International Day of Happiness

I have seen from my social media feed that today is #internationaldayofhappiness.

I love this, in that I believe we should all celebrate life when we can, cherishing every drop of it.

But, I also worry about this, as I know that today there are many people who are not happy, not even close, and I don’t want these people to feel (perhaps further) marginalized.

On March 8th, prompted by an emotional local news story and other, smaller issues that were more close to home, I wrote a post on my personal Facebook that has been shared since on several pages.

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I am glad that there is light shining out from the terrible cracks that recent tragedies have caused in my home community. Awareness is being raised for mental illness, and issues that are typically talked about in a whisper are being presented openly.

A common refrain that I hear is that this person or that person “wasn’t sad or depressed at all” before it was too late to save them. I realize that this is said as a warning, trying to caution parents and people that “this could happen to anyone”. But, I implore you to read, again, what I wrote above. Someone can be smiling, giggly, vivacious, social…

and still be severely depressed. There is no “face of depression”. So try to be good to people. Try to look at them a little more deeply and not just at how they look in an Instagram post or what their Facebook status says about doing really something cool/being somewhere really great/feeling so ecstatic.

Obviously, mental illness is a disease of deceit, even fooling those who are ill themselves, so it is impossible for you or anyone to be able to “catch” every case of something being off. I do, however, ask that you treat those who are suffering with sympathy and not with scorn or stigmas.

Okay. I can climb off my soapbox now and talk about being happy.

For me, it is easier some days than others. I am happy throughout the day, at times, every single day; for that I am so grateful. But am I happy all day every day? No. But, who is?

I will share with you what my #happiness is today:

I mentioned recently that our little boy is going through somewhat of a mama phase, but really, it’s separation anxiety in general, which is totally age appropriate.

This morning, he woke up calling out for his “Dada”. I got up to get him, and when I turned on his light and reached into grab him from the crib, he flung his body down, crying. “Dada! Dada!” he cried. He would not let me hold him. And so I had to finally bargain with him.

“If you let me pick you up so that I can change your diaper, I will bring you into bed to be with Dada, ok?”

And so he came to me and I made good on my promise.

My son chanted all the way down the hall to our bedroom, as I carried him, saying “Dada! Dada! Dada!” and when I put him on the bed, he did not jump on his dad as I would have expected with the enthusiasm he had been showing;

Instead, he quietly crawled over to him, curled up into the crevasse that his shoulders created in his back, put his thumb in his mouth and just snuggled into his dad.

And in that moment, while my husband was still half asleep (and asking me about how my stand up comedy show in Orlando went), I felt so much happiness. I felt so happy to have these two boys in my life, two out of the three greatest that I know. And I felt happy for my son, as he has the best father, who always puts him first and loves him warmly and affectionately. And, most of all, I felt happy for my guy, as he deserves this kind of unconditional love from my son, and from all of us, which he has. He is a truly good human being. His happiness is my happiness. He deserves nothing less.

Happy #InternationalDayofHappiness

Even if it is a small thing, like hearing a song on the radio that you like, or making a green light, I hope that today brings you, at the very least, a moment of happiness.

And, if not, that’s OK, too.

Because I know, with all of my heart, that you will find that happiness again.


[*Author’s Note: This post was originally published using the title and term “International Happiness Day”, which I have since corrected to “International Day of Happiness”. But don’t waste your time trying to edit my post; go find your happiness.]

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