Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Make Yourself Happy

As you may know from previous blog posts, part of my morning ritual is having a nice cuppa while watching "The View," with the wine guzzling poodle on my lap.  I am not only a fan of "The View" but of Whoopi Goldberg's, who is the show's moderator.  I am also a big "Jerry Maguire" fan because of Tom Cruise and the iconic lines "You had me at hello" and "You complete me."  So it's no surprise that I would be drawn to Whoopi's new book "If Someone Says You Complete Me, Run!"



The subtitle of the book is "Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships" and in it she shares her views on how to have successful relationships, using the rationale that she has failed at three marriages so she knows whereof she speaks.  She also points out what red flags to watch out for and when you see them - RUN!

She says that humans are not meant to mate for life (she doesn't have a whole lot of good things to say about marriage) and when we do mate, we women tend to expect Prince Charming and our relationships to be like in the fairy tales.  She also blames the songs we listen to for planting the wrong expectations ("Where Would I Be Without You?" by the Supremes or "I Want To Know What Love Is...I Know You Can Show Me" by Foreigner) and then there are the movies such as "An Officer and a Gentleman," the aforementioned "Jerry Maguire" and any movie based on books by Nicholas Sparks.  She debunks the Cinderella story where women expect Prince Charming to come along and save them from a life of drudgery and tells men that "You Ain't No Prince Charming," so quit looking for your mother, learn how to do stuff on your own and when you come home, help with the kids and the housework. (I will go one step further here.  Men are not "helping" their wives with their work, they are doing their share in what is supposed to be a partnership).

But Whoopi's biggest rant is about that famous "Jerry Maguire" line  "You complete me," because she believes that if someone can complete you they can also "deconstruct" you.  She goes on to say that you need to do the work to complete yourself, to become a whole person and then, and only then, should you look for a partner.  Otherwise, you will be kissing a lot of frogs until the Prince shows up and it might be too late.  Decide what you DON'T want BEFORE you get involved with anyone.  Don't rush into anything.  And watch out for those red flags. 

Red flags, you ask?  Yes, those are those things you sense and see in your relationship or in a relationship you want to have, but either ignore or think you can fix.

Some of Whoopi's red flags are distrust, lying, the other person doesn't want children (and you do) and he or she is married...to someone else.

But hey, you just ignore the red flags.  You can fix it, right?

Wrong. 

As Oprah said, "When people show you who they are, believe them."

So it's a funny and wise book that I recommend.  And if you think you need a soul mate to complete you, I don't just recommend this book, I STRONGLY recommend it.

But then, you know me. It got me to thinking.  And I wanted to put in my two cents!

Whoopi feels she has the experience to write about relationships because she has three failed marriages behind her.  So I thought, if she can write a book about relationships based on three failed marriages, then I can certainly write a blog post about relationships since I have been married FOUR times, the fourth lasting 31 years (so far)!  And I am going to pull the age card.  I am older, which means I have had more time than Whoopi to learn from relationships.

My son once asked me in a fit of pique, "Why do you have to have an opinion on everything?"  I just do. I can't help it.  And hopefully as long as my brain keeps working and I keep engaged, I always will.  Now that doesn't mean I have to share those opinions all of the time.  I don't.  I have learned to keep my mouth shut at critical moments.

But this isn't one of them.


So here goes
 
"Rosy's Big Blog Post About Relationships."


Back in September, I wrote a blog post called "Make Someone Happy," where I talked about how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can make a  big difference in someone else's life.  I stand by that and think if you are a thoughtful kind person that will add to your own quality of life.

Being thoughtful and kind is one thing. 

But if you are unhappy, it's not easy to be thoughtful and kind.

You need to make yourself happy first and sometimes our relationships can stand in the way of our happiness.

Whoopi talked about red flags when we embark on relationships.  I have some too.

So here are my own personal red flags that will keep you from making yourself happy. 


