It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.
As the above quote by American writer Margaret Bonnano goes, most of us agree, happily ever after is something that solely exists in fairytales. That being said, everlasting happiness is not a long term accomplishment but the fruit of a consistent daily effort to keep the happiness factor alive and kicking.
Harnessing the immense power of "now", is an art. For that's the only time we feel ourselves exist in reality. That's how, "taking one day at a time" influences how happy we can be and our ability to spread the same around as well. The present, is a priceless asset that can be leveraged to attain our happiness goals at its best.
In today's fast-paced world, all of us are juggling with stuffs balancing family, work, health, and what not! With all that going on, it's easier said than done, to derive happiness by practicing the power of "now". When there is a lot of planning that goes into all our future endeavors, closing our eyes to what will be coming our way, and merely embracing the present is a real hard row to hoe.
Now it all narrows down to how it makes us feel when thinking of the past or the future. Reiterating about an incident that happened long ago, thinking it could have been the way we wished, when we have totally no control upon it anymore or worrying out of anxiety thinking about what the future has in store for us, adds no purpose to the very idea of happiness but to more stress.
On the other hand, be it the happiest lovable memories of the past that brings a smile on our face even without our knowledge, memories that make us feel empowered, humbled, guided through and morally strengthened, just by looking back at our resilience that made us who we are now, or looking at the future with an eye full of hopes and planning things proactively for a confident tomorrow, it's definitely worth going back and forth through our mind's time machines as and when needed! This way it makes the present much more meaningful and happier too.
We are always delighted to see our plans materialize the way we expect them to be. At times it doesn't. So we hit the low, which is a dime a dozen in most of our lives. It's very important to remember that it's absolutely okay to feel low when we do and accept that moment even though we are tough cookies. Being easy on our own self and taking in the learning rendered from the experience paves way for a better tomorrow. It's always good to hope that these tough times too shall pass and the happiest times are yet to come, for every cloud has a silver lining!
During these challenging times, counting our blessings and feeling grateful by finding the little things that spark joy at the moment, and breathing them into life makes a lot of difference. The hot cup of coffee you crave for after a long tiring day, a drive through your favorite road, humming your close to heart song, getting that long-pending grooming plan into action, dancing to your best-loved tune, enjoying a warm treat of your go to meal, going for that brisk walk or exercise routine to kick start the day, reading the book that you've always wanted to, relishing that piece of dessert once in a while and many more such happiness triggers which varies according to individual preferences are to be definitely hunted for within each of us !
To keep our happiness quotient high: prioritizing some me time along with family time, loving our dear ones for what they are, taking that much needed break when down, keeping our funny side up, taking that deep breath and moving on, mastering the art of making that annoying moment powerless without our reaction, uplifting someone with our words, actions or even a little smile, finding joy in helping the needy with whatever we can, pausing a moment to look at ourselves in the mirror just for some self-love, genuinely rejoicing at another person's success, staying away from toxic vibes and ignoring fakeness thereby cherishing the handful of dear ones who are truly happy and concerned for our ups and downs respectively, and above all “making sure we don't put the key to our happiness in someone else's pocket” (Anonymous.,) could help a lot !
So let's consciously try living at present as much as possible, which in turn will give us a happy we! Let's try to reflect upon the past and the future in a way that make us feel good about ourselves. Whenever the present doesn't seem as happy as we wish it to be, let's remind ourselves to be kind to self and take control of our own lives like a boss, to make things better. Midst the constant shuttling between yesterday and tomorrow, let's not miss the happiness that lies in front of us today, right now. Here's to a happily ever after, every other day!
About the author: Sruthi Sudhagaran is a mother of two and a passionate homemaker. Having her cultural roots from Palakkad, Sruthi was born and raised in Tamilnadu. She did her schooling in The Nilgiris and B.Tech, I.T. in Coimbatore. She worked as a Software engineer at UST Kochi and Bengaluru for four years. She loves singing, dancing and art apart from writing. Baking being another recent addition to her hobbies which she enjoys a lot. Few years back, Sruthi moved to the U.S. with her better half Sathish. Admiring Cincinnati for its lush greenery, alluring season changes and scenic beauty, as a family they have always felt blessed for the amazing friends they have here. Sruthi’s all-time favorite quote being "Live every moment! Laugh every day! Love beyond words!” she believes in taking life as it comes.