Let’s get this straight from the outset: life is tough. No getting away from that.
No matter how hard we try, how much effort we put in, how meticulous we plan, not everything goes the way we expect or want.
How we cope with life ups and downs is obviously a very personal choice.
One thing I try to cling on to is remaining happy. I know, it’s not always easy to be happy, but there are things we have all experienced that are guaranteed to bring a smile to our faces. Memories of a conversation, an anecdote or a favourite joke.
Sometimes, though, it may take something external to bring that feel good factor up front.
I have four regular sources:
- Music – stuff from the 1980s, usually. Finding Absolute 80s on my DAB radio was one of life’s real pleasures
- Film – Any of the Star Wars series (minus Jar Jar Binks)
- TV Show – Dad’s Army, Laurel & Hardy, Only Fools and Horses, Bargain Hunt
- Writing – I have always enjoyed writing, but seldom shared my compositions with others until relatively recently. I have worked on a book on the history of Carrick Rangers (limited copies still available at the time of publishing this, by the way), and have taken the plunge contributing to this blog. I’ve also written for a football blogging site, and the Carrick Rangers’ matchday programme. As well as enjoying this, it’s helped with my recovery from a mini-stroke by exercising my brain, helping it rewire, and restoring my confidence.
You may have other avenues to pull upon. A book, a religious passage, old photos, your stamp collection…..
Pick whatever you want, but make it readily accessible. You don’t know exactly where and when you may need it.
Happiness in itself may not solve your problems, but I’ve found that it can help you along the way. For me, with happiness comes a clarity of thought that’s not necessarily there otherwise.
I read somewhere recently that the secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day. I think Bob Marley nailed it: “Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.”
Seek out happiness. The search is worth it.