Yesterday was the new release of the Pharrell Williams song”Happy”. To coincide with the single release, the website 24hoursofhappy.com has been launched and features a visual presentation of the song as “the world’s first 24-hour music video”. The video repeats the four-minute song over 24 hours with various people, including some famous stars and the minions from Despicable Me 2 dancing and miming along.
After my post yesterday, Learning to Dance in the Rain, it occurred to me that this video is what I aspire my life to be. “Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah, no offense to you, don’t waste your time…here’s why: because I’m happy!”
As I’ve said in previous blogs, I left my ex while six months pregnant with our daughter. It was a terribly miserable and confusing time for me. The stress of the marriage and my pregnancy had resulted in about five months of morning sickness (which is why I didn’t leave for six months).
I knew that in addition to needing to keep it together for my 2 1/2 year old, there was a little life inside me – and I did not want all of her in-utero time to be experienced while I was miserable. I’m a mother. It’s not all about me now. It’s all about my kids.
My Morning Ritual
So I developed a little ritual. Every morning, rain or shine, no matter how I was feeling, my alarm would wake me up with the happiest songs I knew.
ABBA – oh so much ABBA. Dancing Queen. Thank you for the Music.
Come on Get Happy by the Monkees
All You Need is Love by the Beetles
500 Miles by the Proclaimers
Somebody to Love from Queen
Rocket Man by Elton John
That doesn’t even cover one tenth of my list. Upbeat music. Foot tapping, start your day with a smile, happy music.
And my son, in-utero daughter and myself would dance. We’d dance while waking up. We’d dance while getting dressed. We’d dance while making breakfast. And then we’d dance while eating it. I even brought it into the car and we danced all the way to pre-school and again until I got to work.
And even if I woke up feeling miserable and sick, the infectious music would help me to feel happier. Just a little bit every day. I’d forget about my troubles and focus all my positive energy on my son and the little life growing inside me. Because believe it or not – she was dancing too. As soon as the music came on. Sometimes I swore she was going to come out with a feather boa and dance tights.
I know that some of you are reading my blog and looking for something to let you know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I very firmly believe that you can make your own light. When I first started that ritual, I would sometimes wake up miserable. But as it continued, to my surprise, I not only looked forward to it – I actually took on the happy. No matter how much was going on. It helped me to melt the stress away, if only for a little part of the day, every day. It reminded me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It reminded me that I had left my husband to regain my happy and I was making it work.
I Have The Power to Make Myself Happy
I think Groucho Marx said it best – “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
The tradition continues in my household. We don’t always have time for it in the morning any more. But we always make time for it. Especially when we need it. And sometimes, it just spontaneously happens. We’ll even dance without music. We’ve shared the tradition with my new husband. And it will continue to be a tradition with our new son.
I hope that all of you, however you do it – find your happy today and hold on to it. Tell me – what are your happy songs? What do you do to find your happy?
And a very special thank you Pharrell Williams. No surprise – as of yesterday, you’re on my list.