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Near the end of my book I write about happiness. And how American culture is consumed with it. Or, rather, the appearance of it. Because our culture is also overly consumed with appearances. Just browse all the perfectly filtered smiles on Instagram and Pinterest so you can instantly feel like you don't measure up. And need to see a cosmetic dentist and abuse whitening strips.
Funny thing, once I gave up striving for happiness through perfection, I immediately felt relieved. And in that reprieve, you guessed it, I felt content. Happy even. Now, I own my imperfections. Flaunt them even from time to time. But acceptance alone isn't enough.
And here's where the work comes in. Every day we all make choices. Hundreds of small choices. And each of those contribute to either feeling good or feeling like crap. Thus adding to your overall cumulative happiness or slowly chipping away at your self worth. So eating three bowls of ice cream in one sitting is a large divot. Walking your dog or bike riding with your kids is a double word score in Scrabble. And if you play Scrabble with them afterward then it's a triple word score. I'm not sure there even is a triple word score, but there should be.
Maybe this sounds too simplistic. But it's always the things that sound easy that are the hardest to execute and integrate into our lives. I will be the first to admit, I make tons of mistakes every day. (I ate the equivalent of 3 servings of Jade's homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream just last night and I'm not gonna lie, my stomach is killing me and I feel like shit right now.) The thing is, I own my choices now. They don't own me. I choose to be happy or at least mildly content every day.
So now if you see me out in public, I will inevitably be bumbling something up. That's nothing new. But nowadays, I just might be doing it with a smile on my face. Unless I choose not to. And that's ok too.