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Happiness Within

Leave it to another kids’ film to have a great life lesson, something simple that we all know but need a reminder about – happiness. The DreamWorks’ Trolls movie tackles subjects like loss, disappointment, fear, lack of self confidence and more in a fun sing-along feature.  One particular troll, Branch, is the unhappy one among the bunch of zealous trolls. When his friends from the village are in trouble though, Branch steps up to help. In the end his friend Poppy helps him realize that:

“Happiness isn’t something you put inside. It’s already there. Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.”

Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes you don’t realize how content and happy you even are until someone else realizes it and remarks are made to you.

Just two weekends ago my husband, kids and I were out at a restaurant for an early breakfast. Our family of four each ordered our favorite foods then sat rather quietly enjoying our meal. The kids were not arguing. They colored, talked and seemed joyful. My husband and I held hands, drank our coffee, and enjoyed the peaceful moments.

This is not our normal outings. An incident like this is actually more on the rare side… Normally there are sibling fights, kids not eating or one child eating too slowly.

But on this particular day, for a whole hour, we were a blissful family. Each of us. At the same time.

Others within the restaurant must have noticed it too. Before we left, the man sitting at the table next to us commented how well behaved, beautiful and happy our daughters looked. Then later on, while I was in the restroom, another woman sitting across from us made similar statements to my husband while I was away.

Again, this is uncommon. But when it does happen, it’s remarkable. These are the moments we live for as adults and parents.

When you find that joy in such an ordinary moment, sometimes it trickles into other mundane moments during the day. I was folding laundry a few days ago and actually felt gratitude. There I was with two large loads sitting before me and a stack of towels to fold too. But I couldn’t help thinking about how I was lucky to have clean, good smelling laundry and a place to put it away.

Lately when I have a half-hour ride in the car with my oldest daughter and she is chatting away about her day, how it’s the “worst” or “best day ever,” I catch myself smiling. I recognize, gosh, I’m just happy to be sitting here next to her listening to what she has to say.

When I wake up way earlier than I need to but my husband reaches over to hug me or whisper that he loves me, I am again just finding that overflow of happiness within.

I’m not exactly the all day, every day, singing or dancing type. At least not as much as the trolls in the film. But I’m damn near close these days. In fact I love to have music playing in the background as often as possible. The tunes get me going and uplift me.

May we all find and keep that inner happiness close by, that feeling that makes you smile and feel the love inside…

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