and very negative until almost the end of her life. I have watched her daughter, my own mother, twist and struggle with that spectre of negativity, do somewhat better, but still live under a grand cloud of negativism. I want that cycle to end with me, to show my children that happiness is a choice, not just with lip service but really meaning it.

The power of my bad attitude hit me one day, when I apologized for griping, saying I had a headache and one of my little ones said "but you always have a headache" Ouch! Whether or not my neurology is off (it is), my children don't deserve to live in its shadow. For me, happiness is coming in small bits, in doing the basics and just choosing to be where we are.

Happy hour: what a grand idea!

Megan said...

Thank you. You have no idea how much I needed that. Thank you.