ARE YOU HAPPY? TAKE THE TEST.

You don’t seem happy.  Those were pretty much the last words I said to my ex boyfriend/husband/spousal equivalent before he ran away from home.   He wasn’t happy I guess.  He was probably even less happy after I sent him pictures of all his stuff in the town dump. But that’s not the point of this post, the point is … are YOU happy?

If you’re not happy, today is the day we’re gonna figure out how to get you absolutely and completely HAPPY.

I am.  And I don’t mean right now, at this moment, I mean I am fundamentally happy.  Part of that is just my character and part of it is a decision to be happy.  To make myself happy.  Not a raving lunatic with a grin plastered on her face no matter what … just, you know … happy.  Or who knows. Maybe I’m just a bit simple.  With the New Year just rising up over the old one, now is the perfect time to ask if you’re truly happy and if you’re NOT, what the hell can you do to change that.

Because seriously. Why wouldn’t you?

Only you can make you happy. I pulled that top shelf, pseudo-psychological cliche out of an old episode of Who’s the Boss, but you know what?  It’s true.  You’re the only one responsible for your life and circumstances.  You.  Just you.    Not someone else, not something else.  You.  Happiness isn’t about what you have or who you’re with or where you live; it’s about your state of mind regardless of those things.  I got my degree in psychiatry while we were on Christmas break by the way.  No I didn’t.  But it doesn’t take a degree or a genius or even more intelligence than your basic baby to know that “things” don’t make a person happy.

Babies are happy once they have the basics.  Food, sleep and a big fart and they’re happy. That’s it. That is all it takes to not only make them happy, but oftentimes deliriously happy.  Yup.  Allowing a big burst of wind to come flying out of their bum is enough to make the most basic, undisturbed form of human life happy. We’re not going for deliriously happy here, just shit grinning happy so keep your toots to yourself for the moment.   Why are those little babies so happy?  Dunno.  Like I said I’m not a genius or in any way qualified to be advising you on any of this.

However I’m doing it anyway.

Because I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions we’re not going to call this that. Besides.

This isn’t a resolution.  It’s a revolution.

2016 is going down as one of the most depressing years in history.  There was racism, Zika, Brexit, Syria, and heroin overdoses for entertainment.   So it’s understandable if you feel a bit like you were dragged out of 2016 on a stretcher.

But this is 2017.

happy

 

How do you know if you’re generally happy?  Well my simple test is this;  when you wake up in the morning are you in a good mood?  And are you happier more days than you’re sad, depressed or unfulfilled.  If you’re any of these three things on a regular basis, you’re probably not happy.  And you could be.  You should be!  Because why, WHY would you go the rest of your life not being happy if you could be?

I’m guessing when you blow the candles out on your birthday cake you don’t wish for things that will make you unhappy.  You don’t wish for scabies.  You wish for whatever it is you think will make you happy. (Me? I always, always just wish to be happy … because that’s the anticipated end goal of every wish).

I’m talking to you old man who scowls at the woman ahead of you because you think she has one too many items in her grocery cart to be allowed in the 8 items or less checkout.

I’m talking to you unhappy stay at home mom who doesn’t really have a reason to be unhappy, but just is.

I’m talking to you unhappy working mom who doesn’t really have a reason to be unhappy, but just is.

I’m talking to those of you who hate your jobs, are bored with your routine, don’t even like (let alone love) your husband or wife, those of you who used to be wildly happy but … just aren’t anymore.

Let’s get you happy this year.  Really happy.  Deep down happy.  What would that take for you personally?

Realizing you are genuinely depressed or anxious and finally calling your doctor about going to see a therapist?  Do IT.

Realizing you hate, HATE, HATE your job so much it’s ruining your life?   Make a plan to either figure out a way to like that job or … get a new job.  Really.  People do it all the time.  They quit the jobs they hate.  Do it this year.  Be smart about it.  Make a real plan to get the balls to figure out something else you can do.  Research it, figure it out, plan it and then one day you’ll be able to walk into the office and quit that stupid, asshead job that sucks the life and happiness right out of you!  Do IT.

Realizing enough is enough with taking care of people around you and finally dropping the hammer with a great big SUCK IT ALL OF YOU.  I’m gonna take care of me.  Do IT.

I did it.  I did every single one of those things.  I went to see a therapist (who eventually fired me), I quit my job as a television host (which most people would think is a dream job) to terrifyingly start a blog, a job that I literally wake up early and jump out of bed to do.  And there are a few people in my life who were sucking the life out of me so I cut them loose.

