how to be happy

I’ll Be Happy When…


For too many years in my youth I had the assumption thatΒ I’ll be happy when I’m skinny.Β  I was very unhappy with my weight, “nothing” was working to lose it (I use quotes because I wasn’t REALLY trying), and I felt frustrated. I don’t know why I thought losing weight was the magical pill that would fix everythingΒ else that I was unhappy with in my life but I did.

For awhile it did kind of work. As I was steadily losing weight and getting attention and positive support from friends, family and coworkers, I felt happy and determined. Once I reached goal weight I felt confident and happy and was getting TONS of attention from men that I hadn’t really experienced before. That was a huge ego boost. Then I met Michael and we started dating. I felt happy to have found such an amazing guy.

I saw this quote online and wanted to share it:

I followed this philosophy for a long time. While I was losing weight my #1 focus was reaching goal. Once I reached my goal weight, I flounder a bit and felt lost–that’s when I started running. My new goal was to run a 5k. Then an 8k, then Hood to Coast.Β Every year for the last 5 or so, I had a goal that I was working towards. Training for Hood to Coast. Training for Reach the Beach. Training for the Portland Century ride, etc etc. It helped having a goal. It made me focused, I felt happy that I had something I was working towards.

Last year was the first year I didn’t have a big goal I was working towards. I was still coming back from my knee injury and wasn’t cycling a ton. The frequent bike commute to work turned out to be about once a week and it wasn’t the entire route. I was slowly getting back to running but had lost the drive to run any races because I couldn’t do the mileage in order to train for it.

Getting engaged and planning a wedding has been taking over a lot of my life lately. Thankfully I’ve gotten all the vendors taken care of and booked so really, there isn’t much for me to do from now until around June. This helped me with my “I don’t have a big goal to work towards!” blues–at least a little bit. But I’m still feeling lost. I wish I had that same fire I had three years ago to challenge myself to do races and rides. Where did it go???

I wanted to run a 5k in 2014. I know I can do it. I’m up to about 2.5 miles running now. I can bump that up to 3.5 with some consistent training–which is hard in the winter because it rains so much in Oregon and I’m a wuss. And who wants to spend their whole winter on a treadmill?! As for cycling, I don’t see myself doing any big rides any time soon. I’d be happy with just being able to bike to work once or twice a week this summer.

So what do I do? I feel lost. Not sure what to plan for. Not sure where to focus my energy. Not sure not sure not sure!

One thing I’m sure of is that I do not want to put my happiness on hold. I want to be happy NOW. Being unsatisfied with my job has clouded my moods. Gaining a few pounds this winter has made me feel down about my body. I do know that whenever I get home from work in a bad/sad/mad mood, Bella cheers me up. Her goofy face helps and she seems to be in-tune to emotions in the house. She’ll come up to me and lick my face and neck as if she were saying “CHEER UP MOM! LET’S HAVE FUN!” πŸ™‚

I know part of my issue is not living in the moment. I’ve tried for decades to practice mindfulness. It’s so hard. I’m the type of person that lives in the future, or as this article calls it a Future Junkie. That is totally me. I’m a planner. Looking forward to my wedding, the honeymoon, planning our future and kids, etc. It’s hard to backtrack my brain and live in the moment. Partly because the current moment I’m in is making me dissatisfied. So I need to fix that!