Red Flag #1:  When you feel responsible for someone else's happiness.
I am not talking about being selfish and only thinking of yourself.  But if you spend a great deal of your time trying to keep your significant other happy, you will never be happy yourself. For example, if your significant other is not very social and at parties you feel you need to make sure your partner is OK all of the time, you won't enjoy the party yourself.  If your partner gets upset by things a lot of the time and you spend much of your energy making sure he or she is OK, you will also feel upset a lot of the time.  Your partners need to get off their butts and make themselves happy so you can spend time making yourself happy.  That is the only way you will be happy.


Red Flag #2: If your partner shuts you out when things go wrong.
When I was in college, I met a football player who told me that if he lost a football game, his girlfriend just had to understand if he didn't speak to her for a few days after. Even at a young age, I thought, "What an ass."  I still think it.  Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who won't talk to you when he or she is upset?  If you have to run around trying to find out what's wrong, do you think you will be happy yourself?


Red Flag #3:  You have to ask permission.
Again, I am not being extreme here.  I am not talking about going out and buying a Lamborgini without discussing it with your partner.  What I am talking about here is the fact that you should be able to buy a sweater without asking for permission, especially if you work outside the home and have your own money, and you should be able to go out with your friends by saying "I'm going out with my friends," not "May I?"  Basically you should not have to ask permission for anything. You are a grown ass woman (or man), as Whoopi would say. You should be allowed to live your life as you wish without having to ask for permission. If your significant other doesn't like how you are living your life, then the two of you need to have a discussion about that and make some decisions accordingly.


Red Flag #4: You walk on egg shells all of the time, because your partner's feelings get hurt and he or she is easily upset. 
Now, what fun would that be?  How could you possibly be happy with someone like that?


Red Flag #5:  You have to change to please your partner or you think you can change your partner.
Trust me, people don't change.


Red Flag #6:  He or she doesn't have a sense of humor, especially about you.
When I am at my worst, Hubby has to stifle his laughter and clear enjoyment of my pursed lips and flaring nostrils.  Good thing because when I am in a state like that, I would rip him a new one.

Red Flag #7:  Your significant other rubs your nose in your mistakes...more than once.
You screw up from time to time.  Oh well.  It's your life.

You can tell I have been on a bit of a feminist tear lately with my reviews last week on the Diane Von Furstenberg books, the Gloria Steinem Q & A and now Whoopi's book.

The main message is this:  Be your own woman.  Diane said it, Gloria said it, Whoopi said it and now I say it.  It goes for you men, too.  Be your own man.

Make yourself happy. 

You only have control over your own life, and you certainly can't make someone else happy if you aren't happy.

So I'm with Whoopi.

If you find yourself spending your life trying to be what your significant other wants you to be, you are walking on eggshells all of the time, you have to ask permission or you are feeling responsible for his or her happiness -

RUN!


Thanks for Reading!
 
See you Friday
 
for my review of the new movie 
 
"Spectre" 
 
and
 
The Week in Reviews
 
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)
 

and the latest on
 
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

 
  
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Make Someone Happy

"Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

This quote is attributed to Plato and Philo, but it is thought to actually have been first said by Ian Maclaren.  It doesn't really matter who said it.  What matters is that it is true and profound, and if we could only think that thought when we encounter our fellow humans, even when they are cutting us off in traffic or giving us the finger, it would be a better world.

But we are not saints. In the bustle and stress of everyday life, it is often difficult to be self aware and think of others.

I have spoken of my Dad often in my blog posts. He was not a famous person or a rich person and he certainly had his foibles.  But he was an extraordinary person nonetheless. 



I have never forgotten his telling me that you show love by doing something you don't want to do, but you do it anyway without expecting anything in return.

I think of that every time I remember how when he had to go somewhere himself he would let me have the car to drive around my friends when I was the only one who could get the car -- and he would walk. 

Or the time he drove all over our nearby big town to the Army/Navy stores trying to find me a Navy pea coat that I "had to have" because it was all the rage.  He was always doing that kind of thing. He made me very happy.


He also bought me a white sports car with a little white poodle to match so I wouldn't be sad and lonely while my husband was in Vietnam.  He was that kind of person.

I have tried to be that kind of person.  And I notice it and am appreciative when others do that.

Recently Hubby played in a reunion concert in our hometown.  Many of our old friends came including one who traveled over 100 miles in traffic to show support and spend those few hours with us. That effort made us very happy.



