When Kaitlyn asked guest bloggers to write a post on “Living the Life you Love”, it occurred to me that while I’m not necessarily living the life I love, I am loving the life I live.
Loving everyday life, complete with work, chores, traffic and all the other myriad of annoyances isn’t necessarily something that comes naturally. It is easy to love a special dinner, or a holiday, but how do you love a life where 95% of the time it is more about doing the washing and putting the garbage out? I’m lucky enough to be a happy, cheerful, optimistic person, but I’ve had some tough times and I’m well aware how easy it is to become bogged down by the mundane and difficult aspects of life.
Over the past decade, I’ve learned a lot about myself but the key realisation has been that I am responsible for my life and that I can choose to be happy.
I was a bit of a failure at being a teenager. In years when I should have been partying, having my first boyfriends, developing as an independent person, I was studying, reading, hanging out with my (admittedly awesome) parents, generally living in my own head. As I moved into adulthood I continued that way, waiting for life to start, imagining the brilliant things that could be happening. I had a fabulous life in my head but a pretty boring one in reality.
It never quite occurred to me that I needed to do something to get that fabulous life. Even as an intelligent woman, I assumed a great life would just happen by itself. Prince Charming would swoop in and sweep me off my feet (luckily being able to find me in my bedroom) and other people would instruct me how to live a full, exciting life. I was mired in a comfort zone, where I felt safe, but not particularly happy and definitely not fulfilled.
There were two great turning points in my life and both of them were active decisions that I made. I had wanted to dance pretty much my whole life but somehow had always found reasons not to. Finally, I decided to do it and it changed my life. Dancing made me fit and strong. It improved my confidence, my posture and my social life, as I discovered some of the most amazing friendships I could imagine. It made me happy. Even at my saddest, I cannot be sad on a dance floor. But most importantly it made me realise if I wanted something in my life, I had to take the steps necessary to make it happen.
The second came after one of those days where I just felt happy for no reason. It was a normal work day and yet I floated through it in a bubble of happiness the way you sometimes do. As I drove home that night I wanted the feeling to last, so I made a commitment to pay more attention to the ‘good’ stuff. As with dancing, I made an active decision to focus on happy things. To document them, I started my blog. Every day for a year I found a happy moment to write about. It wasn’t an easy year; I got very sick, had work issues, and a close family friend was diagnosed with and died of cancer. But even on the worst, sickest, saddest day, there was something good and noticing it made all the difference. To this day, I seek out good things, and I pay attention to them, so that I can blog about it later.
None of us get sunshine and roses every day. I don’t claim to be perpetually happy – there is many a day when tears are shed or I just feel down. But what I have created for myself is a life where those days are the slim minority and where happiness is my focus.
For me, learning to love the life I live has been about learning to spot the ray of light that makes it through the clouds and focusing on it instead of the gloom. There is light and happiness in every day, it is up to us to find it.
To read more of Lisa's blog (Which is very fabulous indeed!) visit: