Many, many moons ago and before there were children; I would get the morning newspaper and sit down and check out what was “news”. Most times the first dozen pages were so depressing, I would flip to the funnies and the Hints from Heloise (Honestly I would rather learn the 200 ways to clean things with toothpaste than to see how many morons tried to hold up a bank with a water pistol and a demand letter full of typos) These days I hit the front pages of different news sources for my morning news. I still end up looking up toothpaste remedies and funny cartoons because of the negative news that streams in.Imagine my surprise when on the front page of MSN there is an article about happiness. The article is about different ways that we can learn happiness from children. Not all of the time, but more often than I care to admit; I find my children teaching me more about what OTC meds work best on a migraine. Also, focusing on the laughter as joy and not ear piercing squeals that make the dog consider chewing his own ears off.
Some of the “lessons” that really stuck out to me were…
- Choose your mood – The story represented talks about how a preschooler is learning about moods and asks her mother all the time “mad?” “happy?” One day when the mother was mad and the preschooler asked her about it, the mother said she was happy. She chose her mood. We get to pick our moods!!! We don’t have to resign ourselves to being in a negative mood. Our mood is not set in stone.
- Go on impulse – The story talks about a 2 year old who in the middle of “helping” fold laundry breaks into dancing. How often do we hold ourselves back from simple pleasures. No, I am not talking about deciding to spend your life savings on an impulse buy of Dr. Scholl’s Gel Liners or Lottery Tickets. I talking about dancing in the rain, having a picnic in the yard, watching the clouds for shapes of bunnies in boats. We need to dance while doing laundry more often!
- Savor joy while it lasts -This kind of goes with the one above. “Don’t cling to moments of perfect joy, just relish them and have faith that more will come.” I love this quote from the actual article.
I urge you to read the article as it has many different lessons than the ones I highlighted. There are so many things that we can learn from our kids…not just how to make the perfect spitwad (which can be highly useful)…but how to derive happiness from the simple things and enjoy the moment while it is here.
*images are courtesy of Google images