Friday, November 30, 2007

Make Yourself Happy

Sometimes it seems like time never moves, and other times... you just wonder where it all went. I meant to write a piece for Thanksgiving. It was all formed in my mind but never made it to my hands, then -- so suddenly, it seems -- it was the day after Thanksgiving... but the message is still good.

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a good friend over lunch, and they were telling me how things were going in their life, and remarked that for their birthday no one was planning anything special for them. Initially they were a little bummed, but then decided, "Heck. It's my birthday, so I'm going to do something for me, to make myself happy." Then she followed with, "I'm ## years old (real age withheld) and I'm not a child anymore and it's up to me to make my birthday special for me..." and she did.

She told me all that she did on her birthday to make it special, the little things she treated herself to because she deserved it, the time she took to do some things she just hadn't had a chance to do in a while that she just decided to indulge herself in -- simple pleasures; nothing exhorbitant. And she said, "you know? it was the best birthday I've had in years," and I'd almost swear she had a glow around her that stood as evidence to how great she felt after taking charge of her day and taking responsibility for her own happiness. It was a bit inspiring, actually.

I'm a great proponent of "make it happen" and a long time advocate of "if it is to be, it's up to me," and a lot of people, including me, apply that to a few areas but not globally in their lives.

So I started thinking about Thanksgiving -- at the time, but it applies equally to Christmas. Maybe you've had some disappointments in the recent past, and you're upset because people you "counted on" seemed too busy or overwhelmed to "treat you" for a special occasion, or maybe they didn't get you "the gift" you wanted and you got bummed. But I'm here to say that we each have within us the ability to make ourselves happy, and our happiness shouldn't depend on what someone else does or doesn't do for us. Yes... it might be nice and something to smile about, but we should each have a smile, regardless.

So with the hustle and bustle of the holidays coming up, I challenge you to find something about the holiday that is special for YOU, that would make you feel good regardless of what anyone else did or didn't do for you. You may be the only person who knows what you did, and that's fine. You could celebrate quietly, basking in your own sunshine, creating your own glow... making it happen for YOU. And when you do, write me a little note and let me know about it, so I can be happy for you, too.

Good night.