Throughout life, although a positive and optimistic person, I’ve continually placed emphasis on my happiness being at some point in the future—once I meet my husband, once I have a house, once I’m working my dream job.
It’s easy to think and talk about how great life will be when (whenever when is), whatever that when is. But as milestones pass, we inadvertently move on to picking the next thing that we think will bring us true happiness.
As a happily married woman who is spending a year traveling around the world with my husband, I'm here to tell you that the tendency to think "I'll be happy when..." never ends.
Instead of clinging to a hypothetical moment of future bliss that doesn't really exist, I had to rethink my approach. I had to find a way to stop dreaming and start appreciating.
Certainly, not every moment can be filled with boundless love and joy. There are challenges and disappointments in life and marriage that won’t simply be overcome by a phrase or a new way of thinking. I’d be naive to think that pain caused by an abusive partner or the death of a loved one could be fixed by just choosing to be happy. But I have found that if I refocus my energy on loving well, my life becomes more open to joy and happiness, even when circumstances are far from perfect.
By choosing to love ourselves and others, and even circumstances as best we can, we invite joy into our life now. We are powerfully saying ‘yes’ to happiness now. Our visions of happiness can truly shift from when to now. Because after all, now is all we have.
(Jenna Jonaitis, "Waiting for Something to Make You Happy? This Phrase Can Help You Be Happy Now")