I had a rough day yesterday. Nothing exceptional, just basic parent rough day stuff - Miles's diaper leaked on me first thing in the morning; Oscar had a tantrum on school grounds (including falling on the ground); the boys ran from me in the school and I had to chase them (with Benji strapped to me in the Ergo); I forgot Oscar's school bag and lunch and had to go home and bring them back; Miles refused to nap; Oscar picking on Miles; Miles picking on Benji; lots of whining all around (from the picking, of course); Miles clinging to my legs and begging to be held while I fixed dinner; Oscar repeatedly demanding snacks just before dinner when he knows they are not allowed, and inciting Miles to to the same; the boys refusing to go to bed; changing a total of six poopy diapers in one day.
I don't find any of those things particularly irritating, but all together in one day they are just short of maddening. And, really, if it hadn't been for the school antics the day would have been fine. Typical, even. But I found it hard to come back from that morning.
So, last night I was reading a post by Becky where she shared some of the small things in life that she's enjoying right now, and asked readers to do the same. At first I thought, "I got nothing. This day destroyed me." And then, I decided to think about it, and I did have stuff that made me pleased - my too tight jeans no longer being too tight; quiet mornings; my new book light; my dark chocolate stash in my freezer. These things make me happy even if I'm having a hard day.
It actually reminded me of something my mom once told me, several years ago. It is one of the best pieces of life advice I have ever received. She said to me, "When people wake up in the morning, they can decide if they want be happy or if they want to be miserable. I choose to be happy."
This was a real eyeopener for me, because for some reason, I'd never realized that my own happiness was so much in my control. I always felt like my happiness, or lack thereof, was a result of things that were going on around me and happening to me. I would let the sum of small annoyances ruin my day. Why would I do that? Why did I do that yesterday?
Today, I choose to be happy.