Six Steps to Happiness

Six Steps to Happiness

One of the good things about being older now is that it gives you a great deal of perspective. Things that seemed so important a few years ago are not as important now.

In the end, what most of us want is to be happy. I say “most” because there are a certain group of people who do not value being happy–and they thrive on making everyone around them as unhappy as they are.

Here are my six steps to happiness–starting with the unhappy people around us.

  1. Stay away from unhappy people!  

There is nothing worse than hanging out or being around unhappy people.  You know who they are–everything is bad, they are bitter about anyone else’s success, calm, or good fortune and they do everything they can to bring you down into pity-land along with them.

Stay away from people like this–they will spread their negativity to you and make you feel down down down.  Not fun!

  1. Let go of the past!

We all make mistakes.  In fact, we are supposed to make mistakes. That is how we learn and grow.  We are also meant to encounter many types of people in this world–that do not have good intentions toward us–this too is so we learn and grow.

Whatever we may have done or has been done to us–we need to leave the past in the past. It will not make us happy to relive bad moments or to treat people in our present badly as if they are going to repeat some hurt from our past.  Get over it–and let it go.

  1. Get out of bed and DO something!

Sleeping late or laying about all day, even when we feel “tired” can bring us down.  Get up, fix the bed and get moving. Getting the blood moving in our bodies make us naturally feel happy–it is the endorphins!

Make a schedule for yourself in which you get up and go to sleep at about the same time everyday and in between do stuff that will help you reach your goals or bring you joy.

  1. Get organized!

Disorganization, clutter and chaos bring unhappiness.  Get your houses in order. Not only is physical clutter and messiness a downer–but so is being disorganized at work, in your relationships and in your financial life.

It is all in your power to fix–fix it!  When everything is in it’s place: stuff, people, goals and money–you will be calm and content and you will feel happy.

  1. Give to others!

It is better to give than to receive.  It is! It always makes us feel better because it serves a purpose for us.  When we give our things away it serves to help us get organized in things we no longer need but that can serve someone else.

When we help others in good deeds it reminds us that we are in a good place where we have the ability to help others and are not in need ourselves.  And it makes us happy.

  1.  Give to yourself!

By giving to yourself I don’t mean go on a massive shopping spree.  I mean give yourself what you need–and what you want–that you know will be in your best interests and make you happy.

Stay away from negative people and situations. Give of yourself but don’t let others take advantage of your goodness. Live in the present and in a space that is clean and nourishing to you.

Happiness is not something that is far away or unattainable. It is right there in front of you–in your power.  You just have to decide that happiness is what you want. Go for it!

What steps are you going to take TODAY to be happy? Comment below or feel free to send an email to emptynestsaavy@gmail.com.

Happy Friday!

 

50 Things I Love About Being 50

50 Things I Love About Being 50

I have only been 50 for a couple of months–but so far things are pretty good.  Here is a compilation of 50 things I love about being 50:

  1. I can now say I have known certain people for over 30 (or 40) years–because I have!
  2. I am no longer shy about meeting new people.
  3. I see things differently than I did 5 and 10 years ago–or even last year.
  4. It is acceptable to not know where your car keys are.
  5. People tell me I don’t look 50!
  6. I have the time to take better care of myself.
  7. I have found a new appreciation for sunrises.
  8. I don’t have to make excuses anymore about why I go to sleep by 8pm.
  9. I am old enough not to want to over do any work out session.
  10. I am young enough to still stretch myself and reach higher goals in my workouts.
  11. I cook less–because I am watching what I eat.
  12. I love this new world filled with technology.
  13. I love that I can call one of my kids to explain the technology to me.
  14. No one worries that I am driving too slow anymore.
  15. It is okay to be lost–even with GPS.
  16. No one cares that I don’t drink anymore.
  17. I enjoy talking to my dogs and am sure they understand what I am saying.
  18. No one expects me to wear high heels.
  19. Less makeup is more.
  20. With Netflix–I no longer need cable.
  21. The 40’s were so last year!
  22. I am closer to retirement.
  23. I don’t mind if I am late to places and events.
  24. The music from my youth is still the best music.
  25. My gray hairs grow in a streak across my head.
  26. But I am still young enough to want to color them!
  27. I can do something ridiculous and call it a “mid-life crisis”.
  28. At this age I know money doesn’t buy happiness.
  29. I no longer sweat the small stuff.
  30. I know God is always with me–and He has a sense of humor.
  31. I love that I can name all four of the Beatles.
  32. I realize time is limited and precious.
  33. The empty nest is not as scary and sad as I thought it would be.
  34. I’ve lived long enough to see the world change in amazing ways!
  35. I’m not afraid of the dark, lightning or the boogie man anymore.
  36. Happiness doesn’t seem so hard to reach.
  37. I feel strongly about my opinions.
  38. I know my opinions don’t matter to everyone.
  39. Things seem funnier to me now.
  40. I don’t care what others opinions of ME are.
  41. I get discounts at some restaurants!
  42. It is easier to forgive others.
  43. It is easier to forgive myself.
  44. I love that I don’t know everything.
  45. I love that I know more than I thought I did.
  46. I love that I still have years to learn more.
  47. There is no guilt in falling asleep in front of the TV.
  48. If the dishes don’t get washed tonight, they’ll get washed tomorrow.
  49. I enjoy eating well and exercising–even through others criticisms.
  50. Other people’s criticisms don’t matter anymore.

