🎵 …Because I’m Happy 🎵

Today is a good day.
 • My best friend gave birth to a gorgeous little girl last night & I woke up to pictures of her happy family, which put a big smile on my face. Knowing that I’ll get to see them soon makes me even happier.
 • I had a parent-teacher conference this morning and I only cried a little bit. *winning!* I also curled my hair. *trying too hard* *also winning*
 • I have orders in my Etsy shop that are all painted & waiting to be shipped.
 • Our bills are paid. Our pantry, fridge & freezer are stocked. I have gas in my car & my radio still works. (Not that it was ever in danger of not working; I’m simply thankful for it.)
 Regardless of all I have to celebrate and be thankful for, some days I feel like I can barely function. I over-analyze my interactions with people, & feel guilt & embarrassment over things which the logical, rational side of me knows are ridiculous. I wonder why I said this or that thing, or why I didn’t say something. I often feel inadequate; I’m not enough or I’m not doing enough. I take responsibility for things that couldn’t possibly be my fault, but I bet you I can twist it in my brain until it is. I am not gracious with myself when I make mistakes, no matter how small.
 I say that to say this:
I’m still happy. I am SO happy because I have so much to be happy about! But often, it takes an intentional effort on my part. I don’t just wake up burping sunshine & farting rainbows. I have to count my blessings and remind myself daily of all I have to be grateful for. I have to intentionally think positive thoughts & say positive things. I have to surround myself with positive people, which is a bit more challenging than you might think. I have to practice yoga daily. I have to pray & ask for help. I have to watch what I eat & stay the heck away from caffeine! (Which, unfortunately since I paint coffee mugs I have a hard time doing – I have to test them, right? *wink wink*) I have to interact with people, go for walks & get outside even when I don’t want to…especially when I don’t want to.
 Sometimes I do a pretty great job, like today. Sometimes I fail and I let my irrational feelings swallow me. Sometimes I just fake it, for my benefit as much as anyone else’s.
 So, if you’re reading this, maybe you could remember it; consider it the next time you interact with “a happy person.” That person you’ve rarely seen without a smile on their face, the one you might go to for a laugh, for comfort, for sound advice…
Remember that sometimes they need someone, too. They may be sad, anxious or struggling in some way and they won’t always say it for of fear of embarrassment, shame, or just not wanting to burden anyone else. Sometimes they cover their struggle with a blanket of humor. Sometimes they don’t know what to say or how to say it. Sometimes there’s nothing they can attribute their sadness to & they just don’t want to hear “what do you have to be upset about? There are people everywhere who have it so much worse.” I promise you they know that already. You might think those people already know they are loved, needed and necessary in the world, but they don’t always. Sometimes they need to be reminded.
Today I challenge you –  first – to remind someone how necessary they are because you never know when they might need to hear it, & secondly, not to take anyone’s smile for granted; they may have done a lot of work to put it there.
 ….And…that’s all the word vomit I’ve got for you today folks!
 Now, I am going to go lend myself to something productive. Happy Tuesday everyone! Thanks for reading. Comment &/or share if you feel so inclined. 🙂
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Suck It Up, Buttercup; 1st Edition

I called this post the 1st Edition, but in actuality it’s the second. The first Suck It Up, Buttercup post can be found here. I didn’t realize these were going to be a series, but now I do so…there you are. In the second 1st edition of Suck It Up, I would like to talk about selfishness.

A certain degree of selfishness is required of most – if not all – of us in order to adequately and genuinely care for the needs & wellbeing of those around us. We have to take time for ourselves so that we feel well & balanced before we can give of ourselves to others without resentment. Sometimes, we just need to take care of ourselves, not so that anyone else can benefit from it, but just because WE NEED IT. The added bonus to that scenario is that others usually benefit from it anyway regardless of whether they were your motivation for caring for yourself or not. Win-win.

Selfishness becomes a problem when you are thinking ONLY of yourself and neglecting the needs of others; when you get so caught up in your own problems, needs, and wants that you forget about the hardships and desires of those you love. It’s an even bigger problem if you are totally aware that you’re neglecting these people and their needs and you don’t give a rat’s ass. That’s a nasty brand of narcissism if you ask me.

Your problems aren’t going to disappear just because you spend every waking moment thinking about how dysfunctional/terrible/depressing/strenuous etcetera, etcetera your life is. In fact, that kind of thinking will only make it worse. Suck it up, Buttercup. Ain’t nobody got time to be sittin’ around feeling sorry for themselves when there are babies to feed, bills to pay & all sorts of social, political and economic upsets in the world. You can only face one thing at a time so do what you can do today & then maybe you can do more tomorrow. All you have to do is try.

It’s really hard when you’re going through major life changes or you’re feeling like your world is falling apart around you and there’s nothing you can do about it, but the truth is that you’re in complete control of your present and your future. Even from up here on my soapbox, I need that reminder, too. I don’t post these things because I think I’m perfect and I’m not guilty of any of the things I talk about. I post it because I’m human & just as guilty of most of them as anyone is, but I’d rather check myself (& help someone else in the process) than to have someone else do it. Plus, I’m totally hoping my blog is still a thing when I die & that wordpress will create a feature that allows me to deliver posts to emails or cell phones in the future so that my children will think I’m haunting them with motherly advice and wisdom… 🙂

Want to hear another truth? (No? Suck it up or leave.)

Helping others might actually help you. It’ll damn sure be better than sitting around moping for your own circumstances. Being there for others gives us a sense of satisfaction and purpose that pining, moping & selfishness, quite frankly, will NEVER BRING YOU. EVER. Take time for yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling or do whatever you need to do, but not too much time. Don’t wallow in self-pity for too long. Don’t like your circumstances? Change them. There is always a way. It’ll be difficult and it won’t happen over night, but you can do it & when you do, it will be worth it.

In the meantime, spread some good karma and be there for someone important to you. If we all took time out to consider the fact that the universe doesn’t revolve around us & that there is always someone in worse shape and more desperate need than ourselves, maybe we would feel more fortunate and grateful for the things we have. Even if what you have isn’t much, focus on those things & share them with someone; chances are they won’t think so little of it.

I’m sick of the constant stream of redundant ‘poor, pitiful me’ posts on social networks. I get it, sometimes we all have to let it out, but most of the people constantly complaining about their circumstances are all complaint & no positive action. Additionally, several of these people have loved ones in their lives far worse off than they are with far more right to complain; they could be more supportive of those people & the hardships they’re facing. Take care of your relationships. Spend time with people you love because one day, they won’t be here for you to spend time with. Get over yourself and

suck-it-up-buttercup