On the Journey, a Change from Frustration to Happiness

I have often said that attending the Journey to Happiness meetings led by Darrell Price were not necessarily about learning something new, but more about learning to use the knowledge already acquired and which is a little rusty at times.

So here is a fine example of choosing happiness over frustration. Bob and I have very different sleep patterns, so I go to bed early and wake up at 5 AM. Dawn is my time to catch up on the news, sip my coffee, and enjoy the first rays of early morning light in peaceful solitude. This morning however, neither the TV in the kitchen or the one in the living room would work. This was puzzling at first, but then I remembered that Bob had been working with DVD at two in the morning, when I had wandered out to get a glass of water. He had a DVD player connected first unsuccessfully to the kitchen TV and again unsuccessfully to the one in the living room. We talked for a few minutes, and as I walked back to the bedroom, I thought, “ I should tell him to return both TV’s to their original format, but I had quenched my thirst and longed to get back to sleep for a few hours. I just assumed he would do so before he headed to bed.

When I woke at the crack of dawn, I was looking forward to that first cup of coffee and the weather news concerning the storms and floods here in Southern California. You guessed it; Bob had not changed the TV back to cable, and I being DVD challenged, did not even want to attempt the switch. I fumed a little, even slammed a cupboard door or two before I reminded myself that I could choose this black pouty mood that I was nourishing, or I could choose to make it a lighter shade of grey. I was not convinced I could turn it into a happy time; that came when I took the dogs on an early morning walk. Walking in the unusually cool morning mist gave me time to think about my responsibility for mood. As the dogs, pulled on ahead, happy as could be to explore the streets, I decided to match their mood. My heavy step became lighter, and as we headed for home, I had a plan and I had a smile on my face.

The plan was simple. I would feed the animals, dress for my nine O: clock Zumba class and head down to Lugo’s Family Restaurant for breakfast. I would choose a booth where I could watch the large overhead TV screen which I knew was always turned to a news station. Watching the clock and knowing Bob would not be up before my time to go, I wrote him a quick note saying,

“Good Morning, Darling, Treating myself to breakfast at Lugo’s. No TV here. You must have forgotten to re-adjust it. Computer news says that there were really bad storms around Mt. Baldy and Forest Falls. Dogs fed, walked and medicated. Love you and see you after Zumba. Maria

Then out to the car and off to breakfast. I parked the car in the parking lot, choosing a place between the Restaurant and the gym so I wouldn’t have to move it before my Zumba class. Lugo’s was moderately busy, and I chose the perfect booth to watch the large screen TV. The waiters are always the friendliest and before I could even say, “coffee,” a cup of hot brew was in front of me. My favorite waiter came by and took my order. He is a wonderful young man and frequently calls his favorite white-haired female customer “Mama.” It is a term of endearment and recognition that I have always appreciated and seemed a perfect greeting to fit my much-improved mood.

I took a moment to tell him my TV was not working and that I came down to have breakfast, morning coffee, and watch a little of the local newscast. He told me to stay as long as I wanted and if I chose I could curl up and sleep awhile in the booth. Laughing, I said, “No way, as soon as I finish breakfast, I need to get next door to In-Shape for a morning class.

As appropriate for a happiness scenario, I ordered comfort food; omelets, home fries and a biscuit with gravy. It arrived shortly and tasted as great as I had anticipated. I watched TV, sipped my coffee, and finished off almost the entire breakfast served.

On the happiness scale, my mood was nearing the top. and I had the feeling that after I paid the bill, I could skip like a kindergartner clear across the restaurant and out the front door. However, I sauntered instead, and when I arrived at the door, my waiter had propped it open and was saying good-bye to two customers. He hugged each of them and turned to me with open arms. I held my arms out too and received the perfect hug appropriate for a woman old enough to be his grandmother.

It is only a few hundred steps to the gym, but on that walk I thought about happiness and how I may not always be in control of events, but my attitude makes all the difference. A morning that started with frustration had turned into a morning of fun. Oh yes, it didn’t stop there. I stepped, gyrated, and followed the Zumba Instructor better than ever before. Attitude, happiness, determination what wonderful words to contemplate as I bring this post to an end.

1 comment to On the Journey a Change from Frustration to Happiness

  • A wonderful post and so true about attitude! We have to take each situation and improve it not let ourselves down with a gloomy, anger feeling. When that is mastered our whole world becomes a little brighter. You did a good thing Maria!

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