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How To Always Be Happy

12 September 2013

0 - Smile

“Baby,” I started, suddenly, and ironically, rather serious, “you’re so happy. I wish I was always happy like you.

He continued studying the tag on his plush soccer ball without so much as a raised eyebrow to acknowledge my thinly-veiled request. I leaned in and stared at the tag, hoping I’d missed the secret to contagious happiness somewhere beneath the washing instructions.

“Hey,” I whispered, kissing his fat cheek. “What’s your secret?”

He said nothing.

But the rest of the day, he told me how he does it.

So here you go. The wisdom of an almost-nine-month-old. How to always (okay, almost always) be happy, in ten simple steps.

1 – When you’re hungry, eat.

Eat well. Lots of fruits and veggies, mix it up, but get over all the food fads and diet plans and weight-loss miracles and just eat.

In the middle of something? Pause and eat. You suck when you’re hungry anyway.

And don’t multi-task it. Don’t eat while you play, or study, or explore. Stop and eat. Enjoy it. Savor it.

1 - Eat

Of course the reverse is implied, right? When you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Flail your arms and twist your head and press your lips shut, but do not eat. Food is not for comfort or entertainment. Family and friends are for comfort. Soccer balls and plush tigers are for entertainment. 

2 – When you’re tired, sleep.

2 - Sleep

Some days the To Do list goes unfinished. Make your peace with that. Sometimes there are still things in the drawers that need emptied, or books on the shelves that need tossed around, but you can only do so much in a day. You won’t wake up with a smile on your face if you wake up still tired.

Naps are good. Schedule a nap. Adults think they’re too cool (although they call it “busy”) for naps, but that’s nonsense. Make time for a good nap.

3 – When in doubt, smile.

Not sure who that is waving at you? Smile.

Wondering how you just fell on your butt? Smile.

Unclear about how that mess got there? Smile.

3 - Smile

Smile at strangers (unless they’re creepy). Smile at your mistakes. Smile first thing in the morning, especially if someone you love is there next to you. Smile at your fingers (unless other people are around, because then no one will smile at you).

4 – Hang out with people who like you.

Seriously. Lots of adults, and even more teenagers, seem to deliberately hang out with people that they know don’t like them. Why do you do that?

4 - Friends

Hang out with people who like you, hug you, get excited to see you. Don’t hang out with the other people. They’re lame anyway.

And don’t count them. It doesn’t matter if there are two or twenty. It doesn’t matter if it’s because of you or them. It’s not about the size of the crowd, it’s about the crowd in the … that doesn’t work, but you get the idea.

5 – Ask for help when you need it.

5 - Help

Ask loud and proud. Insist, if you need to. And if, for some reason, no one will help you explore the electrical outlet or reach the window fan, and you just can’t do it on your own, let it go. Know your limits.

Self-improvement is good. Pushing yourself sometimes is good.

But sometimes you just have to be okay with the fact that you can’t reach the spigot on the water cooler, and move on.


We’ll do the other five next week. This is a good start.

And I know what you’re thinking. I have lots of excuses for why I can’t or shouldn’t do some of those things too, but when I started to “explain,” he got all, “Don’t ask for my advice and then shut me down. Whose the jovial one, here?”

Kind of. He kind of got like that. He also may have been pooping. It’s hard to say sometimes when he’s copping an attitude and when he’s copping a poo-face.

6 - Poo

I think I really need to work on number five, myself. Which one are you adding to your life this week?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. bianca permalink
    17 September 2013 8:20 AM


    The little ones really do have quite a lot to teach us!!

    • Lex permalink*
      17 September 2013 4:39 PM

      Thanks. You’re right. I don’t know how they’re so wise, and yet they poo in their own pants.

      • bianca permalink
        17 September 2013 8:03 PM

        Because they know they won’t have t clean it up!! LOL

        I’m telling you! Clever! 😉

      • Lex permalink*
        19 September 2013 4:03 PM


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