Monday, June 13, 2011

Wearing My Cranky Pants

I find myself wearing my cranky pants a lot lately, almost all the time.

I don't know why I do this.  They aren't very comfortable.  They're constricting, showing too many of my flaws.  They are not flattering at all.

And yet, day after day, I wear my cranky pants.

Maybe I've been getting dressed in the dark too often.  I reach for my pants and think I've got the ones I want.  Then later, in the light of day, I find I chose the wrong ones again.  I reached for my comfy pants or my peaceful ones.  But because I was in a hurry and didn't take the time to turn on the light, I ended up miserable.

And I've noticed that when I wear my cranky pants too many days in a row my family starts to think it's the new uniform and they all put on their cranky pants, too.  Before you know it we're one big, cranky family.

I guess I need to find my other pants and keep them closer.  I need to quit going with what's easy and look for what is really best for me and my family.  I need to plan in advance and work to have what I want available.  And most importantly, I need to turn the light on.

And maybe, after I change my wardrobe, I can help my family find their happy pants, too.

Do you know where your happy pants are?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Glory of Women -- Smartly

I have a new essay up at Smartly today singing of the Glory of Women.  Read it and recognize the women in your life.  Or yourself.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Making Other People Happy

How much of your time and energy is spent trying to make other people happy?  Well, I have a secret for you.  You can't make other people happy and it isn't your job.  So stop it!

You are not in charge of anyone's happiness but your own. 

I'm going to let you just think about that for a few seconds . . .

Do you believe me? 

There are two ideas in that one sentence.  You are not in charge of anyone else's happiness.  And you are in charge of your own happiness.

Today I want to talk about making other people happy.

Is there someone you have always tried to make happy that just never seems satisfied?  For many of us that person is a parent.  For some it's a spouse.  For others it's a friend.  We may spend our entire lives trying to make them happy.  We do everything they want.  We become exactly who they say we should be.  We give up everything.  And they still aren't happy.  Why?

Because they are the only ones with the ability to make themselves happy.  They have to choose happiness.  They can have every need and desire met beyond belief and still be unhappy.  And there isn't a thing you can do about it.

You can be kind, giving, charitable, serving, forgiving, loving, valuing, and self-sacrificing.  These are good and healthy things when they are done because you choose to.  These may affect another person's happiness.  But they won't determine it.

You can spend your whole life giving up everything you want, jumping through hoops, and killing yourself to meet their demands.  This is not healthy.  It is not good for you or for them.

The idea that we can make others happy is a fallacy.  It's just flat-out untrue.  It's an illusion we carry around; a belief in a power that we don't actually possess.

So be a good person.  Live a life of kindness and generosity.  Send value to those around you.  But quit thinking it's your job to make them happy.  You'll be better because of it.  And so will they.