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August 26, 2016

Cheerfulness is a Decision

“You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make
an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others?”
(Lydia Child)

Jenny here (I’m Hal’s wife). I’ve always wanted my children to have wonderful memories of growing up in our home. So, I decorated for the holidays and attended all the class parties. I took them to sporting events and cheered them on, no matter how dreadful the weather may be. I worked really hard at making their childhood a happy one. But every now and again, during their growing up years, I would get so caught up in my happy family “to do” list that I would drive myself into misery while doing it.

If I had stayed stuck in that pattern, I would’ve decreased the chance my kids ended up with warm, happy memories—all they’d recall is a nicely decorated house and a really grumpy mom. Loads of sporting events with silent car rides. Schedules jam packed with activities, leaving no room for the simple joys of play, or dinner, or curling up together to read.

While all of that stuff I worked so hard on is fine, it’d all be for naught if I was the Wicked Witch of the West while doing it. Cheerfulness is a decision. And I decided that my warm smile is what I really want my kids to remember.

Peace begins with Pause,


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