Diary of a Mom in College: Finding Happiness in Stressful Times

I woke up laughing from a dream yesterday morning. I think I might have done this previously but I really can’t remember. What I do know is that I had been enjoying a rather silly dream and something made me laugh so much that I actually laughed and woke myself up. Normally it irritates me when I wake up before the alarm goes off but I was more than happy to have experienced this type of disruption. The really cool thing is, I was happy all day. I was smiling as if my midterm (due Thursday) and my project proposal (also due Thursday) were done…which they aren’t. Nothing robbed me of my happiness today and this got me thinking about being happy regardless of what life is throwing that you.

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J.K. Rowling (as Albus Dumbledore)

Of course, I always find happiness in my children and I always hope that they find it in me as well, but what else can one feel happy about during difficult/stressful times? I sat and wrote out a list of everything that made me happy and I think some of these might relate to you, too.

  1. My children. In general they make me happy but also knowing they are healthy, safe, have clothes on their backs and food in their bellies. Even though David Jr has a blood disorder, he is generally well. We truly take other things like clothing and food for granted, but the knowledge that while things aren’t perfect, they are OK for my kids makes me happy.
  2. My husband….specifically in this instance I enjoy playing board games with him. This guy is a true “table top” board gamer so we learn to play some pretty cool games.
  3. That I have the freedom to pursue an education. Some people take this for granted and even I do at times but I am happy to be free to continue my education.
  4. I have a home. Every day on the way to school I see at least one homeless person on a freeway on/off ramp. I don’t know why they are homeless and how they became that way, but I know that it’s a difficult life for the homeless population. I am happy that I have a home where I can come and be comfortable.
  5. Scarves and sweaters. For those back east or in the midwest you may be thinking “typical Californian” but it’s not fun to always be in warm weather. Getting to wrap a scarf and throw on a sweater really makes me smile.
  6. Witnessing good deeds and doing good deeds. Yes, I enjoy doing good deeds, but watching others act upon kindness really makes me smile too.
  7. The smell of books. So weird. I am an English major what did you expect? Along with this is a great book find at a thrift store.
  8. Follows and retweets. It makes my day when a college or student or celebrity follows me on Twitter…or at least retweets me. So random, but true.
  9. The “ah-ha” moment. You know, the one where you have been wracking your brain over an idea for a paper or assignment and then BAM! it hits you and you finally know what you want to say.
  10. That tomorrow is a new day. Even if today sucks for you, you get a do-over tomorrow. Be thankful for those chances to find happiness and joy because some people don’t get another day. Embrace today, hope for tomorrow! 

I could list so many things that make me happy, but you get the idea. I would love to know what makes you happy even during stressful times. 

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