Meditation has also taught me that there really is something to throwing kindness and positivity out into the universe.  You never know when a smile or some small thing you do makes a big difference in someone else's life and makes them happy.

And the Universe gives it back.

I have talked before about smiling and being cheerful to flight attendants on planes
(see my post about traveling - Baby Boomer Style).


How difficult is it to give them a big smile when you get on the plane and say something complimentary like how smashing they look in their cute uniforms?  I did that on a recent trip to Italy and when I disembarked and thanked the flight attendants for taking care of us, one said to me, "There's that great smile again!"  So I know I made her day when I got on the plane and she made mine when I got off.

Another thing I like to do is wish people I encounter "great happiness." 
When I sit for an hour or two at a bar, as I am wont to do from time to time, and carry on a conversation with the bartender, or if I meet a young couple while traveling and we share travel tips, if it has been a positive encounter when we part I will say, "I wish you great happiness."  And I do.  And I can see the effect that has because think about it.  How often does anyone wish you great happiness?

One of my favorite instances of that was a recent trip to London. 

We found a pub near our hotel that was a classic one.  It had great food and was just like the pub - The Queen Victoria - in my favorite British soap opera, "Eastenders" that I have been watching for over 25 years. 



We ended our day there more than once, engaging the bartender and the wait staff.  On our last night there, when they were getting ready to close (it was one of the London pubs that still closed at 10:30pm), I wished them great happiness as I said goodnight and told them how much fun we had had. I said, "It's just like The Queen Vic!" The manager patted the bar, handed me a free drink and said, "Stay."  They closed up the bar and we got to stay afterhours with them as they cleaned up.  We learned how they all lived upstairs over the pub, how they came to be there and all kinds of personal tidbits. I felt like one of the locals.  It was the highlight of my trip.

Thanking your server.
In the same vein, when you have had a good experience in a restaurant, why not thank the server for taking care of you?

It goes without saying that you don't wave at your server, ignore him or her or act rudely.  If our server has been attentive and friendly, I will often say, "Thank you for taking such good care of us."  I know that makes servers happy, because how often does anyone take the time to do that?

Thoughtful gifts.
My Dad was the most thoughtful person I have ever known. 

We might be window shopping, and I might point out a coat I really liked.  By the way, before I go on, does anyone even know what "window shopping" is anymore? Window shopping is what people did for fun before social media took over. You would go for a walk downtown and look in the shop windows at things you couldn't afford and that was considered a lot of fun.

Anyway, after a window shopping excursion with my Mom and Dad, where I had expressed interest in a coat, weeks or even months later, when a gift giving occasion would come around, there that coat would be...with a hat and a muff thrown in! 



I think of that now and realize that my Dad would have not only had to remember what I had admired, but he would have had to make a special point to go back and get it before it was gone.  That made me happy to know that my Dad remembered and cared enough to do that, but I also know it made him happy to see me happy. 

I have never forgotten those acts of love and kindness and they helped to shape my own life.

(Here's something I have to share about that and it probably accounts for my rabid shopping tendencies.  My Dad used to say that when you see something "you can't live without," you must get it even if you can't afford it, because if you don't, when you have all of the money in the world, you will never find it and always regret it.  How's that for some kind of advice about money?  Psychologists would have a field day with that, don't you think)? 

We are not invisible busy bees going about our stressed-out lives in a vacuum.  We are humans who affect other humans. 

When you say something kind, when you smile, when you give a thoughtful gift, you make someone else happy. 

Yes, you might have to go out of your way a bit but that special effort can make someone's day.

It takes so little to do so much.

And you know what? 

You discover that you have made yourself happy too.

So go make someone happy!  The power is yours.

 
Thanks for Reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 
 
"Mistress America" 

and
 
The Week in Reviews
 
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)
 
and the latest on

My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."




If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Makes You Happy?




If you read my blog, you already know I worship Oprah. 

So of course I get her "Thought for Today Newsletter" in my email.

