Happiness

Happiness1Lets talk about happiness.  I am sure that happiness is on a huge sliding scale and means something different to everyone.  We call our site the Happy Place Diaries, a reference to our RV by and large and the happiness that it has brought to us.  But the sub text of our site is a “Journey to Happiness” and that is where we need to define or shed some insight as to what Happiness means to us and what being on a journey to “find” it means.
First of all our journey to happiness should not imply that we are not happy and we are in search of being happy.  On the contrary, we are very happy with our lives, what we know however by observation is that happiness can be fleeting and change by life circumstances.  Our journey to happiness essentially is an effort to mitigate those circumstances and find happiness and joy in how we live our lives.  I think that we can distill that down to a few ideas or ways that we choose to live our lives.
Number 1.  Money.  Money is the number one stressor in most peoples lives.  We have achieved some financial freedom and have made decisions that allow us to reduce the stress that money could have on us.  We have conceded that we will never be millionaires and that we can live comfortably on what we have.  To us it comes down to an understanding that at the end of the day it is not a bunch of stuff that matters.  Rather it is how we use that stuff to make life better for us and others that make a difference.  Now would I love to be a millionaire?  Sure.. it would open a few more doors, but the trade off is the question.  What is the cost to have all the money and still not be happy.  One of the biggest decisions of our lives was for me to retire.  It came down to can we live comfortably and can we take care of ourselves and our family.  The answer was yes.  It would mean that we would have to make some sacrifices, if you want to call it that, in that, not moving into a new house and getting real good and our budgeting.  But working together we have come to a happy place in our money and that stressor of our lives.
Number 2.  Stuff.  How much stuff do you need.  We have our hobbies and interests, but when a serious inventory is taken of stuff… how much do you really use and what do you need.  Over the past six months or so we have really been taking a look at our stuff and what we need and use.  Many trips to the Salvation Army, Good Will, and the dump has reduced the amount of stuff we have.  Combined with selling off some good used stuff we really have a better understanding of our stuff.  Society dictates that we need more and more and encourages clutter, the by products of to much stuff.  We still have more work to do to reduce our stuff and declutter, but what we know for sure that less has become more.  I think that is one of the wonderful things about the RV.  Everything has a place, everything is in its place, and everything has a function or we don’t need it.
On the journey to happiness reduction of stuff has actually made us happier.  We have learned to use what we have and not get bogged down by what the “Jones’s” have.  It really does not matter in the grand scheme of things.  What I discovered after I retired is that when it comes to clothing for example, I have more than I need and use.  When I was working I was always in uniforms or casual clothes.  Now that I have quit wearing uniforms I am only wearing cloths that fit my life style.. casual.  Yeah, I’m holding on to a suit or two and keeping some nicer clothes in the closet, but really it’s all about comfort and practical use clothing.  The rest can go.  Kind of like going to a restaurant that has too much on the menu.  To many choices apply a little more stress and less happiness.  I know what I like and that is what I do.  That makes me more happy than wading through the clutter of stuff.
10900246_10204119814730465_1618872015724708408_oAnd Finally, number 3.. Family.  While it is last on this list, it certainly is first in what makes us happy.  Keeping our family first has made us very happy.  We have three kids that are all grown and almost gone.  They are the joy of our lives, not without frustration and concern at times, but that’s called parenting, our kids have grown to become good adults.  They all have good jobs, staying focused on their goals, and are good citizens.  They are responsible and loving.  They are caring and kind.  Our oldest son just gave us the gift of a grandchild.  The best of our family is that they value the family.  They understand that the family is most important.  It is the foundation of who and what we are.  Our whole family from our parents to now our Grandson is the most important thing in our lives.  It brings us great joy and happiness.
Family, Reducing Stress, and taking inventory of stuff.  A simply formula for happiness and three things that through focus and work have made us happy and contribute to our happiness.  We have a Happy Life, we want to keep it that way.. and this is our journey. Always staying focused on the reduction of anything that does not make us happy.  I was listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast one day and he summed it up pretty well.  “If it doesn’t make you money and it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.”  It doesn’t do us much good to do things that move us away from happiness.  So we don’t.
We are happy to share… how about you?
What are some things that you do in your life to make you or keep you happy?
Leave us a comment and share happiness with us.

Wellness Wednesday

Happiness1This morning while I was on my run at the gym I thought about where we are on our journey to Happiness.
Wellness Wednesday will not be a regular posting, but today I thought it important to share a few thoughts.
First of all, what is wellness.  I believe that wellness is one of those “to each his own” things.  Now we can all agree that it has to do with health.. but what makes you well?
I am sure that when we talk about wellness we immediately think of our health, so lets look at it in those terms.. health.. as it relates to our happiness.
Our physical health is very important.  And when I say our I am speaking of not only Teresa and I, but you all too.  This may apply to you and your situation.
So our physical health is very important to us.  We are not super health nuts, we try to eat healthy and are getting into the work outs.  We are three weeks into the gym routine and am really starting to enjoy my time getting healthy.  We both have noticed changes in our selves.  Weight loss, toning, and a general feeling of energy and fitness.
We feel this is important so we live longer and can maintain an active life style.  Looking at family history I think it is important for me to be healthy for a longer life.  My parents are still here and we enjoy the fact that they have been able to watch their grandchildren grow into adults.  They also are going to see a great-grandchild, something that their parents never got to see, nor did their grandparents.  We live in a different time where we have more information and more opportunity to be and stay healthy.  I want to be there to see my grandchildren become adults and perhaps see great-grandchildren.  So we need to stay physically healthy.
Financial Health is an important part of our lives also.  When we are financially healthy we have less stress, we have the ability to do as we want and see our plans become reality.  I retired last month from my career.  The reason I was able to retire was because we put ourselves in a position to be financially healthy.  We will never be millionaires and I doubt we will hit the lottery, but we will be comfortable for the rest of our lives.  I attribute this to forward thinking.  I am no genius and certainly not a financial guru, but decisions we made early in our career, namely to stay in it for 30 years, led to the point where we could retire and spend time living.
Happiness is a big component in our health and wellness.  We strive for happiness in our lives.  I heard once that happy people live longer and make those around them happy.  I also believe that happiness is up to you.  We live in a world that dictates struggle and strife.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Happiness is up to us.. we make it.  We take all of those things that contribute to happiness and make them happen.
Our RV has become a major part in that and to a certain degree, it has become the center piece of how we plan around our wellness.  We have made it a part of what we want out of our lives, who we want to be with, and how we want that manifest within our lives.
The Happy Place (our RV) is our escape, our community, and a focus point to move forward in our lives.
It is family, friends, and a wonderful place where all of our health comes together.
So wellness is important.  It is mental, physical, financial, and spiritual. We find ourselves better for focusing on all areas of our health and wellness.
I feel for those that struggle with their wellness.  It really is up to you to find your Happy Place.
We have found the road to ours.
Thanks for paying us a visit.  This blog is a part of that wellness plan.  It keeps us accountable because it is out there for all to see.
Thanks again!
A happy life starts with a happy Place!