Turning 50 happened much quicker than I expected it to…but I am enjoying it and looking forward to the next 50!  

The biggest lesson I have learned in the first 5 decades of my life?

Those people that matter don’t mind if you are yourself, and the people who mind you are yourself, don’t matter!

Enjoy your years–we don’t know how many we will be given.  No matter what age you are embrace the life in your years!

Comment below and share your thoughts on getting older.

 

Serving Others

Serving Others

For all us humans, our lives are about serving others.  We don’t always like to think of it this way, but it is in fact what we are doing. Some people may react and think: “I was not put on this earth to serve others.” because we see it in terms of some menial task or job.

That’s not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is our purpose. Everyone’s purpose–in one way or another–is to serve others.

And it is exactly what we are supposed to do. It is how we serve that defines who we are, how we provide that service and what ultimately makes us happy.

Wait–What?

Yup, we are all on this earth to serve others to find our happiness–and for those of you who think I’ve lost it and there is no coming back from this one–let me explain.

Children serve their parents: as a source of love, joy and many times comic relief. After all–they did not ask to come here–we created them.

Parents–serve their children by providing love, security, safety, guidance and yes–loads of embarrassing moments!  (It is character building, kids–you’ll thank us one day!)

In school, students serve as being fountains to fill with knowledge in order to create an orderly society, a future workforce and the next generation of innovation.

Teachers in turn serve the community by educating those students and preparing them for life, the world outside and the many challenges that an education can help them overcome.

Politicians serve to keep our society civil, orderly and they are the referees of the “fair and square” in the world of law.

Doctors and nurses serve people who are sick or who want to prevent illness.

Husbands serve their wives by being a partner, a helpmate, a provider and by supporting the process of raising children and maintaining the home.

Wives also serve their husbands as partners, providers, the moral education of their children and the keepers of the home.

Churches serve the communities through religious teachings, being a moral compass to their members and providing spiritual guidance.

Our Military serve us by keeping us safe at home and abroad from bad actors that may want to physically harm us and our way of life.

Our Police Officers/Fire and EMS personnel serve us in keeping us safe and providing order and protection in our communities.

If you really think about it everyone and everything we do is in service for others. Yes–many of these examples are also called jobs and we get paid to serve. True. But most of these examples are underpaid, underappreciated and undervalued.

Yes–even the politicians. (Well maybe not the underpaid part)!

Regardless, this is the way it is supposed to be and how we keep an orderly world and smoothly running society.

When I sat down and really thought about this and its implications it became very clear to me why some people are happy and others are not so much.

If you don’t believe me, just look around and decide if many of society’s–and the world’s problems–would not be more easily corrected if everyone lived a life of service to someone else or to their community.

The ripple effects of this would be tremendous and it would help many people find a sense of their purpose.

When we have a purpose–a true desire to live the best life we can–it always includes some type of service. Follow your purpose–serve others and be happy!

How do you serve others in your life? How have others served you? What changes can you make in your life to bring you closer to your purpose?

How can I serve you?  Comment below and let me know what you would like me to write about!  And have fun today!

Of Stuff and Money

Of Stuff and Money

A funny thing happened on my way to the trash bin…I started having “declutterer’s remorse”.  I started thinking about all the money we have spent on the things we were now giving away, throwing away or selling at a VERY reduced price.

I had to take a step back, take a deep breath and remind myself of the reason I am doing this…and it felt so good.

My main reason–is to have more!  Not more stuff!  But as I’ve mentioned before…more space, time, money and happiness.

