I'm fairly certain, that while growing up I probably thought my happiness was based on how people treated me, where I lived, the things I had, and most of this would have been attributed to my accomplishments.
Now that I am creeping up on 40, I realize that NONE of that is true.
I am responsible for my own happiness. However, I am NOT responsible for yours.
I cannot control how others treat me, but I can work hard to react in a more positive fashion.
My surroundings (where I live and what I have,) are not as important as they once were. One of the best times of my life consisted of me living in a one room cabin, probably a little larger than my current office, with no a/c or heat, two cots and a shelf that ran from one side of the cabin to the other. I spent my entire summers in this little make-shift summer cabin, and enjoyed every single minute of it. Electricity was shotty at best, and the rain pelted me in the night through the screens. No protection from mosquitoes. No protection from the creepy crawlers - just me.. the outdoors.. and sheer happiness.
As for my accomplishments, they are just a piece of my journey. A little puzzle I solved, or picture I "painted" (not literally) that made the place a little better. It doesn't make me, ME - but they do serve as a reminder that I have lived, that I have existed.. and the world is a better place because of it.
This year I am documenting my happiness quest. I will embrace the fun, inquisitive, adventurous girl inside, that to be perfectly honest got swept up in the day to day. I've lost so much, yet gained such a better perspective. I created my own safety net - (which is ME) and I have grown stronger spiritually.
Though my path is not anything like yours.. we both have journeys to complete.
Time to shed the old skin, and become who God intended me to be.
Wishing each and every one of you a glorious New Year's Day!