Being Happy — How To Choose The Joyful Life

When you realise how short life is, being happy is the only option

When you look at how short life really is, and the fact that we only get one shot at it, it doesn’t make sense to spend most of it sitting on our arses. If you’re not already doing it, now’s the time to start being happy and designing a life you love.

Nevermind only stopping to smell the roses once in a while; let’s talk about growing your own garden of them!

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When you realise how short life is, being happy is the only option

Marie Kondo talks about only keeping things that spark joy, and minimalism is essentially the same idea — surrounding yourself only with things you love. So what happens when you extend that philosophy beyond your physical possessions?

You start culling the crap, that’s what.

I don’t know about you but the longer I live, the less shit I’m willing to put up with. It’s not that I’m getting meaner in my old age (though that’s probably a factor too), it’s just that the hand of time is weighing more and more heavily on me. The years are whizzing by, so I don’t have the time or energy to waste on pretending to care about things I don’t.

I don’t care about politics or current affairs or economics. I don’t care about the theatre or museums or galleries. I don’t care about pop music or celebrities or make-up.

I don’t drink alcohol, and I’m not here to justify myself to some stranger and their 20 questions about it. I’m incredibly introverted, and I don’t care that society expects me to be out socialising every Saturday night. I don’t like cooking, and I don’t care that “tradition” or gender stereotyping would rather see me in the kitchen with a saucepan and wooden spoon than in the home office with pen and paper.

I'm only interested in being happy. I will do the things that spark joy for me, and I’ll tell everything else to kindly fuck off.

If living with less has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t have to burden myself with “excess” anymore. If something brings me joy, I’ll happily spend more money on it. The same goes for experiences.

And money doesn’t even have to be a factor. I try to plan my days around what will make me happy. ‘Cause, really, life’s too short to do otherwise.

And look, scrubbing the floors doesn’t always make me happy, but having a clean house does, so sometimes I’m happy to take the thorny path to the beautiful clearing I’m trying to get to.

What do you think? Could your life benefit from a little more joy? Look at your schedule and to-do list right now and eliminate at least one thing that you no longer want to do. Maybe it’s a weekly commitment to a class you no longer care about, or you might decide that you’re going to have your shopping delivered this week instead of schlepping all the way to the supermarket yourself.

Your empire won’t build itself (totally fine if it’s a blanket fort in your front room). Stop wasting time on someone else’s dream and start laying the foundations for your own.

Choose joy in everything you do, and send everything else on its merry way.

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7 Comments

  1. Catherine O'Donnell

    OH I love this post. I really agree with no pt having to explain yourself, although sometime it would be nice to be asked and not have someone make assumptions (sorry personal trigger right now).

    • I had a great conversation with a taxi driver the other day who, when I told him I don’t drink, launched into a big discussion about living a healthy lifestyle and how he’s all for it. I was amazed! It was nice to have a conversation about the benefits rather than constantly feeling judged. I often feel like some people don’t understand that we’re not all obliged to be like them. They feel perfectly entitled to question my life choices and preferences, but if I questioned theirs in return, I’d be a bitch. Thankfully, I rarely feel the need to justify myself these days.

  2. Catherine O'Donnell

    Oops, sorry about typo. It’s really early in the morning.

  3. I love the way you think. I must admit I was about 50 yrs old before I learned to cull the crap! The next time I’m on my hands & knees scrubbing my textured tile floor I’ll remind myself that it a just a thorny path on the way to a beautiful clearing.

    • I often need the reminder myself! Maybe I’ll print it out and put it somewhere I can see it. =) But hey, maybe there’s a helpful niece or nephew or some other person who’ll help with the floors for a small fee. 😉

  4. I also love the way you think! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “crap” and loose focus on making this short life, happy & joyful! Thank you for the reality check!!

    • More than happy to help. 😀 I think we often let ourselves be “carried along” by life, so it’s important to take a step back once in a while.

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