Choose happiness

One of my best dresses? Check. Good breakfast? Check. Research? Visual aids? Slide advancer? Check. Check. Check. 

I was ready. I had spent a good 6 weeks preparing for a leadership roundtable I was about to facilitate. Reading, writing, interviewing, slide-building, more reading, more writing. I had been through the highs ("I love this stuff! This is going to be great!") and the lows ("Is this going to make an impact? Will I ever be prepared?") and I was ready to hit the road for a 90-minute trip to a firm in New Jersey.

Then I saw it. A missed call from one of my contacts at the agency. No one calls at 6:53 with good news. Instead, one of the primary participants was headed to the hospital with her son. For obvious reasons, we decided to postpone.

Just like that, the extra last-minute preparations felt like a waste. 

Just like that, the plans had changed and I didn't have any control.

Just like that, I had put pantyhose on for no good reason.

I could have been pretty ticked off, frustrated things didn't work out the way I planned. If this happened a year ago, I would have made it all about me. I would have ruminated for a few hours and let it poison my day.

But I've been working on this - choosing happiness. I've been practicing mindfulness techniques I've learned as well. 

So just like that, I wasn't resentful. I was disappointed, sure. But I was also happy. 

Happy I got the call before I started making the drive.

Happy I have the program all ready for whenever we reschedule. 

Happy I have a flexible job so I could text my boss and say, "I'm coming in today instead of using PTO."

Happy I have a job I love so I didn't resent returning from vacation one day early.

Happy we could make this change so the person on her way to the hospital didn't miss out. 

It just so happened that night was the second night in our June Happiness Hour series. Our topic that night? Choosing happiness. The irony is not lost on me. 

No matter what happens, we have a choice.

Choose happiness.

Photo by Ankush Minda on Unsplash

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