Happiness. What if trying to be happy was not as complicated as we think? What if all the time spent on putting a ‘happiness value’ to our achievement of goals, our hopes & dreams, our acquired stuff, our money made, actually diminishes their worth? The ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality will always do more harm than good. But, there is a Jones we should be striving to emulate. If we spent our time trying to keep up with Mrs.Jones, we would all be much happier.
This lovely lady and her story has been swirling around Facebook and the internet for a little while. You may have seen it, but maybe not. Please meet Mrs. Jones.
The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”
She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”
And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less
(I don’t know who to give credit to for the above besides Mrs. Jones)
Mrs. Jones is wise, beautiful and inspiring. Now that state of mind is meaningful enough to covet. Forget the stuff, forget the ‘I’ll be happy when….’, and think about how you can put Mrs. Jones five rules of happiness into action. Don’t make them complicated, no over thinking it. Keep it simple.
Here’s what they will look like for me.
1. Free my heart from hatred. Ok, time to set my baggage that I like to lug around down. It’s the one time its ok for luggage to just get lost. Figuratively and literally.
2. Free your mind from worries. There is a saying I’m going to share. The short version is this. ” If you spend your time with one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are pissing on today.” Get it? Today, I will be in the present. Nothing I can do about any day but today. Why worry.
3. Live simply. If you free your mind about what you need and focus on what you have you will find that you have more than enough. Done!
4. Give more. This doesn’t have to be money. Give time, a smile, a hug. I will give of myself today.
5. Expect less. Ooh…but I love high expectations. Ok, I really don’t love them but I often have them. Today I will lower that bar. Not because mediocrity is good, but because there is no such thing as perfection. Today I will be happy with effort.
Today I will make a deposit into my ‘happiness bank’. What will you use today to be your deposit into your happiness bank? 🙂