My name is Cristyl and I write over at CHill Thoughts (www.mychillthoughts.blogspot.
com). I haven’t been blogging very long; in fact, it was just over a month ago that Miss Gingersnaps herself asked me when I was going to post on my blog. You see, I had commented on a post on W3G and Ginger noticed I had a blogger profile and a blog I had set up in 2008 but never actually posted on! Her encouragement to write was just the prod I needed to get my fingers clicking on the keyboard and my thoughts on the screen – CHill Thoughts was born! I write about my life and pretty much anything that comes to mind; I’m currently wallpapering my desk in post-it notes with ideas for my future posts! I’m excited to be chosen as the guest blogger to celebrate W3G’s 4,000th page view! I’ve known Ginger since we were just wee 12-year-olds; I enjoy reading about her adult life, her family, their adventures and I thoroughly appreciate her wicked sense of humor!
That last question is important to me. I desperately want my children to know how to be happy. I want them to be able to be those people that everyone looks at and thinks “Wow! He/She is so happy! They must really be doing great.” During my childhood I really wanted to be that person. You know the one: bubbly, cheerful, helpful, uplifting, fun to be around, friendly and just good to the core. Unfortunately, being happy isn’t something I learned how to do well as a youngster. And as most parents would agree, parenting is about giving your kids the leg-up you never had.
So, how do I teach my kids to be happy people? People who look at the pile of lemons life sometimes throws at you and see lemonade. With much thought and many hours spent reading parenting articles I have come to the conclusion that the best, maybe the only way, to help my children develop a positive outlook is to model it. And I’ve been spending a significant portion of my “free” time working on learning how to model happiness and a positive outlook.
I joined a new website called Happify that operates with the belief that being happy is a skill that you control. Happify uses scientifically proven data to build their interactive online activities that help you learn the skill of being happy. Their activities are grouped in tracks that allow you to choose an area that you want to focus on; from reducing stress to enjoying parenting more. Many of the activities are completely customizable; so each Happify experience is unique. To add to the lure of the site, as you complete activities they are published as posts that other Happify members can see; this social aspect of the site is sort of a cross between Pinterest and Twitter, you can choose to follow the progress of other members and encourage them by commenting on their posts. I know it sounds weird, the skill of being happy, but I’ve been working the Happify activities for the past three weeks and I can honestly say I feel happier! I feel more optimistic! I feel like my future may be brighter than I ever imagined!
And while I’m feeling all of this and building my happy skills, I’m showing my kids, too! Well, to be fair, my two older kids aren’t seeing as much of it as my Little Man simply because Little Man is the only one living at home these days. But, when I talk to Baby Girl on a crappy day, and she’s had more than her fair share lately, I’m able to be a better listener. I think I do a better job at hearing her complaints and empathizing without feeling the need to swoop in and fix everything for her and I hope that she would agree I do a better job at encouraging her to find the positive in most situations. Not every situation, because sometimes crappy stuff happens. But I hope that my older children are seeing that I’m a happier me these days, because I’ll freely admit that I haven’t often been a glass half full kind of gal!
I’m determined to keep exploring this big world around me and finding my happiness. I’m determined to be a happier person for the rest of the years I have left! The first step on this path was accepting that this is totally up to me, the rest of the journey is mine to determine as well. I plan to enjoy the journey!
If you’re interested in Happify or joining me on this journey to happy, I invite you to stop on over at CHill Thoughts. I can’t promise it will all be optimistic and pretty, but it will always be with the goal of happiness!