Monday, October 13, 2014

Where does Happy Fit?

We spent the past weekend in Ocean City, Maryland with a few of our really good friends; friends we consider part of what we call the Baltimore family. It was another great weekend that left me sad that it was over too soon but revived in a way that reminds me that amidst all the crazy in our lives, these are the moments that life is all about.

As many know I stress myself out way more than I need to, I worry and fret half the time over nothing, but no matter our individual journeys I don't think many of us would argue we're often left feeling overwhelmed, defeated, stressed, and worried  in the day to day grind that is our lives. This negative side of life can consume us; it can blind us to everything else.  I've seen it happen. Unfortunately, most of us probably know someone that almost always seems to be unhappy and dwells way too long on the negatives of life.

My youngest daughter was what I guess people considered an unhappy baby. I never understood what people meant when they would say "oh what a happy baby" until I had an unhappy baby. I quietly obsessively worried about this child. Depression is something I don't think any family escapes from, and we have a family history so from the beginning I was that crazed parent thinking my child was destined to be this unhappy depressed child/adult. I've seen what unhappiness and low esteem does to people, and I don't want this for my kids. I don't want that for myself. Honestly, some days it's easy to say I choose happy, and other days it's just not as easy for whatever reason.

Just as we can't always have sunny days, our lives are not going to be easy and completely consumed by positive moments. I don't think life is meant to be easy.  I think maybe that is because if it was we wouldn't know how to appreciate the moments; we wouldn't recognize the beauty that life can be.

To me moments and time with the people that make these moments what they are is all that matters in the end. I think it's important to teach my kids responsibility and work ethic and those qualities that are important to making successful adults, but I think teaching my kids to be happy is just as important. Through my professional life with countless students over the span of  ten years and through my personal life, I've encountered a few overdriven people so consumed by the demands of life that they found themselves drowning in depression or unfortunately as a student reminded me the other day through a story he shared they find themselves to the point of suicide.

As much as I try and plan to teach them to be responsible and work hard for the things they want in life, I also want to teach them that being happy and doing the things that make them happy is just as important. Life is meant to be lived. Don't get so bogged down with the to do lists, the demands, the responsibilities that you forget to live life.

As I shared these pictures with friends this past weekend, a few people commented on what happy little girls we have. To me as a parent, this meant a lot because as much as yes I hope they're well behaved, respectful (always on blue at school, which Averi always is as she reminds me), and work hard, them being happy means just as much to me as anything else.

My hope is happy, well loved kids will lead to happy, well loved adults. Them being happy always makes me happy.

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Sales from my book, Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas, this month is going to the Families of SMA this month. The book examines how our 21st century digital world shapes our perceptions and expectations of our capabilities as mothers, wives, employers, and women. I talk about balance or the struggle of finding balance often in here. It will leave you with a humorous and inspirational look at the individual journey of motherhood that takes each of us from the girl we were to the woman we become. The book is also now available on the Amazon kindle for $3.99 and the Barnes and Noble Nook for $4.99. With the purchase of print and ebook books 20% of sales goes towards a children's charity for the The PACI Fund Project. This Fall donations are going to the Families of SMA charity.


  1. I <3 your post!!! I choose happy too:) We beach in Fenwick Island DE and Stone Harbor NJ and do OC, MD boardwalk occasionally:) Hugs and cheers to your Happy Philosophy!