“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
Is happiness really that complicated?
Is it something really hard to find?
I used to wonder about these things because it seemed to me like happiness was this very rare gem. A treasure if you must, that seems to be so elusive that you had to go on an adventure and travel to different places in search of something that isn’t tangible. Hollywood probably made me think that way because of movies like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or The Bucket List which portrayed happiness as something that’s really difficult to find.
One such movie that I found really good in terms of the life lessons it imparted was Hector and the Search for Happiness. Yes, it did portray happiness in kind of the same manner as the movies I mentioned above where the protagonist (Simon Pegg in this case) had to travel to different countries and go through several ordeals to find the true meaning of happiness, but the redeeming value for me was that it made him realize that he didn’t have to go through all the shenanigans to find that oh so elusive thing called happiness because it’s always been there at home with his lovely wife who’s been there for him all throughout.
Happiness isn’t really hard to find but it is kind of difficult to achieve. Right?
You’re probably scratching your head for the right answer to my question because you thought you had it all figured out but it’s never been more clear to me that happiness begins at home.
Spend time with the family
There’s no better place, no better people to spend your time with than your family. Your family is your home so don’t limit your definition of home to that of a physical structure only.
That’s why there is a big difference between a house and a home because a home is defined by the people living inside it. Not all houses can be considered a home especially if the people living inside cannot co-exist.
I am lucky to have grown in a household where everyone lived in harmony. My mom and dad were together for more than 20 years up until my dad died in 2003. Of course it wasn’t perfect but we managed to keep our family intact.
My dad was a complete family man. He spent time with us in his days off and even passed up on the opportunity to go abroad because he didn’t want to leave his family. He may have not lived long enough to see his grandchildren but he died a happy man because he lived all 55 years of his life to the fullest.
This is probably the reason I became a home buddy. I enjoyed being at home more than going out because I love spending time with the people I live with and it felt even better when I had a family of my own. I enjoy spending time with them whether it be at the mall, on the beach or just relaxing within the confines of our humble abode.
This may sound like an excuse but this is also the reason I don’t usually go on company outings that require overnight stay. I just can’t stand being away from them as much as they do me. We love being together even if we don’t do something in common. My kids can be at the living room, playing and I can be in our room watching my favorite movie but it doesn’t matter. As long as they know that I’m just in the next room is enough for all of us.
Let your children see their role models in you. This will only be possible with constant presence so be there as often as you could especially when they reach certain milestones in their lives.
Children live happier with a complete set of parents and they feel a lot happier when their moms and dads spend time with them.
Keep the lines of communication open
We all look forward to the meals we share not only for the delicious food server in front of us, but also for the conversation that lies ahead. We always eat together (unless I’m coming home late from the office). We let our small children (aged 7 and 5) lead the prayer. We talk about their grades, their favorite cartoon characters, and what they dream of becoming someday.
We do not force them to sit in the table come meal time but because they enjoy the conversation, they voluntarily sit there and talk about whatever they please. These dinner table conversations will help build trust and make your kids become more open and honest about what’s going on inside of them. Start while they’re young and let them grow and form a habit out of it.
The more open the lines of communication are, the better the relationships, the less conflicts.
I’ve seen the effects of poor communication on the life of a friend. He didn’t have a good relationship with his dad so instead of being home all the time, he did the opposite. He spent more time with friends and would rather stay in the mall or watch a movie then just come home when everyone’s asleep so as not to have another shouting match with his father.
Can you live a happy life without speaking to your mom or dad for years?
Will you be happy if you have to endure one of your parent’s tirade on how big a failure you are?
Be each other’s inspiration
We can’t be at home all the time because we have our own jobs to attend to. After all, we have our needs too but these needs shouldn’t dictate whether we will be happy or not. Don’t let material things be the basis of your happiness. Instead, make your loved ones, your wife, your children, your parents, drive you to work harder so you can provide for them.
I’d be lying if I tell you that my family and I will be happy living in a shanty made of scrap materials as long as we’re together. That would make me a hypocrite. Of course, I will prefer to live a comfortable life with them where money won’t be an issue but there are times in life where our fortitude is tested. We may go broke, we may not get the promotion we’ve been targeting, or one of our businesses may fail but as long as you support each other and you inspire each other to keep moving forward, happiness will always reign inside your homes.
My life now isn’t perfect. We don’t have much savings in the bank, we are still paying debts and I’m not too happy with my current job either but I can safely say that I AM HAPPY regardless of the circumstances.
I am no happiness guru but the happiness I get from home is more than enough to battle the stress brought about by my work. It’s the kind of happiness that spills over the other aspects of my life.
If you’re happy at home, you wake up everyday with excitement and enthusiasm to face the challenges that lies ahead and to grab the opportunities that awaits you.
Over to You
Have you found true happiness?
Where did you find it?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories below. I would appreciate them a lot.
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