formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Move Out of My Sunshine, Damn It!

Thank you, thank you for all your heartfelt comments on my Happy Poll post (below)! You filled up my comments section and I got some responses via email, too. A few lurkers even came out of the shadows! Feel free to keep commenting… I’ll keep reading!

Your answers were all interesting. I didn’t want to define ‘happy’ in my question, as it’s quite a subjective thing, isn’t it? I didn’t want to qualify it or quantify it in any way for you… I wanted to see how you would define it; what it means to you. Many of you described it as a general feeling of contentment or satisfaction punctuated by moments of sheer joy. That’s a definition that works for me, too.

Several of you commented that you choose to be happy. I found that especially significant, as the book I read (and loved) recently, The Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews, deals with that concept. The book details the main character’s (fictional) meeting with Anne Frank and the bit of wisdom she passes on to him, which is about choosing to be happy, regardless of what is going on around you. The ability to do that is something I admire greatly… it’s something to which I aspire… but I do think it’s easier said than done. And someone quoted Maya Angelou (one of my favorite women on the planet) regarding changing one’s attitude if a situation cannot be changed. Again, the ability to do that is something I admire and to which I aspire, but again, easier said than done.

A few of you asked if I’m happy. Well, you see my quote of the week? “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” I live in a constant state of tension. It’s perpetual. There is an epic battle going on in my head and my heart at all times between the person I think I should be and the person I am. The person I am (who certainly has her good qualities, I know), is very good at fighting the efforts of the person I want to be (which is probably why I find choosing to be happy and choosing to change my attitude so difficult to do… I am, as the Republican tells me nearly every day, an incredibly stubborn person and easily my own worst enemy). The constant combat makes me tired. It makes me sad. In many ways, it keeps me from being truly happy… content… satisfied, with my life and the person I am.

So, my happiness goal is twofold: I want to figure out how to, 1) choose to be happy in spite of what’s going on around me, and 2) change the situations I can change or change my attitude when the situation won’t budge. Basically, I want to stop standing in my own sunshine. I’m trying. We’ll see how it all works out. And maybe I’ll bring the subject up again in a few months…


Heather said...

What a great way to look at things, Diane.
I need to stop standing in my sunshine too.
Thanks for this positive post. I needed it today. :)

She said...

I may need to lose (let go of!) some "weight" in order to be able to get out of my own sunshine! Just sayin' ;-)

I love this post, and the one before it!

You rock!

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I love your honesty Diane! I think that the fact that You see you sometimes block your own sunshine says volumes. I think with that along you can make great strides in your quest.


Chris @ Maugeritaville said...


For you to ponder today:

The two statements you made regarding "choosing to be happy" and "changing what you can" are actually the same thing.

Good luck!


Protege said...

happiness is a state of mind and I guess we all strive to reach it.
Some of us have an easier time in doing so, for one reason or another.
I admire your will to find the power to change and your intellect in realizing that you want to - have to.;)
If it is any consolation; you always come across as a happy person to me.;)

mom seeks life said...

Diane, you have given me so much to think about and I am still mulling over your post from yesterday so i am going to chew this in my head and get back to you. But basically I absolutely know what you are saying here today - I am constantly in battle with my thought process. Thanks for these great posts though, got the brain cells firing!

Jessica Rae Deaton said...

I loved this post, it was what I needed today. This is the reason I started blogging to find encouragement like this and step outside my own shell and see that everybody feels down at times and in the same way we all need to choose happiness over saddness or anger.

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm terribly stubborn. I like to wait until I can't go on any more before I change my attitude and choose to be happy.

Note, I don't really 'like' that, but I'm good at it!

Debbie said...

wow!! I missed the post last night about being happy..but loved your post today in reaction to it!! I am not usre if I would say I am happy..but I am mostly content...thanks for getting me thinking!!:)

mom seeks life said...

I'm back, having fallen more and more in love with the Emerson 'sunshine' quote which just seems to sum up my own inability to let myself shine. I have questioned happiness for so long - what is it? why can't I have it? why are some people so happy and content with what sems to me, to be run-of-the mill lives when I find things to be unhappy about all the time...and my life is pretty great! 'Choosing' to be happy is something I work on a lot but it is hard. Sometimes i just wish I didn't think so much. I read people like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie who magically seemed to switch those negative thoughts off and disasociate themselves with them...but I still have no idea howwwww???? I guess I will just keep working on it. But I do know I have a lot to be happy about. Which is a good start.

boneman said...

I suspect I do stand there like that, too, sometimes.
Well...I know I stand there like that sometimes.
OK, a lot of times.
But, I do also figure it out and get out of the way to let light back in.
Like that 'peta' stuff. Boy did they ever make me mad!
And, my guess is they also realized that they shouldn't have, but by then, they were commited.
So was I.
Quite a few holes in their stern, now.
They are listing (not all because of me....there were already plenty of angry people on it...)

And then I saw it. The shadow again.
Here they had come by and out of the blue pist (sorry...there is no other word for that) me off and I reacted.
Stupidly reacted.
I don't have enough time in my life to be spending doing that.

It isn't my mission.

They'll sink themselves without a whip's worth of help from me.
So, this morning before we went to go paint sidewalks to get attention for kids who can't afford lunches at school during the Summer (a GOOD mission) I went to you tube and deleted all my negative ad campaign videos.

Hey...I'm trying to get to the light.
It's just that my stupid shadow is too tall, sometimes, and I don't see it right off.

Which reminds me of "Good Morning Viet Nam, with Robin Williams.
The General looks at the company clerk, and good heartedly says, "Heck, man! The shadow of your ass must weigh 30 pounds!"
(If I don't get off the donuts, that'll be me all too soon.)


blognut said...

Oh my God! Your blog just ate my comment and I can't be clever twice. >:(

You and I already had this conversation, and you know how I feel about you, so I'm just going to put it out there that I will be here to remind you of all of the good things about you whenever you need it. Hell, I'll call you every morning and tell you you're gorgeous and funny and wonderful and awesome and I'll even tickle your ass with a feather if it will help make you smile. (Make that a very long feather so I can stand WAY back when I do it... like in the next room, or around the corner.)

Love ya', Sunshine. You know I do! XO

sherri said...

You're getting some great advice here. I don't need to add anything except that you make ME happy.


Lisa said...

beautiful post Diane, as usual- a ton of food for thought- as usual xxx

Michelle said...

You are doing great dear Diane!!

I love you!!!

deb said...

I came here from The Crooked Shall be made Straight. I struggle with who I am and who I want to be too. As I get older though, I find myself more willing to be who I really am and to hell with the rest of the world and what they think of me. I'm learning to love all of myself, even the nasty bits I like to pretend don't exist.

Love the quote by Emerson, thank you for that.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Sometimes it is just a matter of choosing to shrug off the black dog that is attempting to climb on your shoulders, and to notice where the sunshine is falling from the clouds, or where there is a chink of light in the clouds of grey (this is England, after all!)

I think it's something we must consciously recognise in ourselves- When we are slipping, when we are growing more cynical and negative about everything, and we then focus on being more positive in our words, our thoughts and our deeds...

It isn't easy, and it isn't always easily remembered, my darling, wonderful, Diane! xox

CJ Sime said...

I have suffered from depression for a long time and it occured to me the other day that I was being down and sad for no reason. Sure it is part of being depressed but it what is the point of moping if you don't know what you are moping about.

I am working on being happy for no reason instead- kind of like your goals.

And thanks for the book recommendation "the travelers gift."