Smile. Lets make 2018 the year of happiness

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope it isn’t too late to wish you all a happy new year.  When does it stop being socially acceptable to wish people a happy new year? I’m guessing March might be the cut off point!  I’ve never understood why it’s only Christmas & New Year we think it’s ok to wish people well.  We’d never think of saying to a friend, “Happy New Week” on a Monday morning, yet there’s no problem in mid December saying “Merry Christmas” to random strangers. I understand it’s probably less depressing returning to normality after a weekend than it is from a long Christmas break, but yet you all went back to normality and wished every one a “Happy New Year”.  I’d like to start a movement of people who greet everyone with “Happy Thursday” (or what ever day of the week it happens to be, don’t be a nut case and wish someone a Happy Thursday on a Tuesday!!)  The problem is; if I start this (and I have tried), people think I’m having some sort of breakdown!  It is socially unacceptable to be nice!!  When did this happen?  I missed the meeting!

Lauren and I seeing in the New Year

I can’t judge anyone for being grumpy, as I have been forced to change massively since becoming the at home parent.  Pre house-dad days, I would regularly lose my temper to the point of aggression.  I could lose it with someone on the street, with my family (especially poor Jane & Lauren), with people on the phone and woe betide anyone who may have to deal with me complaining or have to listen to me shout about poor service.  Back then, when I sat behind the wheel of a car I basically turned into the Hulk!!
Don't make me angry...you won't like me when I'm angry!

These days I am a lot more laid back about things.  Don’t get me wrong, I still get mad, I cant abide bad service and I am terrible in crowds, although I blame the last one on years of conditioning to push away anyone in my personal space! (if you don’t understand that reference it links back to my American Football playing days, see blog number 1).  However my aggression is a lot less than it used to be.  I will never recover from the shame when Lauren told me she was scared when I told her off.  She feared me!  Her father.  The one person, who should love and protect her above all else, yet she feared me!! Just writing that down has brought me to tears.  I am ashamed of who I used to be.  Luckily these days are behind us. Lauren & I now have an amazing relationship.

It seems to me that I am going in the opposite direction to the rest of the world. Everyone else seems to always be stressed and rushing about.  It feels as though the entire population is becoming more aggressive and less affected by drama or horror. Yet I am becoming kinder and day-by-day the horrors in the world affect me more deeply.   I can no longer stand to watch the news or read the papers because they consistently use shock tactics to report their opinions (it seems facts are no longer reported and journalists report opinions over facts).  I know that not watching doesn’t stop the terrible things that occur, but I can contribute without the need to lower my own happiness.

As some of you already know, I am a huge fan of Walt Disney.  After my first trip to Walt Disney World, Florida, in 2016 I became hooked again, just like I was as a child.  There is something captivating about the magic of the place.  I was drawn into the happiness and manners of the cast members.  On our first day I spoke with a cast member and asked “are you always this happy?”  Her response will always remain with me. She said “when I first started working for Disney, I thought my smile was fake, but after about a week I realized I hadn’t stopped smiling, even when I wasn’t on shift.  You can’t pretend to be happy.  You can pretend to smile, and I did this for long enough with loving friends, around me, working in a place where I am literally making dreams come true and so now I know, yes, I truly am always this happy!”  I haven’t paraphrased her response.  That is what she said.  I think about it a lot and I think she is right.  

I understand that of you suffer with depression, anxiety, trauma, or mental illness, smiling won’t cure things.  Ultimately I am very lucky and very blessed.  I have no reason not to smile every day.  More over there is no reason not to help someone else smile everyday too!!  So rather than set a typical new years resolution I have decided to keep a record and spend 2018 making as many people smile as possible.  My target is to make a minimum of 365 people smile this year.  It might be a small thing, like opening a door or helping someone carry their shopping, or it could be more substantial and buying someone gifts. However I really want to make the world a happier place so I shall do my bit. I’d really like to know if I’ve ever made you smile (I might even add you to my list!), so get in touch and let me know if I have made you smile!  This time next year, I’ll do a blog and publish the list of times I have made people smile.  Why not join me?  Make a stranger smile in the next couple of days, let me know what you do and the impact you think it might have had (remember there is no such thing as a small gesture!)

Me and Mark. I bought Mark a cup of tea. We are now good friends.

If you want to follow our adventures everyday, follow us on Instagram @daddylifeuk

Hope you have a great day!

Ian B xxx

Comments

  1. Love your blog Ian. You always make me smile youre such a kind person. We love following you and your family on Instagram. Keep up the good work. Love Beks. X

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  2. You have made me smile so many times!! And happy tears 😭😭

    And idk if I believe that bit about you being angry before 😂

    aprilllynn

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  3. This is so sweet. Love How you look at life!

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