You don’t have to be a Pollyanna, skipping down the yellow brick road throwing chocolate sprinkles on everyone in your path to be considered happy.  Or the kind of person who smiles when they’re giving bad news or arguing with you.  I don’t like those people.  They’re creepy.  But you should be generally happy in this life because along with death and destruction, this life also has puppies and flowers and learning and teaching and hugs.  And french fries.

Everyone has times of drama and trauma. Of course you’re not going to sail those times feeling happy and carefree, I mean, you’re not a sociopath, but the happier you are in your own life, the easier those times will be to get through.

Happiness takes practice.  It’s exactly like becoming a great pool player, only you don’t always find happiness in a dive bar with puke stains on the floor.  In fact, usually you don’t, so stay out of those.

Go out there, grab this New Year by the should-have-been-packed-away-by-now Christmas balls and GET HAPPY.  Do what you need to do. Pay attention.  Make a plan.

START A REVOLUTION.

Swear more, eat more, eat better, be honest, be kind, be helpful, be wise, listen, dance, be useful, be encouraging, be strong, be selfish, be curious, be happy.

Go get ’em.  Do it.

126 Comments

  1. Lois Baron says:

    I’m so happy you’ve unchained the sloth and are back. Happy New Year!

  2. Dorothy says:

    This is hands down your best post! Thank you!

  3. Dawn says:

    Great advice! You are 100% right–the only person who can make you happy is you. I wish more people knew this! Thanks for a great kick-in-the-pants post.

  4. Sandra says:

    You are so right. Now, I am pretty happy, but I could be more happy. What tends to make me unhappy? When I procrastinate. So, do I procrastinate? Yes.

    I want to be more like you, but I’m lazy. I get mad at my husband for not doing the things I want to be able to do myself. I’m going to quit that, and start things first.

    One thing at a time. I’m going to get downstairs into our dungeon of a basement and start cleaning it up. Moving things around. Making it so that we can actually see it get bigger. And emptier.

    And then we can renovate it.

    Thanks, Karen.

    • Chris White says:

      Sandra, loved your comment on being mad at your husband for not doing something you want to be able to do yourself. I suffer from this regularly. Your comments and Karen’s how-to blog are the motivation I need to kick start 2017. I am going to learn some new tricks, ask questions when I can’t figure something out, and in general, just TRY!!!! Look out Honey Do List….. Here I come.

  5. Cecelia Haney says:

    Love this sentiment, Karen!

    More Happy in 2017!!

  6. Leisa says:

    Perfect way to start the year!

  7. Ella says:

    I needed that. Thanks!

  8. GillyBean says:

    LOVE THIS!!

    So nice to see positivity and foward thinking-ness in a kick ass-y kind of way.

    I always think of happiness as a work in progress. Something you should always keep working at because you needs are constantly changing.

  9. Kathline says:

    I’m all about this! The first thought in my head come Monday morning shouldn’t be “f****”. It’s not likely I’m going to figure out a way to like my job so I’m going to have to figure out a way to change it. Time to stop doing all the things I “should” be doing and start doing what I really need to be doing!

  10. Milton says:

    Awesome post!

  11. Judy says:

    I don’t remember how I found your blog but am so glad I did. You are an inspiration to all and definitely have a way with words – love your sense of humor too. Wishing you much love, good health and laughter in 2017 and beyond.

  12. Judy DeLacy says:

    A few decades ago, I read a self-help book by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He’s the one who taught me that only myself can make me happy. At the time, I was unaware of the fact that I was expecting husband #1 to bring me happiness. He wasn’t. I was a mess. Once I realized what I was doing wrong, I made some a drastic decision (left husband #1), took my three children and moved from NY to CA to start my life over. It was the best decision I made, for myself and the kids.

    I’m including a link to a short 9-minute video of Dr. Dyer where he essentially tells us to practice ‘positive affirmation’ for our subconscious. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s what it boils down to. I hope you enjoy the concept.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEtuqM_skyI

    Regards…and HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    Judy D.

  13. Katy says:

    Thank you Karen!

  14. Jenn B. says:

    Great post Karen — I absolutely got pulled out of 2016 on a stretcher; but medics arrived, friends rallied round, and my innate happiness with breathing has kicked in again.

