ABOUT five years ago I was contacted by a mum that I had met in a mother’s chat room online, she had a baby son and was so depressed and tired she was suicidal.
She saw my family photos of apparent happiness and she wanted to know how I coped with my children.
Just how could I keep smiling, with my children having such high needs?
It was a sobering conversation for both of us, reminding me that people form a perception of you from social media, based on the little (or lots) of information that you share.
Fast forward to now and that Mum and I are good friends, it was a hard journey but she is still here and has overcome a lot of adversity in her life, which five years ago she would’ve never imagined she could.
Someone once said to me that your life is not defined by what has happened to you, but how you respond to what did.
That statement had a profound effect on me, a wake up call I guess.
I’ve mentioned that quote not to invalidate people who have been through terrible things growing up, because of course it cannot be applied to everyone, but it is for us average joes with our first world problems.
It is a point that makes you think.
Are things really that bad? Why are we holding that grudge? In other words, it could be worse.
Ask siblings how they feel about the way they were raised, and you will get two completely different answers. One might say their parents did ok, while the other is still steaming that they didn’t get their own xbox like their brother did (like I said, first world problems).
We go around being a lot angrier than we should, about stuff that doesn’t matter.
We place too much pressure on ourselves to achieve what we perceive as the perfect life.
People put up pictures of themselves on holidays with the caption ‘Living the dream’, but is it theirs really? Or, is it just the idea of what they think they need to be happy?
‘Happy’ can be much more simple than we think. Right now my idea of happy is some quiet time to read, and a night off from cooking dinner.
These school holidays I have some homework for you to do, while you’re hanging out with the kids.
Find one simple little thing that you can do that will make you feel a little joy that day, and I want you to tell me about it (anonymously if you like) send me an email.
How do Goulburnians find their happy? Oh, and keep it clean (although I do like a good laugh).