“Certainly there are good and bad times, but our mood changes more often than our fortune.” — Jules Renard
Not only that, but we can have bad moods during good times, and good moods during bad times. Have you ever wondered how this could be? I know I do.
There are similar mysteries in life. I remember, after we had two young children, I wondered how I could have ever thought myself busy before– but I know that I often did. I sometimes used to wonder why I ever thought I had any burdens in life before we dealt with the worries and sorrows related to Matt’s disabilities– but I did. I used to think I needed to lose weight when I weighed fifteen pounds less than I do now. On and on it goes.
For all the ups and downs of my life, my moods have remained remarkably the same; good sometimes, and bad sometimes. I’m grateful and joyful and blessed. I also feel sorry for myself more often than I care to admit.
It seems too simple to be true, but joy isn’t primarily about the external situation. You can choose to be happy in any circumstances, or for that matter, unhappy in any circumstances. I’m not saying that we don’t ever get hit with great loss, or even tragedy. I know that we sometimes need to grieve, or feel lonely or worried or sad. It’s part of being human.
I don’t live in la-la land, and though my glasses may be a bit rose colored, I can see 20/20 through them. But a joyful heart is a choice, and I choose it as often as I am able. If you are reading this blog, chances are you do too.
So if today is a good day for you, send me some happy! What is putting a smile on your face today?
If it’s not a good day, imagine yourself in the photo above, enjoying a gorgeous autumn day in New England. Or imagine your own idea of a fabulous afternoon, and then come as close as you can to creating it right where you are.
Our moods are going to change. That’s a fact. But we can spend way more of our lives in a good mood if we learn to exit quickly when end up in a bad one. What are your most reliable exit strategies?