    That breathing thing is awesome for gratitude. Which is what has made me happy — being grateful for the good things, (like bacon) and not putting so much emphasis on the not so great things. So far so good!!

  15. Melissa says:

    A perfect sentiment, perfectly said! I tell my children this all the time, no one can make you happy but yourself, and no one can make you unhappy unless you allow them to do so.

    So, I’m with you on the 2017 Happiness Bandwagon! Let’s sing it from the rafters damn it! Just. Be. Happy. Do what makes you happy!

    My dad used to say, sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. I’ve changed that up a bit, I say, ‘sometimes, just just gotta make your own sunshine’.

    So, if we make one small change, and just make up our minds to do one thing a day that makes us happy, it might just snowball into full-blown happiness!

    So glad you’re back, hope you enjoyed your time off, we totally know you sat around all day eating bon bons and watching old movies all day…..not! You were missed!

  16. Claire says:

    Excellent post, thank you.

    And that job that’s so stressful, I haven’t slept properly for months? This Friday is my last day. It’s a good feeling 🙂

  17. Clare Hollingsworth says:

    So inspiring! I have started at my front door, clearing and sorting and THROWING AWAY (or charity shop) and I’m not going to stop this project until I reach the back door. Every time I think I’d rather watch a movie, I will think of your post and happiness and keep going 😀 Thank you!

    • Alena says:

      Clare,
      after you are out of your back door, can you please come right over? Your way of doing things sounds like fun and it will be even more fun under your guidance. I will cook and throw in movies and bottles of wine!

  18. Jacquie says:

    Well said Karen. People think I’m crazy when I say that absolutely EVERY emotion/feeling we have is a choice. Sometimes it’s a “healthy” thing to feel bad eg. grief, but you can choose how it affects your life and for how long.

    Worry is the worst thing for your wellbeing but people say they can’t help it, they’re just made that way. Worry achieves absolutely nothing and whilst a small amount is natural, again it’s a choice how far you let it go. Saying you have no control over it is saying you have no control over yourself as a person or your life which seems like a cop-out to me. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone!

    Wishing all a very HAPPY 2017.

    • Laura LeRayne says:

      Hi Jacquie! Speaking only for myself, you did not offend me… you simply DESCRIBED me. I have been told that worrying is harmful and useless, but it’s a habit just like smoking, drugs, and/or drinking… it is VERY difficult to stop doing ~~ especially “cold turkey”. But it is a habit i will break (before it breaks me). After my mom died it occurred to me that my “emotional eating” was not going to bring her back, so at 5’0″ tipping the scales at 235, i quit eating every time i missed her. (I’m down to 155!!)
      But worry… Worrying is a different story. Let’s see, i lost my sister to brain cancer, my mother to breast cancer, my brother has colon cancer, and my dad has Parkinson’s. People ask me, usually in a horrified whisper, “Aren’t YOU scared?” I always answer boldly, “Oh No, I’m fine!” but i swear, every time i stub my toe, i think i’m dying from some horrible disease! And i honestly don’t know how to stop being afraid.
      I just don’t know how. If you have any suggestions, i would gladly accept them. And please know that i’m not being snarky or snide at all! My reply is completely sincere… i need help.

      • Karen says:

        Hey Laura! I’m going to cut the line here if that’s O.K. 🙂 Therapy. You need to see a therapist. They will help you cope and get out of the fear pattern you’re in. 🙂 Truly. ~ karen!

        • Laura LeRayne says:

          Hi Karen! Yeah… I’m thinking that i probably need to find a new therapist… LOL

        • Laura LeRayne says:

          But i DO want to tell you that i absolutely LOVED your post!! (I even “pinned” it and will send it to my daughter.
          I truly am attempting to be happy. It’s a new concept for me, i think, as i haven’t been truly happy since i was in my 20’s (i’m 48 now). I was deliriously happy in my 20’s LOL

          • Karen says:

            Oh! Thanks, lol. Yes, let’s maybe think about changing your therapist if you haven’t seen any improvement. I mean if you’ve only been going for a few months you could give it more time but if you’ve been going for years and haven’t improved maybe changing therapists would help? ~ karen!

      • Jacquie says:

        Hi Laura,

        Sorry, I only just saw your reply. Like Karen, I was going to suggest therapy – I had a couple of sessions years ago now and have recommended it to everyone since. However I’m British and we don’t do therapy, it’s still thought of as being a bit airy fairy 🙂 so people tend to think I’m a bit flaky when I mention it! Another suggestion is hypnosis; I stopped smoking the same day I had a session after 30 years of smoking, and I would recommend it for weight/food issues and also anxiety – in my opinion, pretty much anything that the mind gets itself in a tizzy about can be helped by hypnosis!

