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FORGET YOUR TROUBLES, COME ON GET HAPPY!
Things that make you happy
Member Name: lak11
Things that make you happy
Date: 03/06/11, updated on 10/07/12 (175 review reads)
Advantages: Happiness can be infectious
Disadvantages: Being let down by someone who has made you happy.
I have recently read a few of these reviews about things that make you happy/smile, and have found that the reviews themselves usually make me smile. I enjoy reading pieces like this and especially find those written by the younger reviewers really lovely and interesting. After reading a few of these reviews I now feel tempted to have a go myself as one of the older reviewers.
The reason why I think age comes into this sort of article is because I feel when you are young there are so many things to make you smile but, sadly as one matures in years, we come across so many sad situations and have over so many years of life heard of unfortunate events, natural disasters, cruelty and misdeeds, and sometimes life in general can just be so depressing and make one sad. But as I have found out, especially in times of bereavement, that even when things drag us down to a very low place there is always a little something that appears to raise a smile (something a child says or does can't not bring a smile, even if only a hesitant one) and I believe that the older we become and throughout the sad times that we have to wade through we come to appreciate all the more the things that can make us smile and raise our spirits.
The most recent thing that brought a big soppy smile to my face was a phone call earlier in the week from my cousin to say that she was to be a grandmother towards the end of this year. Now I come from a close extended family where we have shared many holidays and special occasions together and I feel very close to my cousin. We were both each other's bridesmaids and a godparent to one of each other's children. We have had a few fallings out over the years; misunderstandings through not communicating well enough really, but I feel there is always a bond. On the day that my mother died my cousin arrived at the hospice by taxi, unannounced and stayed for hours. She had said farewell to her aunt but was prepared to stay until the end for my sake. In the next few weeks she offered her support and, having lost her father a few years previously through cancer, she knew how I felt. Her own nuclear family had a bad start to this year and I know that she is over the moon to be a grandparent; it's a great boost for her, and she will be wonderful at it, and I am so pleased that she has this very special event to look forward to. I also smile knowing that she won't begrudge me having lots of cuddles with the new addition.
And along the same lines, I smiled again when I saw the young mum to be had put the pictures of her twelve week scan on her Face Book page. The expectant parents are a lovely couple and clearly very excited about this momentous event in their lives. This made me remember around the same time of the year, although twenty nine years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child. Scans weren't routine in pregnancy then but due to my irregular cycle I was given a scan appointment in the main hospital. Because scans at ante natal sessions weren't a regular occurrence and were often not for such happy events, there seemed to be several members of staff present enjoying seeing a scan of a pregnancy. I had a very thorough scan and was overjoyed to see a new life moving around inside me. We weren't given pictures then but, on visiting my mother to tell her all about it, I remember her saying she had never seen me so happy. I am smiling now as I think of young parents to be seeing an ultrasound scan of the life they have created.
Now I usually have to smile when my dog lays spread out on the floor without a care in the world and he snores very loudly. The other day he gave one snore so loud that it woke him and he started growling and running around to see who had threatened him. And now he has just made me laugh out loud as he has jumped onto the footstool in front of me and is peering over my laptop as if to say, 'I'm here!'
The most important thing I feel I have done in my life is to rear my four children. Although we had times when they were young and money wasn't plentiful, as I was a stay at home mum, I loved those years when they were young. Now I smile when I see my grown up children together, teasing each other and clearly pleased to be in each other's company. I have two sons and two daughters aged from eighteen up to twenty nine. The eldest two are only eighteen months apart in age and were only one school year apart. As primary school children they played together in school, attended many of the same parties, and would always fight each other's battles. They would do the same now. All my children are always there for each other and this gives me a warm glow as it could mean that I might have done something right.
I smile when my son comes home from university during holidays and he plays our piano whilst his sister sings. I smile when my other son plays guitar, and when my eldest daughter visits and she sings songs that she has composed. I think I'm impressed with this as I don't play any musical instruments. My musical times were limited to playing the triangle in infant school and recorder in the juniors and regrettably I cannot sing very well at all.
When we celebrate family occasions I love to see my extended family. I mainly stay in touch with my mother's side (it's always been that way) and it's great that my husband knew some members of my family before we met. My husband actually played football with some of my cousins in his youth and was in the same class at school as my brother, although I didn't meet my husband until we were both finished with school. We were introduced at a cousin's wedding.
After the death of my mother I felt I might become a little out of touch with some members of the family. It was my mother and her sisters who held everything together so it is heat warming when a last minute party is organised and (we are now spread around the south-east of England but there is always an effort made for most of the family to show up. And I suppose we have had our ups and downs but I appreciate my family so much.
It also gives me pleasure to have new family members such as my eldest daughter's boyfriend and my youngest son's girlfriend. It's so lovely that they get on with their partners siblings and have become part of the family and are loved by us.
Christmas is hard work. The actual day flies by but the Christmas season is still magical to me. I don't get excited for myself but love to find surprises to purchase for the family. It's great to have my family together under my roof but I know it won't happen so much now, I suppose, as two of my children seem to have long term partners so I have to share them out. I think I can share.