It's a newsletter with all kinds of feel good articles, and last Tuesday, I noticed this one:  "9 Rules Happy Women Make (and Follow) by Amy Shearn.  It's an interesting list of rules, because they aren't the kinds of things you would think would be on such a list.

Here is a summary of her 9 rules that happy women make ...
and my comments:

1.  When you have two options, find a third. 
She uses an example of your being offered a job in Mexico.  You want the job, but you don't want to move.  You talk to a friend and she says, "Why not telecommute?"

OK, I get that, sort of.  But in this case, how often can most of us telecommute our jobs? 

As a librarian in a public library, that would have been a bit difficult, though there sure were times when I wished I could just click someone off when they were asking me a ridiculously stupid question.  "Oh, sorry, something must have happened to our connection.  I can't hear you."

2.  Always tent the bacon.
Actually, I never knew this.  If you fry your bacon by lifting up the center a bit, the center doesn't burn and the raw ends get cooked properly.  Her point being, steal nifty tricks from good cooks and others to make your life easier. It's the little things, after all.

Here is my nifty trick:

Keep all of your measuring spoons in a little jar on your counter or stove so they are handy, and likewise, your salt, pepper, spices and baking additives that you use all of the time, such as baking powder, in a cute little container like this one. 



You are very welcome.

 
3. Never skip morning sun.

We don't have sun in Seattle.

4.  Honor the someday list.
She says we all make to-do lists, those for what needs to be done right now and those others for what we wish to do "someday," such as travel to Prague or climb a mountain.  She says if you don't do the "someday" within six weeks, you never will.

So within six weeks, I need to live in England, write a novel and kiss Chris Hemsworth?  And if not, does that mean the "bucket list" will still be lying around after I really have kicked the bucket?

5.  Bring your own...
Cell phone charger, wine, whatever it is that you need to be comfortable and you would miss if you didn't.

She is so right here. 

I have a gallon size zip-lock baggie with my chargers, ear buds, armband to hold my phone so I can listen to music during exercise, book holder for the exercise equipment (I like to read on the elliptical), lint remover, reading light, scotch tape and wine bottle opener.  I grab the baggie and I am ready to go. I do the same thing with my make-up.  I have everything I need in the proper size baggies for airline scrutiny (though with my Nexus card I am a "Trusted Traveler" and get to use the TSA Pre-Check, which is life-changing by the way).  Put together your own must-haves similarly and packing for a trip is a breeze.

6.  Scootch as needed
She uses the example of her son building a Thomas the Train track one little track at a time, putting his train on the little track and then adding another track.  She wondered why he didn't complete the entire track before running the train on it.  Her point was:  everything doesn't need to be planned out before you get the "pleasure of scooching forward."



Mmmm

It makes me happier to plan things.  Sorry.

7.  Forget the breadstick.
Even if you started eating the bread, if the restaurant has bad lighting or anything else you don't like, it's OK to leave.

I would add, it's OK to ask to not be seated by the kitchen, the server station, the door or the restrooms. I have inherited my Dad's issues with restaurants.

8.  Sleep when you are depressed.
Rest will help your depression.

I thought depressed people couldn't get out of bed. 

9.  In 9-degree weather blow bubbles.
Somehow these little frozen bubbles are delightful and will help you forget it's 9-degrees below zero.

She lost me here.




But she is right that it's the little things that promote our happiness, and now that I am retired, that seems to be even more true.

However, despite the fact that some on this list seem frivolous and not necessary to my own happiness, it got me to thinking.

What makes me happy?



Here are my 10 rules for happiness
(I know it's supposed to be 9 but I like even numbers):

1.  People who know the rules of the road.
It makes me happy when people know how to drive.
For example, don't wave at me to go at a four-way stop when it's not my turn.
People, when we are both at a four-way stop, please don't wave for me to go. I know the rules of the road.  If we both get there at the same time, the person on the right gets to go.  Otherwise, first come, first served.  Don't wave for me to go if it's not my turn, because I won't go.  That doesn't make me happy.




And did you know that on a four-lane road, if you are on the far side of a school bus with its lights on and you are heading in the opposite direction, you do NOT need to stop?  Well, good, but no one here seems to know that.