        I’m so sorry for your losses and your dad’s situation. You’ve had a lot on your plate; please do yourself a huge favour (and I mean that, you really would be helping yourself massively) and get some professional help; as you said, maybe a new therapist is in order.

        By the way, reiki would be good too for worry/anxiety.

  19. Best fucking post ever! Feel free to edit the f out but it made me happy to say it (swear more)… and I really needed that. I tell myself much of that same story but I tend to get distracted and trail off in the middle. You are more convincing. I am easily amused (which I claim is a sign of intelligence) but my happy ass has been dragging. (Just your average end of the world shit) SO, Thanks, Karen! In fact, I am happy my freaky little terrier woke me up at 2:30 am (the third time tonight) so I could read this post.

  20. Emma says:

    Karen you are da bomb. Love you and Happy New Year. ??

  21. Teri says:

    Amen sister! Testify!
    So appreciate your ability to grab me by the nose ring and make me pay attention.
    Years and years ago a philosopher I admired said, about happiness, “It is and inside job”. Occasionally I have forgotten that but, in due course, I find my way back although sometimes it is a process and not an event.
    Thank you for the reminder that, if the answer isn’t ‘Yes!!!’ (complete with fist pump and leg kick), then it is ‘no’.
    And puppies and French fries make great stretcher bearers…

  22. Doctor or not, you’ve put in a nut shell what my therapist has been pounding into my head. Upon her advice, I’ve taken to posting positive affermations on the wall length mirror in my bathroom. Soooo, LIKE IT OR NOT Karen, your headed straight to bathroom!!!!!

    Thanks, this was perfect!

  23. Melissa says:

    Perfect post to start the new year. Bring it on 2017!

  24. Jenny W says:

    I think, sometimes, on our never-ending quest of the “Happy”, we often forget to look around ourselves, and simply feel content <3

  25. Lynn Barnes says:

    I would like to have coffee with you……………………..please!

  26. Eileen says:

    Sometimes being happy is a conscious decision; sometimes I wake with joy…and energy! Thanks for the post.

  27. Kathryn says:

    In 2015, I read all the books about getting happy, and spent that year making notes about what made me happier and what didn’t. Which led to returning from my last Christmas break with a resignation letter in hand. It took me most of 2016 to quit the job, sell the house that was suitable for the job (getting rid of about 25% of the stuff in it), find a small house, buy it, set up my business, and culminated in having a few quiet moments rather than a week long Christmas break, but at the end of 2016, I am far, far happier.

    I realized at the end of the summer that I’d spent most of my vacation time (when I had a job) going to conferences to learn new things, and doing side-jobs, so work is now what I used to do on vacation, so I’m not worn out.

    I found that during that changing everything year, most of my remaining stress was from money, so I did 2 things — I took an online course called Put your money where your happy is (about prioritizing things that make you happier) and subscribed to YNAB.com (You Need a Budget) to help me understand what I have and where it’s going.

    So now, for the most part, yes, I am happy.

    • Jenifer says:

      After reading your post, my first thought was “Wow! She is so BRAVE!” And you are. Those are some courageous moves and I am in awe! I dream about doing things like that. I am working on the smaller things like getting rid of STUFF and DOING more stuff. 🙂

      Bravo to you and wishing you peaceful budgeting. 🙂

      ~Jenifer

    • Karen says:

      Excellent. That was all very brave of you. 🙂 ~ karen

    • Alena says:

      As I was reading your post, I thought “you are one brave lady”!
      Clearly, so did others. You rock, Kathryn!

      And P.S. if anybody else is thinking about a budget, there is an excellent spreadsheet (free download) on squawkfox.com that I have been using for the last 4 years. It’s easily modifiable to use everybody’s individual needs. Tracking all expenses is an eye-opening experience.
      (If Karen has a similar spreadsheet, I apologize. This is not an attempt to lead her readers astray).

      • Kim from Milwaukee says:

        Thank you for sharing that budgeting site Alena! Definitely need to use those tracking tools…gotta get out of debt in 2017!

