When I think of my childhood I am lucky enough to have a lot of very vivid, happy memories. Playing with my friends, sleep-overs with my cousins, helping out with the family business, traveling to far off places, trips to the shops with nanna and talking with my parents about myriad of both sensical and nonsensical topics.
There’s one regular conversation in particular that is at the forefront of my mind though when I think back. My Mum would every so often stop, look me in the eye and ask me “are you happy?”
The first time she asked the question she explained the importance of checking-in with myself and acknowledging how I really feel. And most importantly, to do this when things are running smoothly. It’s easy for us to recognise when we’re sad, angry or upset but we tend to forget to stop and appreciate when things are good.
My mum is full of wisdom. I don’t think she intentionally set out to be so profound or has ever really understood how valuable this lesson has been to me. We continue to have this conversation but I also ask this question of myself regularly. This simple strategy has carried well into my adulthood and it is invaluable. I find myself focusing on the positives when I otherwise may not have. I generally feel happy because that is what I focus on and when things aren’t so great it’s easy to recall times that were.
It’s a great little tool. So easy and effective. I ask my boys this same question frequently and they don’t yet understand it’s depth but one day they will. It makes me smile to think that I’m instilling this happiness reminder in them and I’m confident it will be as valuable throughout their lives as it has been to mine.
Thanks, Mama. I love you. And I am happy.