The secret to being happy…

35 Years young and I have finally found it… the life I always dreamed of, the family I never knew I wanted and the relationships that matter. I didn’t even know I was creating this life of mine. Things weren’t always easy, and life has had its ups and downs but I think this is called growing pains. I’m so happy I had the courage to change my life when I wasn’t living it to the fullest and that Fraser and I had the determination and loyalty to work through all the hard stuff, learn to communicate and compromise for each other.

I wouldn’t change the mistakes or heartache I have experienced because they have all helped to shape the person I am today. The gratitude I feel for this life of mine is because of everything I have gone through, good and bad. I think the best part of growing older and having more experiences is learning what is important and gaining perspective.

I’m not sure what it is lately but I have been having daily moments of extreme gratitude and appreciation for how fortunate we are. I think I am really trying to see things in the best light, look for the positives and really be conscious that most things are in my control and up to us to make the choices we want. I think one big change I’ve noticed is I am rarely jealous of any other families or people. I am really trying to judge others less, everyone makes their own choices and we cannot control what they decided. I used to try and understand why people made the choices they did but I am really just letting it all go. It is human nature to judge and to seek understanding but for the most part I am just focused on the things that impact me.

I think the biggest epiphany I’ve had is the secret to a happy life is there is no secret… no magic formula or steps to happiness. Every person and life is so different and that’s what makes this crazy life so exciting and unique. I used to look at other people and try to copy what they were doing thinking I would have the same results… this person is eating a certain way and feeling great, if I do it I will too… this person is going back to school, I should go back to school, the list goes on! What I realized is what works for one isn’t going to be the same for a totally different person and life. I’m still inspired by others but I try to look at it from a different perspective… this person is putting in hard work to be healthy, I want my kids to see that I’m a hard worker… or this person is making a brave choice to go back to school and I want to make brave choices even when they scare me… but my brave choice may look different. It’s crazy how changing your perspective just a little can have such a different impact.

I am really trying to prioritize happy times over cleaning and to-do lists. It is always a balancing act but I have been trying to remind myself that my kids will not remember spotless bathrooms and floors you could eat off of. They will hopefully remember parents who loved each other and who were happy. Parents who were calm (more than they were not), who loved to have a good time and were always up for a family adventure.

The thing is it doesn’t matter if you are married, single, with your baby daddy or maybe in a blended family…. making millions or working for minimum wage as long as you are happy. It might mean you are making lots of money because that makes you happy or it might mean you make enough to pay the bills and then work as little as possible to spend more time with people you love because that makes you happy. Everyone has their own list of priorities and things that spark joy in them. What I do know is when you do the work to find out what those are and remove the negative from your life, that could be people, relationships, jobs or obligations your life usually gets better.

Life is far from perfect, we have been eating too much take out, letting them play on the iPads more than they should, I scream when I am frustrated and we all have cranky days. No ones life is perfect, everyone has stuff! It’s all a trade off and it’s about figuring out what stuff you can handle and live with, without impacting your happiness.

We have been making the most of our summer by really taking advantage of the beautiful area we live in and making day trips in between our longer vacations to explore and enjoy.

We love being able to take the kids to experience all sorts of different things. It is amazing to watch how much they have changed from last summer and how brave they are at trying new things. It is also so fun to watch them build their friendships with other kids and each other.

Fraser loves his job and is motivated by money but also is trying to find a balance between taking time to enjoy our kids while they are young and still making enough so we can do all the fun stuff we want to. It’s definitely been a learning curve, but I think we are finding a sweet spot;)

I’m lucky to work just enough to get out of the house. I have a rewarding job I love that’s flexible with our schedule.

We wish we saw our friends more but try to make a point of staying in touch or connecting when we can. I think this is an area that changes depending on where you are with your kids and family life, so right now we see our friends less but I’m hopeful it will change as our kids gain a little more independence.

We are fortunate to have family who lives close by and is active in our lives, however we have had to make some tough decisions around some of our family. What we know is we can’t control or even understand why people do things they do we can only control our own actions. For us removing negative people has helped us grow as a couple and as a family. I think it has been a huge eye opener that you can’t take things for granted, and relationships take hard work. Some are worth putting in the work for.

I challenge you to look at your own life before someone else’s and look for the things in your life that are good… maybe it’s having food on the table, maybe it’s warm beds at night but the more we look at the positives the happier we feel and the easier they are to see! If there is something really bothering you, or is making it hard to see the positives maybe it’s time to make a change.

Remember life is short and you only have one, make it count!

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