  28. When I read that last bit, “Swear more, eat more, eat better,…” I read it as eat BUTTER, got excited and thought that this was a program I could get behind! Sigh…. well, it’s still pretty good, but butter would have made it “raving lunatic” better.

    • Mary W says:

      That sounds like a great way to start the new year. I’m feeling better already just thinking about eating butter more! Thanks for the laugh this dreary morning.

    • Grammy says:

      I bought a nifty little churn-in-a-jar a month or so ago, and my 7-year-old grandson and I made our own butter. That made both of us exceedingly happy. Until the dog snatched the kid’s butter and bread right out of his hand. But the kid got more, so he was able to stop crying and actually laugh at the dog. Things like that make me happy. So, go ahead — eat some butter.

      Plus, do everything Karen tells you to.

      • Wow! Making your own butter! Awesome – it means you’ll never run out. That’s some kind of perfect world, that!

        • Grammy says:

          Oh, it’s so easy. You can do it by shaking heavy cream (in the U.S. the grocery store sells “heavy whipping cream”) in a mason jar (or a very clean commercial glass jar) and shake it till it turns into butter. I did that in a kindergarten class in the ’40s. But now there are these pretty little butter churns that make the work easier — you turn a handle on the top of the jar and it spins the paddles inside. If you try it, read the directions — you need to press out all the buttermilk if you’re not eating it all right away. Bonus: the buttermilk that’s left when all the rest turns to butter is perfect in any recipe that requires buttermilk. I made muffins and pancakes with the buttermilk. Win-win.

    • jainegayer says:

      LMAO! Me too! I thought it said butter.

  29. Sandy says:

    Great post and great advice. I needed it! Thanks, Karen.

  30. Ann says:

    I am so lucky. I survived a pretty hellish childhood. I was as dysfunctional as I could be as a young wife and mother. But somehow I knew I didn’t want my life to continue that way forever. To go down all the wrong roads my mother did, and now my siblings were.

    So thru out my 30’s I kept trying to move forward, leave my past behind. Take joy in what I did do right and forgive myself more for my wrongs, which were still pretty much constant. I think most mother’s of kids feel they are constantly messing up!! Plus having a high pressure medical job where making mistakes cost but happened. I was an xray tech in a busy department. You don’t even want to know how many retake xrays happened back in the old days and how often it was your fault, not the patient. But any way, slowly, over that decade and into the next, I did learn how to be much happier. It is a slow process. But I do believe most of us damaged souls can move forward, as long as there are not true medical mental health issues to be dealt with. I will never dismiss the fact that mental health in this world is not addressed properly or often enough.

    Now that I am into my 60’s, yes there are times I am somewhat sad. Times I have a day where I can’t figure out where my anger comes from or why I can’t find happiness in my ordinary life. But it is so incredibly rare. And I can’t even tell you how happy I am when I walk outside and see my animals, my garden, the things I knit for my family, the sun, the earth, the smile of almost any child, a kindness done by someone else for someone other than I. My list of things that make me happy is so incredibly long. Maybe that is part of it. One by one, I found the beauty in things others don’t seem to notice. I seek out happy people to be with, those who share my interests. I do for others as much as I can. I give to others when I see the need. Not to any extreme, I keep hoping to do better at the giving thing in this next year.

    • Thank you for sharing your incredible journey. It couldn’t have been easy to revisit the pain. But your story is so inspiring! I’m not generally an unhappy person, but you have inspired me to do better – try to be kinder, nicer and see more beauty in the world. Thank you.

  31. TexasMom says:

    Perfect timing Karen, Thank You!

  32. carolyne darimont says:

    Wow, just, Wow

  33. Jenifer says:

    You convinced me…I’m getting a puppy. (My husband said no to the baby.) LOL

    If you are ever in upstate NY, look me up and we can hit some flea markets, farmers markets, consignment shops….they are always fun!

