I’m not really making everyone happy. Not right now, immediately. I don’t really think I can. Happiness is so complicated, sometimes unpredictable, and subjective. Right?
So, how to even approach it?
It takes a long time to grow into happiness. To realize that it is not getting everything you want. Happiness takes sacrifice. Happiness is selflessness and fearlessness. It’s finding joy in difficult circumstances. It’s gratitude and giving.
Am I right?
So that’s why we encourage our kiddos to work hard and take pride in their accomplishments. Even if that accomplishment is putting away 5,305 stuffed animals before bedtime.
We do things that are uncomfortable. Push our limits so that we know where they are. Limits like riding 30 miles on a bike when we are 5 years old.
We take a bite of food that is unfamiliar, and then a couple more just to be 100% sure we don’t like it before we give up. And we never spit it back out.
We do things to help people. Even if it means sitting out in the hot hot sun selling cookies to passersby on a holiday when we could be at the beach.
Are we having fun yet? Are we happy? We’re happy, right?
Then why are we whining?
Okay, fine. I get it. It takes a while to learn. Happiness is a choice we get to make every hour of every day. Even in the hardest of times. Even when dinner contains ginger and/or curry powder. It doesn’t feel like it, but you actually do have a choice.
(They are usually not happy to hear that.)
So no, I’m not making everyone happy. Not right now.
Because I can’t. It’s impossible. I can lead these little ponies to water, but I cannot make them drink.
And then one day this summer we came home from somewhere and needed some cold refreshment. Little Miss took charge, opened the freezer, pulled out the freeze pops and exclaimed (for real, it was a real exclamation), “I’m making everyone happy!”
And I thought, Oh my goodness, she’s right! Maybe I’m over-thinking this. Maybe I just need to throw them a bone, a cookie, a popsicle every now and then. Maybe that wouldn’t derail anyone’s life.
Maybe I can make everyone happy. Just a little bit. Now . . . and forever.