Choosing Happy by Jen Hurowitz

Topic: Intentions vs. Goals

Goal 1: Be happy.
Goal 2: Always follow Goal 1.

I haven’t always been a happy person. I had every intention to be happy. I wanted to get married, have children, laugh a lot and be the ideal grown-up I had created in my head. For some reason, I had to struggle to see the glass as half full, not because I wanted to be a pessimist, but because I didn’t know how not to be.

My parents divorced when I was 18. I let that affect me more than it should have but I had help from others when it came to being good at being miserable. I always felt that there was an optimist inside but I settled for being a realist.

I had every intention of having children by age 25. Therefore I intended to be happily married for a few years before that in order to really be “ready” to be a mother. When my 25th birthday came and went and I found myself still single, the age changed to 30.

I intended to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in a timely manner and not in the ten years it actually took. I intended to pick up my journal and finally get back into writing. I wanted to actually write the ideas that flowed through my head, and with all my good intentions sat a pile of unused journals.

I let my misery invade most aspects of my life. I intended to have a better attitude at work but instead found myself rolling my eyes. I intended to wear a little less heart on my sleeve but felt I was being “fake.” I had every intention to explain to everyone why I was so sad, but had little energy left for the tale.

Even when things were happy I struggled. It wasn’t until my boyfriend (who is now my husband) said to me one day, “You know, you can choose to be happy or you can choose to be sad. I choose to be happy,” that I realized how much I was affecting those around me. When he said this to me, his mother had cancer. He didn’t just intend to get out of bed every day despite his pain; he made it happen.

When he asked me to marry him, we planned a quick wedding with every intention that she would see us wed. Sometimes the best intentions aren’t enough, and she passed away before the wedding. In spite of our immense sorrow, we found the happy on that day.

Today I can say that the glass is half full because I choose to see it that way. My intention to be happy turned into a goal to live a life filled with happiness.

Now when I hear or think of the word “intention”, I take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes it really can be as simple as a silly goal that just makes you smile. Be Happy. When it’s storming, when nothing is working, when everything is failing and you just can’t take anymore, look inside yourself and you will find something to be happy about.

6 Responses to “Choosing Happy by Jen Hurowitz”
  1. talleygilly says:

    Jen – LOVE this. ” I always felt that there was an optimist inside but I settled for being a realist.” How happy I am that you can see that you can still be realistic but seek the sunny side wherever you can. Bravo for your first post on Write On project. Can’t to see more like this . . . 🙂 -Alexandra

    • Jen says:

      Alexandra, thank you so much for your comment! I’m so sorry I didn’t respond – I thought I would get an email if anyone commented, whoops! 🙂

  2. Josh Jamison says:

    Jen–thanks for sharing. I started a small group on Facebook a while back, The Writer’s Corner. Someone posted a comment there, mentioned Write On, and here I am. Interesting this is the first post of yours that I am reading…I wrote this quick excerpt last night:

    “Life can be hard sometimes. It’s hard for everyone. But with the hard comes unimaginable wonder. The birth of a child, the smell of fall, the sound of a song so moving it brings tears. Living, really living, takes effort. Some of the most amazing moments in my life have followed reluctance. Whether too tired, or initially uninterested, the simple fact remains: these moments won’t happen if we stay comfortable. Comfort can be deceiving. Often, comfort becomes complacency, and complacency smothers dreams. I know this because it took over my life. Days become weeks, weeks, years, and so on.

    Tomorrow, try something different. Have an amazing day. Easier said than done right? I will admit breaking old habits can be difficult, but not impossible. Take for example the way we treat one another. Tomorrow each one of us has the opportunity to change someone’s life, and it can be as small as listening to someone who isn’t used to being listened to. Or it could be as big as calling someone who impacted your life, and letting him or her know how much they mean to you. For most, this advice will go unheard. But for the few who actually decide to make tomorrow different from all the yesterdays it could be the start of something new.

    Go on that hike, buy that gift, read that book, have that conversation. Have you ever brought someone to tears from joy? It’s a pretty powerful thing. Its one way of knowing the day you just lived is special, and will stand apart from the others. Not every day is going to be some magical escape from reality. However, it’s important to understand the opportunity to live exist in each and every day. Just for a day: show real kindness, do something inconvenient to help someone else, listen to a song that moves you, hug someone you love, and be aware of what you are doing. Tomorrow is up to you. To the few who will actually put this to practice: may your tomorrow be the beginning of something new, and be remembered as a day unlike others.

    • Jen says:

      Josh, thank you so much for your comment! I can’t believe I didn’t see this before. Thankfully Jared alerted me to this and I’m so glad he did.

      I love what you wrote. There are so many lines that are favorites! “Some of the most amazing moments in my life have followed reluctance.” I can relate to this big time. “Go on that hike, buy that gift, read that book, have that conversation.” If I had stayed reluctant, we never would have gotten our second pit bull, and now I can’t imagine my life without her! (And she is part of the reason I haven’t been on here much. We brought her home a few days after your comment!)

      Thanks again for commenting. Is your Facebook page still active?

  3. I love what you wrote here!!!

    It seems as if it was directed only to me – such was it’s affect on me.

    Intentions are like a curse to me – deciding to be happy is certainly the cure 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Thanks Sean! I love when I read something I feel was written just for me. It makes me feel more connected to other people – especially writers. I wish I always chose happy first, but it’s definitely a conscious effort sometimes! 🙂

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