    ~Jenifer

  34. When I wake up in the morning I wish I hadn’t. I am not happy and haven’t been for far too long. While I realize that it is up to me I feel trapped in my situation. However I have resolved to make 2017 the year I finally get out of this trap I am in even if it means being homeless at 58. I am resolved to get rid of excess baggage in my life, knick knacks I have kept for the memories, which now make me sad or thinking they are worth something when they are actually costing me more just having them. I signed up for the Daily OM, http://www.dailyom.com It helps as long as I take the time to read it. I am a little inundated with all the get happy fuel for the fire everyone is posting about (which always seems to appear when I am feeling extremely low. They help, they do and I’m trying, I really am. https://youtu.be/y6Sxv-sUYtM?t=2m14s

  35. Karin in NC says:

    I’m also a genuinely happy person. Content. I have a positive outlook. I agree with everything you said here about how to just start being happier, but I think you left out one very important thing in your list of “be” – be grateful. I’d willing to bet that no matter how much you think you don’t have, you have so much more than you need. Be grateful for having a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, food to eat, everything. Be grateful you caught a green light, you saw a baby fiddleleaf fern or a beautiful moon or two puppies playing. Whatever. Just find things to be grateful for every day and you’ll be surprised how much happier you can be. Just my two cents. Full disclosure, I’m not a psychologist either.

    • Sandra says:

      I agree with this, too. Write the good things down! When you’re feeling down, you can go back and remember the things that made you happy. When I go down to my dungeon of a basement and do something, I’m going to keep track of it. When I finish a project, I’m going to write it down. If I don’t do anything, I’ll write down something my husband said that made me laugh. Or what my grandsons did to make me smile. Anything happy.

    • CGinAZ says:

      Amen Sista-Friend.

  36. Kimberly M says:

    This is pretty much the most positive thing I’ve read so far this year. Granted, the year just started… but hey! I posted something along these lines for my friends and family on Facebook. Basically, stop complaining you’re unhappy, if you’re unwilling to change it. Take the steps to get to a happier place. I, as well as many others, want 2016 to suck a big one a disappear, but I also know my blessings are so many. Definitely taking this year and giving it a big hug with my sweaty post-workout (because yea I’m doing that too this year) body, and setting the right tone for the rest of it. Love this blog so much Karen. It has given me so much over the past few years and I’m thankful for that too! Much love from the middle of the USA.

  37. Mary W says:

    My father did not give advice. He said wise things at just the right time. When I was 15 and he was helping me learn to drive, he was in the passenger seat as I waited for the light to turn green and go. When it did, a man tried to run the red light and almost hit my car. I yelled and said to Daddy, He makes me so angry, we could have been hit. Daddy looked at me and simply said – HE can’t make you angry – only you have those controls. I’m 70 and still remember those words. He never mentioned the almost-accident and didn’t say anything else at all. He wisely let it all sink in. Still today, I always check to make sure no one is running a light before I go on green. I check myself anytime I think someone is making me angry or sad. One of my favorite quotes from anonymous: Don’t put the keys to your happiness in another person’s pocket. Great post today, sweet Karen.

    • Karen says:

      “Don’t put the keys to your happiness in another person’s pocket. ” Love that, lol. Thanks Mary. ~ karen!

      • Donna says:

        I’m keeping that one! Thanks for sharing it.

        Another similar one: ‘Don’t let anyone live rent-free in your head’.

  38. Laura Bee says:

    Karen, you’re the best. I was fired from a job I really loved. Or maybe I wanted to love it. Some of the people I worked with were dicks. Hell, I have had 3 other jobs here in town but one turned out to be seasonal, another sold the restaurant and then the new owner hired me but my availability didn’t work for them…) So when that happened I was not happy for almost all of 2015. Anyways… I have never been fired in my life and now at 43 I have been fired 4 times in 2 years. WTF! I was not happy. Anyways, my bf HATED his job and finally found one he can walk to just when I was fired this time, so I applied to the Crappy Tire one town over (only one car). I got the job, the hours are better so our daughter is not in daycare except for PA days and holidays. And I like what I do. It suits me.
    Silver linings and all that jazz. Bring on the happy. . .

  39. Marilyn says:

    Good post Karen..happiness does come from within and you can definitely make your life happier if you choose to do so..I’m a happy person, always have been and a positive thinker ..my brother thinks I’m pollyanaish. But I am confident and well loved..I think that being well loved and cherished also helps you to be happier and kinder to others. And kindness can also make you happy..when you are kind to others and see the results of your kindness it can make you very happy! We all have our moments for sure but the good far outweigh the bad if you ar a happy person..happy new year Karen!!

  40. Lori says:

    Karen,

    LOVE THIS POST. Thank you! I needed that.

  41. CA says:

    Great post! I have finally decided to not return to a career I have hated for years after being let go from my last job six months ago. The problem is I don’t know what to do next. I have no idea what I even want to do. Everything I think of is followed by a reason not to do it. I am happy not doing anything; I like getting up and doing whatever I feel like. If I want to cook, I do it, if I want to go for a walk, I do it, if I want to lay on the couch all day and surf the net I do that. I keep waiting to win the lottery but that’s not realistic.

