“Instead of grumbling or complaining, we should be mindful of why we should be joyful. We should take our needs to the Lord, and we should be filled with gratitude.”1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
When you teach the teenage population of your town, it is not uncommon to hear, and sometimes absorb, their colloquialisms.
Today’s word of the day: “triggered.”
I am normally adverse to this word, as it makes me associate their comment with gunfire, and in the world we live in, that is no laughing matter. However, what I think they are aiming for is another way to say that much of the status quo “ticks them off,” as we elderly 30-somethings grew up spouting.
The truth is, they’re not alone.
A lot of things “trigger” me, and it’s happening in new and surprising ways.
The smaller things that I normally shuffle off are “triggering”—I become sullen and moody. Trifles, some would call them, but if I put them under the microscope, they all add up to one simple truth:
I’ve got to find, and make, more time for happiness triggers.
Maybe it’s the Pollyanna in me—I’ve been hardwired to play the “Glad Game.” It always manages to scoop me up and put me back on solid ground, out of the quagmire of negativity I’m surrounded by. The negativity that’s slowly claiming more real estate in my subconscious, and darkening its normally rosy-hued lenses.
This state of “triggered-ness” often begins with finding ways to compare myself to those whose “filters” on their lives make mine look about as exciting as reading the phone book. I become resentful, envious, and just plain irritated that, while those people were making time for adventure and connection, I could barely surface from the hurricane of laundry and toys strewn about, or the mound of virtual learning I had to set up.
If you are constantly looking for the negatives, they will find you and set up holes in the pavement for you to fall through.
“Cultivate a mindset that pays attention to the seemingly little things. Little things add up. Think of how snow accumulates: flake on flake.”-Benjamin Franklin-
That’s when I really told myself that I needed to find my happiness triggers among the traffic jam of my waking hours.
So, here are my most recent smile-inducing occurrences…
The two wildlings I’m raising are both learning to read/sound out words, and my evenings and mornings are filled with the cacophony of their busy doings. Bedtime stories and read aloud time are some of my most cherished.
I’ve instituted spontaneous dance parties with the little ones and to see them bounce together to the beat gives me fits of giggles.
I’ve been trying to do a weekly mother-daughter dinner date, and my girl looked at me and said how much it meant to her, as she’s covered from nose to chin in salad dressing and pizza sauce.
We enjoyed two cloudy, rainy afternoons and all of us took a much-needed nap. Glorious. It’s as though Mother Nature dimmed the lights so we could find peace.
My phone rang and I heard the sweet slow drawl of my Gram on the other end. She was just calling to tell me to listen to a sermon on tv, but it brightened my mood, because I felt special that she was thinking of me.
My husband cleaned and organized our house in a way that we haven’t in months, all because we knew we would have guests. A clean house makes me so happy.
We brought joy in a surprise birthday celebration for my favorite aunt on my husband’s side, and her wide-eyed shock that we pulled off the little shindig, as well as her gratitude, warmed my heart. I love making others smile!
It’s not so bad to look between the lines to find these little dewdrops of joy. It also leaves one with very little time to be “triggered” about the little snags of daily life. 💗