I don’t think this blog post will be super long. I’ve taken kinda a mini break from blogging lately. I’m actually working on a little something that I think will work in conjunction with this blog. I hope to be able to provide more details soon…

In the meantime, I’ve been in a pretty good place lately. I know it has a lot to do with the weather – it’s finally spring (or maybe summer?) in my corner of the world here in the great state of New York. It was snowing 9 days ago but now it’s been in the 70s or 80s just about everyday since the snow.

Gotta love New York weather.

So anyway… Yeah, I know the sun and the warmth has absolutely helped to improve my mood.

But one shift in my mindset is the biggest factor.

I’ve really taken to heart that I get to choose whether I’m happy or not.

No, I don’t mean I put on a happy face when I’m sad (though studies have shown that we can all lift our moods just by physically forcing a smile). And I don’t mean I’m “faking” being happy until I actually “feel” happy.

No, what I’m talking about is choosing to focus on positives in my life instead of the negatives. And I’m talking about actually feeling happy.

I think I already wrote about how I’m going to try to focus on the accomplishments of one of my children instead of focusing on the struggles of my other child. And I’ve been doing just that. But it’s not just one child vs the other child. I’m focusing on both of their accomplishments.

I’ve also been focusing on doing things that I love to do. I’ve been working toward things that I love – writing fiction, reading, and doing whatever I feel like doing creatively. This gets me excited and automatically raises my mood everyday.

I could be sitting around worrying about my child. I could be focusing on my heartbreak too. I could be focusing on any one of the issues I’ve blogged about over the past few months. But I choose not to do so. I choose to focus on happiness. I choose what I can accomplish instead of what I can’t change. And I choose to be grateful for what I have in my life.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I’m not sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling “lalala” while my world is imploding. I’m not ignoring any of my issues. No, I’m dealing with them when they need to be dealt with. And then I’m letting them go and shifting my focus back to the things that make me feel good.

And the guilt (and sometimes terror) I’ve always felt for choosing to look away from problems is starting to fade away. Surprisingly, it only took a few days to chase it almost completely away.

Once I realized my mind was tricking me into feeling like my child was lying on the floor bleeding to death, begging me for my help…

Once I realized this wasn’t actually the reality. Then I just kept reminding myself of the facts.

First I thought it, then I said it (or repeated it internally), and now I’m feeling it.

And here’s the best thing of all:

I feel like by taking care of myself and focusing on the positives and being a happier, more fulfilled person, I will be a better person. I will be a better parent.

See, if I’m a quantity of 100 and I’m always giving away 100% of that quantity and keeping nothing for myself, then very soon my quantity will drop (and did drop) to 80, then 60, then 40, and so on. I can keep giving 100%, but eventually that’s going to mean I’m only able to give a quantity of 40 or less.

But…

If I only give 50% of myself to others (or maybe 60%… whatever) than I will stay at a quantity of 100 and I’ll actually be able to give more. 50 is greater than 40.

Does that make sense?

50% of 100 is greater that 100% of 40.

So, as I sit here, I know that choosing to take care of myself and choosing to be happy, is absolutely the right thing to do. Not just for me, For everyone!

And it’s not selfish. Well, maybe it is. But it’s not just selfish. It’s actually maybe selfish AND selfless.

Yeah, selfish and selfless.

And it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

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