This post is part of a series of happiness interviews, which I use to showcase some of the many ways people can find happiness on their own terms.
Sheila is my muse.
When I sit down to write or prepare a talk, I picture her face. She’s not wealthy, or super into self-help books, or bored and looking for a project. She is a woman in whom I recognize myself and my own journey.
Sheila is a member of the Happiness Tribe, and I have been honored to witness her amazing transformation over the last few years.
She’s gone from working full time to being a stay-at-home mom – which took a lot of planning, sacrificing, and brave leaping to make happen. She’s weathered the loss of her mom, found the confidence to more fully live her values (including going all hippy and green when her friends thought she was crazy!), and recently moved with her husband and kids to Texas just because they thought it would be a better fit for them.
Sheila reminds me that it is possible for everyone to find their own voice and walk their own path.
I believe her thoughts on happiness will resonate with you.
How do you define happiness?
I don’t think happiness is something that I can actually define. I just know that, for the first time in my adult life, I am truly, 100% legitimately happy.
Happiness is not necessarily something that I am so much as something I am not.
I am not weighed down by:
- Negative thoughts
- Tumultuous relationships
- Extreme drama
- Ridiculous baggage
Obviously I have my bad days where I feel like the world is conspiring against me, but I am at peace and excited to live my life in whatever way I see fit.
What makes you happy?
Dr. Pepper makes me happy. Fudge Rounds make me happy.
In all seriousness though, what makes me happy is finally knowing that it’s okay to have bad days.
Having a bad day no longer means that I have to ride some crazy emotional roller coaster and start over from scratch. I can have a bad day and then, *BAM* the next day I’m right back to where I was two days ago.
Are there any “shoulds” you’ve had to let go of in order to pursue your happiness?
Oh Lord. EVERYTHING! I took everything that I thought I knew and that I thought I wanted and threw it out the damned window.
I started from scratch so I could figure out what I wanted, what I thought, what I felt. I’d spent so much time being the person that everyone else thought I should be that I didn’t have a freakin’ clue who the heck I was. (Editor’s note: I think I say this exact same sentence at least once a month!)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about happiness?
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
This goes along with the whole “it’s okay to have bad days” thing, I guess.
Life is not always going to be easy. There are days where you will feel absolutely defeated and that the entire world is conspiring against you. Happiness is something that needs to be consistently worked towards.
You don’t just get there, spray paint a sign that says “Sheila was here” and then turn around and go back.