    Being single and just turning 52, this lifestyle is not financially sustainable and I must find something soon. I really don’t want to have to take a job I hate again. It makes me feel ill looking at job ads for my previous job (Human Resources – ugh).

    Any interest in doing a follow-up post on how to find what you want to do in life Karen?

    • Karen says:

      Maybe the easiest thing for you to do would be to figure out what you hated about Human Resources and work from there. 🙂 i.e. Did you hate going into an office? Did you hate regular hours? Did you hate doing the same thing every single day? Did you hate the politics? Complaining people? It’s a place to start anyway. ~ karen!

      • CA says:

        All of the above and then some 🙂

        • Lez says:

          CA my heart goes out to you. I was also there 4 years ago. I left my miserable husband of 26 years, basically left my daughter to fend for herself at university, as she was sucking the life out of me, but I provide everything for her. I was incredibly unhappy & also didn’t know what to do. I moved away from my beloved Cape Town to a tiny town in the desert, where it is all orange farming & no one speaks my language. So I learnt to speak Afrikaans, that was hard (!) & am slowly being accepted here. I met the love of my life & we decided to turn the spare room into a guest room! Wow! Who knew there was such a niche in the market here?? I have now hosted guests from all over the world, made new friends & am making good money from the absolute privilege of guests paying money to stay in our home! If you even have a spare couch, you can get on Airbnb & make money CA! Trust me. A small investment with some new bedding & towels, a welcoming smile & some info about your area, that’s all you need! It grew from there in 1 year to a bigger unit we built & now it is full time work in a totally new field for me, very hard work, but my choice, & now we are on 5 websites & I’m running an international business! Like Karen, I am basically a content person, but I was NOT happy. I was stuck, & made a huge leap of faith & it makes me happy. I love my guests & helping them enjoy South Africa. So when most people are starting to think about retirement, I just turned 54, I have started a whole new career, & trust me, if I could do it anyone can! Plan, think, dream, & as Karen says, just do IT! So CA, if I can help you in anyway possible, I’m there at the end of an email address. Let me know. Karen, you are simply Wonder Woman & an inspiration to so many. A great post. Thank you. Onwards & upwards in 2017!

  42. Karen says:

    Awesome☀️

  43. maggie van sickle says:

    After reading all the comments I feel very lucky and I am in a good place. Retired, a pension, good health, living in a nice little home on a beautiful lake, 2 good kids and 3 wonderful Grandkids. I am happy and will be happier when I leave this small piece of paradise and move back to my home town of Dundas to be closer to family. This is a big move but it is something that I can make happen and I intend to do just that and although I am happy just think how much happier I will be. Have a great day Karen and to all your fans that are struggling u can make things happen no matter how big or small your problems are. Have a great day!

  44. Topo says:

    To CA

    I am in the exact same place as you! Fired from a job I hated July of this year. The place actually affected me to the point of having problems dealing with stuff. Turning 52 this month. Trying to figure out a new way to make a living while struggling financially. It ain’t easy. I live in Ottawa where there are government funded programs. There is one for “Mature Workers” and I’m hoping it will provide some sort of clarity or help. There is also something called “Second Career” which pays for you to retrain in a new career. I don’t have links, but you may want to look that one up. Motivation is hard, but if I force myself to attend one of these sessions, at least I’m getting out there instead of surfing the net for jobs that I don’t really want to do. Because, to be honest, I love staying home and being a childless housewife. Anyway, just wanted you to know you aren’t alone!

    • CA says:

      Thanks for the response TOPO. Unfortunately, I don’t qualify for the second career program. If you do, you should take advantage of it. They told me not to even bother filling in the application. I would go back to school myself if I knew what to take. Best wishes to you!

  45. Linda in Illinois says:

    Great way to start the New Year, you are my inspiration.
    Happy New Year!!

  46. Angie says:

    Thanks! Just what I needed to read today!

  47. Alena says:

    OK, Karen. I will try – I really will.
    Great post, BTW.
    Happy 2017!

  48. Maria Largaespada says:

    I just hung a chandelier in my dining area…all by myself.
    and I’m happy.

  49. Flash says:

    Do you have a puppy? They really do help make you happy :). And show outright love and devotion a tad more than sloths and chickens
    happy New Year

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