Don’t complain. Just give it up. Just give it up right now. I don’t want to hear you whining. And neither does anyone else. You’re responsible man for your own happiness. So, if you don’t like what’s up, do something different. If you’re not happy with your current situation, change it. If you don’t like where you live, move. If you hate your job, find a new one. If you want to go back to school, go back to school. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and life is short. Life is short. It’s freakin’ short and you, my friend, are responsible for your own happiness. So, stop complaining and do something about it.

Do what brings you joy. And if you feel so inclined as to compare yourself, take a step back and compare you to you. Compare your happiness today to your happiness yesterday. And when shit happens, because, well, shit will happen, just know this. Know this one thing. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it. So, it’s a shitty situation. So, maybe things didn’t pan out exactly how you expected. Well, so what? You couldn’t control that. And that’s not your fault. Nope. You don’t own that. But what you do own, what you can control is how you respond to it.

I went with my family snowboarding in April. I haven’t been on a snowboard in years. I fell at least 200 times. My family went on ahead of me. I ate snow a bazillion times. I was being generous to myself when I lied and said 200. And anyway, I was soaking wet. My mitts were soaked. My butt was soaked. My shirt was soaked. Wet snow, and falling, that’ll do it to you. And man, I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about my situation.

But it was a beautiful, super sunny day. And you know what? I had two choices. I could continue down that hill, bitter and upset. Or I could say to myself, “Okay, Mandy, this sucks, yep, it does. But it is what it is. And this is just what’s happening. And that’s perfectly okay, because it is just what’s happening right now and in this moment, and girl you can deal with this.”

I knew I would eventually make it to the bottom of that mountain. There was only way down. And that was it. And I knew it would take me twice the time as it took my younger sister. And her boyfriend. And my brother. And my dad. And my mom. But, hey, I had two choices. Continue on pissed, or continue on happy. I could make it to the bottom of that mountain in one of two spirits. Happy or mad. Glad or sad. And, hey, I’m responsible for my own happiness. Not you. Not anyone else. This is all on me.

So, I continued on. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit aggravated. I was. But it was a beautiful sunny day. The air was fresh. I was alone on that mountain with the occasional kid who blew past me. And it was, well, it was kinda peaceful when I wasn’t falling.

It was all kinda beautiful.

And when I reached the end of that hill, and seen the happiness on the faces of my famjam I felt happy too. I was able to control my response to the situation and I was responsible for my own happiness. I allowed myself to, well, just be okay with what was up.

And in a way, I also didn’t steal any of my famjam’s happiness. And that was a nice feeling. I was totally happy to see that they were happy. And I didn’t want to bog anyone down, so I made jokes at my own expense.

My mother literally said, whilst having a beer at the lodge, “This has been the best day ever. Oh my god.” And I was like, “Um, it’s been a good day. Maybe not the best day ever. Maybe not even close to marginally being the best day ever…” and we all had a laugh at that. Cos, dude, I was soaked. And it took me triple the time to complete one hill. And everyone was like cool with that.

Reflecting back on that right now, well, yah, maybe it was one of the best days ever. I don’t remember it being a bad day. I remember a sunny day, and being alone on the mountain. I remember not giving up. Not giving in. I remember happiness being all around me. And I remember being responsible for controlling my own happiness in that moment and on that day, and not stealing anyone else’s.

And now, here we are, with a positive and uplifting story to tell.

And that’s just an example of being in control, of reacting to a shitty situation with a favourable attitude. And we can each do that. We are in control of how we respond to whatever life throws at us. And if we really are unhappy with a situation, and there’s a means to sort it out and change it, then jus’ freaking do it already.

This kind of philosophy is what carries me through life. It’s what I try to practise on the daily. I tell everyone around me so often that, you know, “Hey! you’re responsible for your own happiness,” that it has become my trademark saying. My dad, my mom, my 8 year old niece, cues into it whenever someone begins complaining about somethin’ that’s ailing them. Like, dude, you’re responsible for your own happiness.

If you like that piece of artwork and it makes you happy buy it. If you like to blog, blog. I know life becomes more complicated with children in the mix, but you’re not just a mom. Not just a Dad. You’re still a person, too. And you need time for you. And you need to continue to work on building your own happiness. Yah, you do.

You have an identity outside of all the labels. Outside of mother, wife, sister, friend. You are still you and you owe you time as well. So, take that trip when you can. Do yoga. Go fishing. Spend time on you. Because that’s going to play a key role in you being able to control how you respond to difficult situations.

And you are, as I have said a gazillion times, responsible for your own happiness. You are. Remember that. Your own personal mantra.

Xox Mandy



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