When my youngest daughter was thirteen she joined 'Step Up' a stage school which has an Essex branch. She had been to a stage school before this but although it was fun and got her over some shyness it wasn't anything like as enriching as this newer one. She decided to change as she had developed a true love for singing musicals and had (still has) aspirations to be involved in theatre as a future profession, and wanted something more encouraging. Right from the start the principal, Nathalie, asked my daughter to sing and realising she had potential, immediately began to nurture and gave her many opportunities to develop. She has encouraged her for the last few years. Through 'Step Up' my daughter has sung in shows and competitions in Disneyland, Paris, Scarborough, London and Kent. For me to watch my daughter on stage with her talented peers singing, dancing and acting, brings a very wide smile, but I'll admit it can also bring tear or two to my eyes.
Music makes me smile, although it can be bitter sweet. I feel my taste in music is wide. My first memories of music are of old 78 records played on my parent's radiogram. Songs by Johnny Ray, Nat King Cole, and a first cousin of my dad's, Matt Monro. I later liked The Monkees and Herman's Hermits and then, as a teenager, enjoyed music by singers and groups who I still like to this day. I still love to listen to David Bowie, Elton John, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens, Phil Collins, and I could go on and on about who still makes me smile.
And I like stuff from more recent times, such as - Adele, Lady Gaga, oh so many. My husband and I both share a love of music and we smile as we look up clips on YouTube and make a playlist. We will play this, perhaps quite loudly, sometimes until our son or daughter tells us we have to turn the volume down! The youth of today are so boring!
And because of my daughter's interests I have now seen lots of amateur productions, at her school and stage school, and have found over the last seven or eight years a growing enthusiasm and respect for the musical stage. I haven't yet seen that many professional shows, although I know the songs from lots. I have seen, and absolutely love, 'Les Miserables.'
Holidays make me happy. I have been to quite a few places but it's never enough. I have had lots of enjoyable holidays in this country, and love the south west. If the weather is good then Cornwall or North Devon are wonderful and take a lot of beating for scenery, in my opinion.
But I love to go abroad. Travel broadens the mind it is said and I would agree with this. I love to be in a different country. I haven't travelled, as yet, that far afield, as I 'm not too keen on flying but have visited several Mediterranean countries as well as around the Aegean Sea area. I adore Greece and Cyprus. I haven't booked a holiday yet for this year as I'm not sure when I am free of commitments to go but I will be going. Indeed, it looks as if this year will be the first year since we became parents, over twenty nine years ago, that my husband and I have been away without at least having the company of one of our offspring. It seemed sad at first but we now are looking forward to having time to ourselves; not having to book somewhere which fulfils criteria for the sake's of our children. We are easy to please; a sea view, nice pool, a swim in the sea and a glass of wine while watching the sunset.
I enjoy working with special needs children. Well, all children really but I have supported special educational needs children and have smiled and been elated when something which has been repeated many times suddenly becomes clear to the child. One can't have a much more rewarding experience than that.
Writing makes me smile; I just love to do it and I can't remember a time when I didn't want to put pen to paper or, as is now more often the case, the words are tapped onto a screen. Even in school, once the English teacher gave the thread of an idea I just itched to get started and lose myself in the words. I'm not saying what I write will be of interest to others but regardless, it gives me pleasure.
For me, to write a review and read other people's work is a privilege.
Letters from friends are always a pleasure to receive but I find nowadays contact is more often made through emails. I love to hear from my friend who is living in India. We have been friends since the age of eleven, sharing so many confidences, tears and laughter.
I now receive emails from reviewing friends and I love to get an insight into their world. It would be nice to meet some of these, at present, 'virtual' friends.
If you have managed to stay with this review (you deserve a medal) and if you are still awake, then I think you will have realised that mostly what makes me happy is family things. I admit that I would like to have more money and I do agree that although money doesn't bring happiness, it can make everyday life much less stressful, but, although not wanting for the necessities of life I would still like some luxuries so as not to have to worry about things such as when the car goes wrong, or my children's money worries BUT money doesn't feature too much in my quest for happiness. Though saying that, when I have had an occasional small win on something, such as a bet on the Irish lottery, I love to give out a little money here and there; just enough to treat the kids. I am well overdue, by my reckoning, a win so haven't had this pleasure for some time. So, until the elusive 'big win' comes along and I manage to sort out every one close to me with their money problems, and treat them all to something special, I will just have to stick to my basic pleasures in life.
A really simple one now and that is sitting in the garden with my husband in the afternoon, usually on a weekend, when we have time to chill out with a glass of wine or two, and we can listen to the birds sing as we enjoy the sunshine and think that life is good, and we are so fortunate to have what we do.
It is easier to be happy, I feel, when sitting in the sunshine with flowers and greenery around. It makes it easier to smile.
Summary: Smile and the whole world smiles with you...or so it's said!