Grandma’s Secret to Happiness

Grandmothers are full of wisdom.  They hold the secrets to life, such as: how long to let bread rise, how to get the smell out of the kitchen sink, and the benefits of sending thank you cards.  In addition to these gems, my grandmother had the secret to happiness.  She shared it with my sister and me when we would visit her.  “Happiness is a choice,” she would say.  I pondered that as a child and did not really understand what grandma meant.

As my children grew, grandma’s wisdom began to make sense.  The realization of grandma’s advice slowly took hold like a warm summer day.  I would ask my children how their day was and their answer…” fine.”  All six of them had a “fine” day.  How could that be?  Day after day I received the same response.  When they started to sense my distress at their “fine” day, they tried to vary their responses with: “good, o.k.,” or the occasional shoulder shrug.  It was then I realized, grandma was right.

My children were having an O.K. (fine, whatever, good) day at school, because they were choosing to have that kind of day, or perhaps, they were not choosing what kind of day to have at all and were just being blown around by the chaos that a school day provides.  I needed to implement grandmas plan, and fast.

Now at breakfast, just before they leave, I ask them, “what kind of day are you going to have?”  At first their answers were the same: “good, fine, happy.”  I would tell them that I was going to have a “productive” day, or a “stupendous” day, or maybe even a “supercalafragilisticexpealidosous” day.  After a while they caught the hang of it and are having “supercalafragilisticexpealidosous” days themselves.

To really have this set in, you must ask them after school or at bedtime, what kind of day they had.  Remind them of their intention word (the kind of day that they wanted to have).  Then have them look for things that happened that were like that word.  For example, if their word was happy, have them tell you about all the “happy” things that happened that day.

Before you know it they (gasp…and you) will be setting intentions and fulfilling them daily!  In less than 5 minutes a day (because let’s be honest, none of us have much time to spare) you can help your family look for “wonderfulness” or “productiveness” or like my grandma taught “happiness” in your everyday life, because like the adage says: you typically find exactly what you’re looking for.

Check out other idea’s for  quick new years resolutions at

and Jenna Foote at

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Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, cancer survivor, author, teacher, connected, authentic, bold.

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