January 30, 2013

15 Ways My Child Reminds Me to be Happy Every Day.

My little girl is the happiest person that I’ve ever met.

She’s so joyful that even strangers notice and comment on her bountiful smiles. (She’s a Leo—how fitting is that.)

So here are 15 ways my small lady reminds me to be happy every single day.

1. Smile. I guess you should have seen that one coming.

2. Laugh. Enough said.

3. Appreciate the little things. My daughter is so happy—and it’s often life’s simple pleasures that make her smile the most.

4. Make friends. She’s only two, and yet her Montessori teachers already know her as “outgoing.” She reminds me of the joy in meeting new friends.

5. Let it go. She bumps her head and forgets about it. She’s mad at me and she forgets about it. How? She lives in the present moment, and doesn’t allow an old sulk to get in the way of a new smile or a current pleasant moment. (I might remind you again that she’s a Leo.)

6. She’s tough. She only cries when she really gets hurt (or is extremely tired, but I feel her pain on that one). How much of our time is wasted by making mountains out of molehills?

7. She loves food. Of course I feed my daughter healthy foods, but when she has a treat she listens to her body. There’s no self-deprivation or guilt-cycle and when she’s done with it, she puts the food down even if there’s some left on her plate.

8. She drinks a lot of water. Sorry, but if you read my blogs or know me personally, you had to see this one coming too.

9. Dance and sing to your own tune. She’ll quite literally sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star if that’s what’s stuck in her head, even if there’s something else playing on the iPod dock. She dances to her singing too. Do you take the time to listen to, much less express, your own inner star?

10. Outdoor adventurer. Again, if you read my blogs or know me, you’ll expect to see something on here about getting outside. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when the biggest smiles I’d ever seen on my daughter happened during our first family hiking trip.

11. Love your body. She’s curious about her body and she never judges it. What a waste of time—and happiness—it is to obsess about our outer packaging. The how here is a little bit harder, but I think step one is the curiosity. Look at your body with interest rather than critcalness.

12. Get out of the house. My lady loves to be out and about every morning. Sometimes just getting out of the house leads to unexpected adventure.

13. Read. Alright, this might not apply to your personal level of happiness, but I believe in the joy that a good book brings—and so does my toddler. When people ask what her favorite toys are, my husband and I don’t hesitate to respond, “books.”

14. Spend time with people you love. People that you love, and that love you back, are naturally uplifting to your energy.

15. Hugs and kisses. In my little lady’s book, smoochies are at the top. She loves doling out hugs and kisses. Simple, physical acts of love like this, I think, are crucial to happiness.

Being happy isn’t just a fantasy that we see in movies and can’t experience in our own lives, but it does take a daily practice of behaviors that lead you toward that happiness.

In other words, if you want to be happy then re-assess what you do and how you live every single day. The little things do matter, and these little things add up.

I hope these 15 tips help bring you that much closer to your daily bliss.


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta



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