2.  In a restaurant, being seated away from the kitchen, server station, the door or the restrooms makes me happy.  Likewise, when traveling, a hotel room away from the elevator, ice machine, vending machine or maid's storage room is a must (See Rule #4 below).
Someone has to have those crappy tables and rooms, but it ain't gonna be me.

3. My Nexus card.
When we first moved to Seattle, we planned to travel to Canada often, especially Victoria and Vancouver. 



We have actually been there often, but not as often as we would like.  While sitting in long lines at the border, we noticed a lane that said "Nexus" and there was never anyone in it.  After some research, I discovered that the Nexus card is given to "trusted travelers," who have been vetted by the State Department.  We applied and received one, and it's a life changer.  We zip across the border when the wait time for others could be up to three hours. 

An added bonus is that it works for TSA Pre-check, which means you can leave your shoes on and don't need to pull out your liquids or computer when going through security at the airport.  Makes flying a lot more pleasant.  That makes me happy.

4.  Sleeping-in.
(Which partly explains Rule #2 above).
Now that I am retired, I wonder how I ever got to work by 8 or 8:30am.  Sometimes I had to be somewhere at 7!  How was that possible?  It makes me happy each evening to know that I can get up whenever I want the next morning.  

However, my happy sleeping-in requires that the heat not be turned on, the dogs are kept away from the bedroom door (they scratch on it) and that Hubby not make too much noise (stay tuned for my blog in May celebrating 30 years of marriage, where I talk about what it takes to stay married that long).

5.  One "do anything day" a week.
I call that my catch up day...I catch up with my bad TV choices, look like crap and do whatever I want.  It's especially happy when the wine guzzling poodle chooses to spend that time with me.  He likes to watch "The View" too ( he won't watch "The Talk," though. He thinks it's derivative).




6.  Exploring.
Whether it's flying to Europe to explore or exploring in my own backyard via stair walks or trying a new restaurant, happiness is getting out there in the world and experiencing it up close and personal.  I talked about my love of stair walking in my blog "The Joys of Stair Walks" and one of my favorite vacations in "My Favorite Summer Vacation: My Narrow Boat Cruising Adventure in England."  I hope I am an explorer to the very end, because that makes me happy.


 

 
 


7.  Phone calls and Skyping with my adult children.
When your children grow up and move away, it is difficult to remain close.  Closeness requires creating a continuing history together, and we all know that long distance relationships don't work very well, not even with your children.  So effort needs to be made and being able to see each other or talk regularly helps. Getting to also see the grandchildren is an extra bonus.

8.  Grandchildren
Having grandchildren is not a do-over by any means, but having grandchildren allows you to enjoy those early childhood years that perhaps you were not able to fully enjoy because of what life threw at you when your own children were growing up.  I know that when I am around my little grandsons, I feel great happiness.



9.  Writing this blog
When the Internet first came onto the scene, I can remember thinking, "I am going to set up a webpage and flood the world with my philosophy of life." 

But I never did. 

I didn't learn HTML and was never particularly savvy about how to put together web pages.  And who had the time?  But then I started to write a blog for my library and enjoyed that, though other work obligations kept me from writing as often as I probably should have.

But now that I am retired, I find this to be something that brings me happiness. 

Retirement is a time to find out who you really are and to finally get to do things that you have always wanted to do. I always enjoyed writing, and I like to communicate. Writing a blog is an opportunity to express myself and hopefully, if I say something there that makes someone laugh or helps someone in some way, then that makes me happy. 

Whether it's a blog or inventing a new product or traveling the world, it's important for all of us to find our purpose in life.

I think that's what retirement is all about. 

You may retire from a daily job with its own rules and obligations, but you don't  "retire" from life. You don't retire from yourself. Retirement is an opportunity to spend that time alone with yourself to experiment, to discover who and what you really are, to find that meaning of life thing we all search for.

I will keep working on that.

But as Oprah often says, "One thing I know for sure..."

So my #10 rule for happiness?

Love and be loved.


 
I wish you all great happiness!
 
What Makes You Happy?
 
 
 
See you Friday for
 
"Must-See Biopics and The Week in Review"




Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it and/or email it to your friends.