I am so excited as I already see some of my spaces open up–and how I am thinking each day of ways to organize better, and keep those spaces clean and beautiful.  So the more space is really coming along!

And I did not realize how freeing decluttering would be in finding more time for myself.  I mean really, we all have the same 24 hours a day–but if I’m not searching for my car keys for 15 minutes just to find them under the pile of mail I brought in last night, I’ve gotten 15 minutes of my life back!  

Not to mention that an uncluttered house is easier to clean: more time for me.  Simplifying all my stuff makes my routines shorter and quicker: more time for me. And I don’t have to worry about maintaining, storing, searching through or finding new places for my unused or unusable stuff: more time for me!

I really like more time for me!

The money concept is a little harder because obviously unless it was a gift–we spent money on all this “stuff” we are now calling “clutter”. Ouch!  Yes we have bought useless stuff, I accept that!

For all the stuff we bought and enjoyed, well, we can call that an entertainment expense.  And for all the things that are still good and we are donating–they will live on, hopefully, with someone that can get good use out of it.

When I think of my goal of more money–decluttering and the decision to be stronger and wiser in future buying decisions–could mean more money.  And certainly all the hours I have spent decluttering and thinking about decluttering and not cluttering again are hours (and money) I did not spend on Amazon!

Pretty sad when the UPS guy knows you by name!  

More happiness?  Absolutely!  Decluttering is a way to open you up for all the good things you have coming your way.  All the new opportunities, something better that you have been planning for your life, or even just more peace in your surroundings will contribute to a healthier life.  

What dreams or plans have you been putting on hold because there is just no room for them in your life right now?  How does the thought of decluttering make you feel about the money you have spent on stuff?  Look at your future goals, can doing some decluttering put you on a path to reaching them?  Comment below to share your experiences!

And as usual check out my Facebook page and the ideas I have pinned on Pinterest! And have fun!

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

One of my favorite Disney movies has always been Freaky Friday.

(Did you know there were 3 versions of the movie?)

In it, through a strange twist of fate a mother and daughter switch personalities but remain in their own bodies–forcing themselves to see their lives through the perspective of the other.

In the end, in good Disney fashion, it all ends well with mother and daughter in their own bodies and with a new appreciation of the other.

It is the type of theme that reminds us that no one is an island unto themselves. We are connected–for good or bad–to many other people, some of which we may not even realize we are connected to, and whose life we affect.

I remember this as I begin this journey in creating the life I want for myself.  

A few days ago I decided that as new year’s resolutions I should chose changes I wanted to make in my life that had a reason behind them. The ultimate reason, of course, is to live the life I want–a happy life.

And that is when things got Freaky!  Define a “happy life”! And how does your “happy life” affect or impact the “happy life” of others–especially those closest to you. Talk about Freaky!

As we think about and form what our “happy life” is, we cannot forget the others near us that do not realize what it is to walk in our shoes. Because ultimately, as Disney points out, we do not realize what it is like to walk in THEIR shoes either.

So we have to do two contradicting things at the same time.  We need to search for that thing that will bring us happiness and be selfish about it, but we must also take into account how our happiness will affect others.

That is not to say we should give up our dreams and do what others want us to do. That will not make us happy and if the people around you really care about you, they do want your happiness.

If the people around you are just takers and are not concerned with your happiness but the function you serve for them, then perhaps it’s time to take a hard look at those relationships. More freaky.

It is a matter of PERSPECTIVE after all….the what’s in it for me? thoughts and feelings.

Freakier still…this is not easy and it will take some work, but it will be so worth it in the end!

So, over the next week–I am going to go about my normal life. But I am going to be conscious at really analyzing it and discovering myself.  

I encourage you, also, to spend some time looking at your current life and to think about what your dreams are.

If you are in a marriage or committed relationship–you may want to do this exercise with that person, as most likely wherever your dreams take you so will it take your partner.

Look at the point of view of each person that is involved in this future. And see yourself in that future, surrounded by what you want, where you want, how you want things to be. And then write these things down.

You don’t have to do anything with the list right now, but it helps to have your ideas develop on paper (or in a journal or on your PC).

I am sure the things we find out about our present selves, and about what our future selves want will be beyond Freaky!  But like the end of the movie (all three, actually) it will lead us to a better beginning to the future we hope to have!

I hope you have a wonderful Freaky Friday!  

If you’d like, I’d love for you to share your thoughts on what type of future you envision or on Freaky Fridays of your own!  Please comment below.

Also, visit my Facebook page and Pinterest to join, follow or post your thoughts as well! And have fun!