Being overwhelmed with the challenges of the boys’ recovery from surgery as well as the health issues of a few of my close family members, over-layed with my inability to accomplish even the most minute task because my children are glued to me, has created a HUGE deficit in my happiness bank account lately. The break in blogging gave me the time to focus on the issues at hand but, what I hadn’t realized was that it also meant a break in focusing on my happiness. As such, I’ve spent the entire day truly miserable and searching my soul for why I feel so badly. And, I think, I’ve hit upon something…
Maintaining my usually pretty high happiness set-point takes work… apparently, more work than I realized. Because not attending to my personal happiness during these past 5 weeks — or maybe during these past few years — has definitely sunk my battleship! I am down dooby doo down down. Sure, I’ve got a lot of bad juju going on. [I was going to say cr*p — which is really what all this bad stuff is — but I’m trying not to swear so much.] It has always helped me to focus on the good stuff in my life. Without sharing what those good things are — without posting to my own personal happiness project blog — I have to admit there’s less opportunity for me to think about all the good stuff and a lot more opportunity to dwell on the bad stuff.
I also realized that much of my self worth comes from my ability to accomplish things. With the world caving in on me as it has, the boys being so clingy and being more or less locked up in the house for the better part of 5 weeks it seems I’ve caught a bad case of cabin fever complicated by feelings of low self-worth… I feel as though I’ve accomplished absolutely NOTHING! I can’t even say the boys are healed or the surgeries are behind us! And, on the rare occasion that the boys and agreeable weather conspire to give me the opportunity to go outside and play, by the time I finish poop-patrol (picking up after 2 dogs) , they’re done playing and want to go back inside. I have no time to enjoy the great outdoors with my children! I am truly an outdoors[wo]man who has been locked up in this unfinished house for 5 weeks.
It’s no wonder I’m on the low down.
So, TRULY, for my own sake as much as to share the power of positive thought with the rest of you, I’m back and focused on MY happiness — which appears to help make a few others around me a bit happier too… at least that works for my beautiful children.
I know it’s not Thursday, but I desperately need to shout out a few of the things I have to be thankful for:
 I have the most amazing children! They are sensitive and loving and kind and happy (like their Mom… generally). They bring me joy like none other I’ve ever experienced in life. Having these children was, hands down, the best decision I have ever made in my life. I cannot imagine what I thought was so important in life before they came to be in mine. And, honest to God, I would not change a thing about these beautiful children. They are perfect just the way they are!
(Ooh, see, I’m starting to feel better already!)
 I have an important life to live — a good and healthy life ahead of me. I am well! I am physically and [usually] mentally strong. I am capable of accomplishing so much and driven to make a difference… if only in the lives of my children! And like the pay-it-forward concept, it will grow! I strive to make that difference each and every day… Even if it comes in the tiniest little baby steps!
 Despite feeling like my hands (and feet) were completely tied, I DID accomplish something today! I fed and bathed my children. I spent time cuddling, watching movies and playing inside and outside with them… even if only briefly. I put away a box of mixed tools and “barn stuff” that’s been sitting in a box out there in the barn for 2 months. I covered the barbecue grill. I discarded an old bag of leaves that had been sitting in my yard for 6+ months now. And, I finally cut back some of the perennials that desperately needed trimming in the front garden. It’s not what I was aiming for… but it counts!
 I am here! Posting! It’s a good start in the right direction!
 Tomorrow is another day to get back on the Weight Watchers wagon. I’ve sort of maintained the 5lb loss I’d managed to achieve before the boys’ surgeries a month ago. That is, I’ve gone up and down a bit but, more often than not, I’m down the 5 lbs. And, there are no more 7-layer bars — don’t ask where the went — to shake me from my focus that starts again right now!
Many years ago, when my little brother was living through some tough times, I learned a wonderful positive-thinking tenet from him that I have found invaluable over the years. “This too shall pass” works well for most people, most of the time… unless, like me right now, the stuff that’s getting you down is pretty much casting a long-lasting shadow on life as you know it. But my little brother had the good sense to add a simple but most important thought to that tenet. He said, “This too shall pass. And the sun will come up again tomorrow and the day after and the day after that too. And with each day, things will get just a little bit better. Just a little bit brighter!”
Smart guy, my brother!