Thursday, October 9, 2008

Life's Ups & Downs and How They Effect Happiness

I just heard from a friend I've been somewhat out of touch with for awhile. She said that life is just hectic right now with motherhood, school, soccer, work. As the mother of 3, I know that to be true. Life is hectic! Though we haven't added soccer to the cue here yet, we have had BIG car problems and the death of an old pet to challenge our happiness. But, what struck me like a high speed soccer ball to the head was her closing statement... "And on top of it all we have to be worried about the economy".

As part of my personal pursuit of happiness -- driven by one of my favorite blogs -- I try to focus on things that make me happy and to avoid things that make me unhappy. The latter task is not always within our control as we're bombarded with news of the sinking stock market and the slow down in home-sales as evidenced by the multitude of For Sale signs lining our own neighborhood streets. But, I wondered why I truly haven't been worried at all about the economy when I read what my friend wrote. Perhaps because I'm a Stay-at-home-Mom so I'm secure in my job (for now). Or, because my husband is on the city police force so his job is pretty secure too. There's always crime (perhaps more so when the economy goes south). I didn't even check the value of my 401K because it has no bearing on my life right now. When I started it, I was told, "You're in for the long haul. The little ups and downs don't mean anything."

Now, some of you may be thinking that the latest dips in the market have not been little... and you may be right. But -- and here's the part that has helped preserve my happiness lately -- I have no control over the market. All I can do is pay my bills, take care of my children, fix the car, bury the beloved dog and hope the economy improves. I'm not in charge of whether there's going to be a bail-out or which surviving company buys out which failing company. All I can do is cast my vote on election day. As such, I have to say, I've been living my life peacefully and watching a bit detached from the whole mess. No, my head is not in the sand. And, it's not in the future asking the "what if" questions. It's in the sunshine, enjoying my children's antics and the beautiful, crisp Fall days we've had. Tomorrow is another day. The stock market may rebound (tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow). But, I will never have this day, this moment to spend with my children again. So, I'm going to sign off now and Seize the Day!

"Carpe Diem!"

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