From Crappy to Happy

Black FridayIt’s funny how Thanksgiving, America’s official day of gratitude, is followed by Black Friday, our unofficial day of grumbling. Of course, you can always avoid shopping and sit at home complaining about the “&%@#*ing commercialization of the holidays!” But that sort of defeats the point, doesn’t it? Did you know the Latin root of the word “gratitude” means a happy or pleasant state of mind? So how do we get there?

And how do we maintain that attitude year round?

How about a “Happitude” list? Sorry, I know, that’s more sappy than happy, but it’s actually a play on the word habitude, which means a habitual state of mind. And lists are a pretty good way of doing that. So try it.

Write down the first thing that pops into your mind. It might be something mundane, like, “I’m grateful for indoor plumbing.” And that might lead to something like, “And I’m so glad our pipes don’t leak like they did last year!” Which might lead to something more meaningful like, “Lots of people don’t have indoor plumbing, leaky or otherwise, or even a roof over their heads. I’m so grateful I do!” Little things lead to big things, and pretty soon the list is endless. You’ll have to stop at some point, but add to it tomorrow, and the next day… Result? Happitude. (It’s OK, you can call it habitude if you want.)

Visual prompts are great. When I started this post I decided to pull out “a few” pictures of things that make me happy. I couldn’t stop! Why? Details. It’s not just “my wife” that makes me happy, it’s the adorable little creases around her nose when she laughs, and the tenderness in her eyes when she held our baby daughter (picture below). Details trigger memories. And memories trigger happitude.

Start small. Every day has small things to be thankful for—even crappy days. Happitude mostly has to do with people. So focus on others as much as you can. Want a great illustration? See the Mr. Rogers movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Focusing on others was how Fred Rogers formed a lifelong habitude of kindness and gratitude.

And now it’s our turn.

It’s Photoblog Friday, so here’s a gallery of things that make me happy

(Click on any image to enlarge, or to begin slideshow)

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Mitchellaneous and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to From Crappy to Happy

  1. Amen! That was great Mitch! Love the photos! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A.P. says:

    Nice pictures. I like your quote about death. I made a gratitude list every morning. I’m so anal, I even number them. It was No. 1334 this morning. It does help remind me to be happy for the simple things. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the word “happy” is biblically equivalent to “blessed.” Counting one’s blessings does help set an upbeat tone for the day ahead. Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. trE says:

    Mister Rogers is sorely missed and that movie makes me cry. Thank you for this, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great words, beautiful photos. Thank you for the reminders!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. smzang says:

    Your happitudes caused me to engage with my happitudes
    and now my heart and soul (and eyes) are overflowing with
    happitudes. I can readily see how this could turn into a habitude
    which could easily turn into the world’s greatest umbrella.
    That said, I’m still not fighting the crowds today; I’m too busy
    leafing through albums that have been sadly neglected since
    the onslaught of digital. Thank you for the sharing of your joys.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Erika Kind says:

    Wow, Mitch. I understand why you could not stop adding photos. I got goosebumps looking at the pictures. Your wife is beautiful and I mean it not only from her outside appearance but also the love and wisdom that shines from her eyes.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. atimetoshare.me says:

    Love seeing this side of you. You have lovely wife and family. It’s good to b grateful 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the pictures! (I’m grateful for a lot of the same things you are.) Quick gratitude story –
    The other day my little granddaughter Charlotte and I were in the car when an ambulance went by with the sirens blaring. We said a prayer together as we always do when an emergency vehicle goes by, and then we talked about people who help others in emergencies – paramedics, police, and firefighters. I was telling her about how the police and firefighters know emergency medicine, too, so that if they are closer than the paramedics to the person in need, they can be the ones to come and help. Charlotte then reminded me that she was delivered by a fireman and asked if I knew his name. I said I didn’t, but we could find out. She said, “I want to write him a note and thank him.” ❤ ❤ ❤ !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JP Robinson says:

    I think the thing is that in America so much emphasis is placed upon HOW MUCH or WHAT we have instead of WHO we have or our relationships. Truly the most important relationship one can have is with Christ but a lot of times the things around us kind of clutter up even that relationship. My wife and I were talking yesterday about how important it is to “declutter” in a natural and spiritual sense. When that happens, it’s easier to be happy on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or any day.
    JP Robinson
    https://jprobinsonbooks.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved your pictures Mitch. A complete happy family pics bubbling with joy and happiness of togetherness moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lprslr says:

    Webster might cringe at “Happitude” but I love it. Thanks for the new word stuck in my brain. Mission accomplished!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ann Coleman says:

    What a perfect Thanksgiving post! As for me, I’m grateful for my family, particularly the time I spend with my grandson, and the opportunity to do the things I love most. And at the end of the day, when I lay down in my warm, soft bed, I almost always remember to be thankful for that….all of these things make me happy. Thanks for the reminder to be mindful of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. YBP says:

    Wow oh wow Mitch! You’re my kind of HAPPY! ❤️ Unbelievably GRATEFUL! ❤️ You BLESS my heart! ❤️ Sending LOVE to you and all you hold dear to your heart! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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