#miscellany

FACEBOOK

Twitter

WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

Feel More Flexible, Feel More Better

12 comments | January 30th, 2013

(by Mir)

I’ve been writing here at Feel More Better for… a couple of years, now. Can you believe that? Time flies. And this post, today, is actually going to be my last one here. Two years of considering the life events and various other influences impacting my or my kids’ happy. I felt like I should be able to somehow sum it all up, for this last hurrah. There should be some secret I’ve learned or over-arching lesson that’s indispensable.

No pressure, or anything!

This is particularly hard for me to do right now, because I’m currently having a bit of a crisis over what, exactly, it means to be happy. I’m too old to believe in a notion of uninterrupted bliss; life is a series of good things, bad things, and plenty of in-between things. The trick is figuring out how to be yourself, be happy with yourself, and be happy with your life more often than not. Right? I mean, I think that’s the goal. So in two years of writing about this stuff, what’s the conclusion?

Here it is, at least for me: I feel better, happier, when I let go of what I think “should” happen, and am more accepting of what DOES happen, and also more accepting of my own sense of what I actually want. That’s it! Rocket science! Okay, not really. Still, how often do we actually achieve this, in the midst of the busy-ness that is most of our lives?

We talk a lot with my autistic son about being flexible, because he has a lot of preconceived notions of how things “should” be, and it can be very distressing for him when things don’t go the way he think they ought to. Sometimes I feel like my entire mission as his mom is to shepherd him towards greater flexibility so that he can navigate the world. He’s had to learn that a change in plans can’t ruin his whole day. Of course, I thought I was already plenty flexible, myself, when we started working on this with him, but I’ve learned an awful lot about myself along the way.

Maybe I didn’t melt down when plans changed, but I certainly developed my habits and expectations and found comfort in sameness. As I worked with my son, I began questioning my own inflexibilities. And then I started working on being more flexible, myself, and I don’t know… somehow it got all mixed up with being kinder to myself, kinder to others, and somehow, I felt better.

So if I want to take the time to prepare a nice meal from scratch, because it makes me happy? I do. And if it’s been kind of A Day and I suggest to the kid that he make himself some mac-n-cheese from a box because I don’t have anything planned? He does, and I don’t feel guilty. If I have a great day and do good work, I pat myself on the back. If I’m having a harder day, and don’t get as much done as I think I should, well, there’s always tomorrow. If someone does right by me, I try to make sure I let them know how much I appreciate them. And if someone “does me wrong” (using this as a broad term), I try to remember that I may not know their whole story. I’ll do what I need to do to take care of myself, but I try not to waste time being angry. Maybe they’re dealing with bigger stuff. Who knows?

Feeling better turns out to have a lot to do with how you look at things, and how kind you choose to be to yourself and everyone else. I used to beat myself up a lot for mistakes I made (real or imagined). I also used to get mad at others for mistakes I thought they made (again, real or imagined). These days, I’m more compassionate all around. I’m more flexible; I’m more forgiving. Do I have it all worked out, am I in a constant state of happiness? Not yet. But I’m working on it, and feeling better as I go.

Not bad for two years, right?

Any parting words of wisdom to share? How are you feeling more better lately?

(for more Mir, go here)

(A personal note from us @ Feel More Better: THANK YOU, MIR, for 2 years of speaking your truth and helping us think about our own.  XO, seth and eva)

 

12 comments

  • Lucinda

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    The best advice my dad ever gave me was when I was 18. He said the only thing in life you can change is your attitude. Truer words were never said. He reminded me of the serenity prayer and when I was younger, “God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” became my mantra because it turned out there were a whole lot of things I couldn’t change. There are a lot of pithy sayings about giving up control for a reason. Now I try to teach my kids the same thing because happiness really does lie (lay?) in acceptance. Glad you are finding your peace.

    Report this comment

  • My Kids Mom

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    I was reading yesterday that having a “happy” live involves getting things that you want and need whereas having a “meaningful” life is more about giving things to others. Having meaning in our lives often means unpleasant fighting for what we know to be right, and therefore doesn’t always lead to happiness. They pointed out that parents are not happier than non-parents, but wouldn’t trade it. Instead, parents feel more purpose to their lives.

    Food for thought

    Report this comment

  • Addy

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    Expectations and flexibility go together for me. What it is I expect to Happen, feel, need may not be the reality. So, I must be willing to “flex.” A little more of flexibility in the hips would be nice too. Going to miss your thoughts Mir. Good Luck with your “happy search.”

    Report this comment

  • Gayle

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    Sad to see you go, your column is what obrought me to this site. All the best to you.

    Report this comment

  • js

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    Well, I am sad. I look forward to your posts here, very much. They leave me thinking DEEP THOUGHTS or lighten things up. I am ashamed to admit how long it has taken me to figure out I should live in the moment, be happy with the life I have and stop being so hard on myself. I am only now learning that I can’t wait for someone else to live a great life for me. I have to do all the amazing things I read about, the things I try to teach my daughter, on my own and for myself. It took a while but it’s better than never coming to the realization at all. I have no words of wisdom. I just want to say you will be missed and you have helped me Feel More Better.

    Report this comment

  • el-e-e

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    My version is “make the best of it.” For me it’s the right phrase to remind me to take what I’m given and work with it, accept it. Or if I have a situation that could be better, try to better it. “Flexibility” is good, too.

    You’ve done good work here, Mir, as everywhere. :)

    Report this comment

  • Arnebya

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    I am repeating words and phrases to myself every day like “You got this”, “You are needed”, “Do not drink that vodka.” I’m doing a lot of self-talking and reminding of what I need, want. I can change my outlook; can’t change other people. And maybe my outlook adjustment will be what it takes to change the situations I dislike. Maybe. All I can say is I’m more aware of my role in the things I’m disenchanted with and I’m evaluating how to alter me to make me feel more better.

    Report this comment

  • suburbancorrespondent

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    I once heard that the definition of stress is the gap between expectations and reality. So, if you bring your expectations in line with reality, you will be less stressed and, I guess, more happy.

    Report this comment

  • Betsy

    Posted on January 30, 2013

    Someone told me once that 100%of your happiness come from within you. I try to remember that and choose to be happy.

    Report this comment

  • Brigitte

    Posted on January 31, 2013

    A change in plans doesn’t ruin my whole day?
    Heh. Well, I’m starting to get a little better about some of the little stuff, with age and chemical assistance. I can only hope to get even “more better” as time goes on.
    I’ll miss these posts!

    Report this comment

  • Pam F.

    Posted on January 31, 2013

    I’ve shifted my goal from happy to peaceful. For me, happy is short term, countered by unhappy. Peaceful is more sustainable. And maybe that does make me happy?

    Report this comment

  • Sharon

    Posted on January 31, 2013

    One day at a time, and not in the avoiding chemical substances way. I mean in the way where I focus on staying present and living the moment I have in front of me, not the one I want to have tomorrow. I make fewer plans, have fewer expectations, and have stopped hoping that I can become someone other than who I am.

    I will miss reading you here, Mir. I enjoy the “voices” you raise on different sites. I always left here feeling more better.

    Report this comment

Have a Comment? Share It. All opinions but NO judgments allowed.

MORE STORIES