It don’t think I’ve ever missed a day blogging when I had set in my mind that I was going to blog that day.  But here I am, at 11:15 p.m. (when I have to get on a flight at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning) writing my blog — just under the wire. Go figure.

Today was one of those days.

I recall about two months back talking with a friend (actually I was complaining) and she said, “Why do you always seem happy?”  I was shocked.  I rarely feel happy I don’t see myself that way and I said, “I’m not always happy.  Look at me!  Maybe it seems that way because I don’t have any major crisis in my life right now – but I’m not always happy!”

Yup – that was the statement of future disaster.  Since that day, it’s been one big thing after another.  And today, I was wondering why the f*** did I jinx myself by making that stupid comment to my friend?

I called that friend tonight just to prove to her that I wasn’t happy.  After my bitch session she said, “Jessica, tell me the secret to feeling happy?  Even when you are bitchy, I can hear the joy of life in your voice.”  Hmmm … was that a compliment?

So, I spontaneously came up with my list of things I do to encourage happiness in me and my children.  I’m hoping I remember them all:

1. Appreciate Life.  I am thankful every morning that I can get up, take a shower and feed my children.  I never take things/people for granted.

2. Crossword Puzzles.  It’s not the puzzles that encourage my happiness, but it’s trying to learn new words and how to use them.  Continuous learning is one of the keys to being happy … life never gets stale.

3. Be Kind.  Accept people for who they are and where they are in life.  Help but don’t make them feel that you are trying to change anyone.

4. Do What You Love or Love what you do.  Studies have shown that up to 80% of all people dislike their job.  No wonder we have so many unhappy people – because that’s where we spend the majority of our time!

5. See Life’s Beauty.  There is beauty all around you.  Can you see it?

6. Laugh.  Try not to take words  or the world too seriously. Laughter solves problems.

7. Forgive.  There is so much energy used in anger.  Anger at others and anger with ourselves.  Use that energy elsewhere.

8. Gratitude.  I love the saying, “Have the attitude of gratitude.”  This is like appreciating life!

9.  Half-full.  Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find.

10. Be Proactive.  Don’t wait for change – effectuate it!

11. Love Unconditionally.  Accept others for who they are. Accept you for who you are.  Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – (or yourself) you continue to love them.  It’s likely when they need it the most.

Have a great day!