Our family faces some unique challenges. Mr. F. has a number of health issues (allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities, etc), our children need a whole lot of love and attention, even at night, both Mr. F. and I have food intolerances which neccessitate making everything under the sun from scratch, etc. It is so easy for Mr. F. and I to feel a bit worn down and discouraged and yes, even perhaps a bit bitter. I have found myself thinking on a number of occasions, "why is life so hard? It would be so much easier if we could just grab a bite to eat at a place other besides our house. Or go to church without suffering for it the rest of the day. Or if our children would sleep by themselves." I get caught in this "woe is me" mentality that just sprials down into dark and dreariness.
And then one day, just out of the blue, I thought, "your situation isn't going to improve any time soon, so you need to find happiness now." I had this image in my mind of our cute little family: our sweet and loveable boy and our brand-new baby daughter. I decided that I didn't want to spend this time, when our kids are young, sweet, and cute, being all bitter about how hard life is, especially as I don't percieve our circumstances changing anytime in the near future.
"Choosing happiness" is a phrase that is often thrown about. It is a great sentiment, "choosing to be happy," but what does that really mean? What is the practical application? I honestly don't know. And this is a bit of a sticking point, because how chan you change when you don't know what steps you need to take to change? Sometimes just reminding myself that I am happy can be enough to change my current perception of a situation. Also, making sure that I get enough sleep and some exercise is helpful in having an optomistic outlook and improved attitude. But, I still struggle.
How about you? How have you found happiness in difficult circumstances? What specific actions have you taken to "be happy?"