August is National Admit Your Happy Month. No kidding. It's true. Now, if I were European, I could understand this since that's the month many Europeans simply take off.
I think we should do that here in Texas. After all, it's the hottest month of the year. There are so many automotive meltdowns and tire failures on the freeways here in Houston in this terrible heat, that they ought to just tell everybody to stay home. Of course, that would have a grave impact on the tow truck drivers' incomes.
However, I digress. Back to this business of it being National Admit Your Happy Month. Since the month is almost over, I'll take a stand. I, Joan Reeves, herein admit that I am happy. Why the heck not? I might as well be happy as to be sad.
Everyone always says that the Constitution guarantees our right to be happy, but that's not true. It guarantees the American people only the right to pursue happiness. As Benjamin Franklin is purported to have said: "You have to catch it yourself."
The catching it yourself is a problem for a lot of people because they have a tendency to think that all things must be perfect in order for them to be happy. That's simply not true. Happiness is a decision one makes to maintain that mind state called happy.
Tolstoy said: "If you want to be happy, be."
Don't try to be happy. That sage Yoda nailed it when he said: "Do or do not. There is no try."
I'm reminded of a story I read years ago. I think it was in one of the first Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The writer said you might as well be happy regardless of what is going on. Say you have a wrecked car. You can be depressed and have a wrecked car or you can be happy and have a wrecked car. Either way, your car is still going to be wrecked. Will moping make the car whole again? No way. Will happiness? No. But which will make you whole again? Being depressed or being happy?
Quit obsessing about whether you're happy or not. Just be. I think Edith Wharton was dead on when she said: "If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time."
Learn to roll with the punches, and be happy where you are planted, whether that's in a fragrant meadow or in deep excrement. The choice is always yours. Choose wisely.