March 5, 2011

The Push to Happiness

Day 64: 29.7 miles/1:50

 “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – Unknown

It is always nice to be able to share an inspirational thought based on a contribution from someone else.  Brandon posted this on my Facebook wall this morning.  I find it interesting that he offered me this quote about “being happy” because his biggest historical, attitudinal argument is that he does not believe he will ever “be happy.”  Anyone who goes from expressing doubt that it is possible to be happy to sharing quotes about how to be happy is making progress.  That alone is cause for celebration!

When I returned from this morning’s ride, I was already in a celebratory mood.  All week I had this underlying tug of stress.  While it did not dominate my week as it would have in the past, it was like a little nagging pain that I couldn’t quite shake.  I simply didn’t feel like I had accomplished much this week, there were a couple of issues that were working to distract me from my positive focus, and I had been going on rides that were shorter than they had been in a while.  All in all, I simply didn’t feel the accomplishment of the week that I would have preferred.

As I went out the door for my ride this morning, I decided to tackle a course that I knew I could do, but never challenged myself to do it. I did it because I knew I needed something to satisfy my urge to feel accomplished this week.  The route I took is a northern route that is all uphill, and I mean uphill, for the first fourteen miles.  And, some of the climb is pretty intense for me.  I have avoided it because I simply didn’t feel the urgency to push myself that hard on a ride.   And, the climb looked as hard as it was!

Today was the day.  I knew I needed to give my psyche a little something extra to work on and a little something extra to celebrate when finished.  Rather than let my mediocre week carry forward any further, I was determined to push myself to an accomplishment that would make my week complete.  And, I did.  I could drag on into the story about the climb, the wind, the scary downhill, etc. – which are all great anecdotes about the ride.  Or, I could simply share the joy I felt when I got off my bike having accomplished something that I knew I needed to do and had avoided many times.  It made my week complete, gave me joy, and allowed me to find happiness despite the imperfections in my life.

Sometimes all you need to do to push through a slump is to tackle one thing that you know will make you feel better when it is done.  It could be a milestone workout, it could be that conversation involving an embattled relationship, or it could be a simply task that would clear up an issue.  Whatever it is, accomplish something that you know you need to deal with and are capable of getting it handled.  The relief, joy, and happiness it provides, will push you through your other battles.  March on!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.