Happiness Ceiling – Too Much Happy


Too much happy.

Some days are logistical calendar nightmares. Recently, Cole (my son and business partner) and I faced off against such a day picking up and dropping off our campers. But we knew that if we made a plan, worked our plan, and kept our sense of humor, we could make a mockery of that calendar.

If I do say so myself—and I’ll have to since you were not there—we were nothing short of amazing. I drove like Chuck Norris, and Cole conducted our route and stops like Sebastian Bach. Everything clicked into place. And I do mean everything. We were on time, parking spots showed up exactly when we needed them to, our music play list matched both our tastes, and a drive-thru Starbucks appeared exactly when we needed it to. Who could ask for anything more?

At home again, we high-fived one another, and I let our pups outside while Cole started dinner. Our team spirit was still going strong. After dinner, Cole tuned into Netflix while I sat outside with my pups. I felt so happy and content that I could barely stand it. And then I went inside.

Sitting on the kitchen counter was an empty carton of ice cream with a sticky spoon lying next to it. And faster than you can say “Jack Robinson,” I hit my head hard on my happiness ceiling. Are you familiar with this phenomenon? You know, when you end a great day with a stupid argument, stub your toe after treating yourself to a massage and manicure, and follow up a successful meeting by letting your mind remind you of all your shortcomings? Allowing yourself to feel happy but not for too long. I’m not alone here, right?

All the good-day feelings were sucked right out of me at the sight of the ice-cream carton. A great day was poised to end with an argument. But fortunately, I was able to stop myself before I reacted to a very old pattern. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been working on raising my happiness ceiling to new levels. It’s pretty easy once you notice the pattern playing out.

When I saw myself reacting to the empty carton of ice cream like it was a household terrorist, I stopped and smiled. Smiling is very disarming. I told the ice-cream carton that it was not the boss of me, and I tossed it in the garbage. I rinsed off the spoon and banished the thought that I had raised an inconsiderate slob. By the time I flicked the dishtowel dry with aplomb, I was back to feeling happy and content. The day ended on a high note.

Being happy all the time isn’t my goal. I enjoy dreary days and wallowing in self-pity every now and then. My goal is to increase the time I can feel happy and good inside before I mess it up. Knowing the secret makes achieving my goal easier. The secret? I can be and stay happy for as long as I want. The choice is mine. All mine. I think I just won the happiness lottery.

Tell us about your happiness ceiling. . .

Odd Loves Company,

*”Jack Robinson is a name present in a common figure of speech used to indicate a period of time. The normal usage is, “(something is done) faster than you can say Jack Robinson” or otherwise “before you can say Jack Robinson.” The phrase can be traced back to the 18th century.” Wikipedia.  Who exactly is Jack Robinson? Nobody knows…

6 thoughts on “Happiness Ceiling – Too Much Happy

  1. Oh boy can I relate. But I don’t think I could have articulated it like this. And I never really thought about it being a choice. I react and then felt resentful that my day has been ruined. I’m going to watch for this pattern and try to remember the secret. Thank for a terrific post.

    • Your welcome…Thanks for joining my musings. I don’t remember the secret all the time but even after the fact is helpful—I hit myself on the forehead and say—“Oh Crap, I could have made a different choice….” 😀

  2. Good for you, Katybeth! And hey, at least you raised a son able to start dinner while you commune with the pups, right??

    I’m not particularly crazy about dreary days, nor do I expect ALL my days to be happy. Peaceful? Yeah, there’s a worthwhile goal. But I love your conclusion and agree whole-heartedly. When we put the happiness choice in our own hands, that’s when we’re empowered!!

    • Ha. I am NOT communing I am LETTING OUT! Maybe a bit of communing but very little. 😀 They all need a potty break when we come home from our day camp run. BUT what is nice is we both think we have the better end of the deal. :-D.

  3. With kids or even pups, I dislike that I can’t seem to have anything nice. Or go out and have a great day or evening out and not come home to some crisis. Will I change overnight and not walk in and yell “seriously!!!!”, probably not. But, I will try to remind myself that I have the power to hold on to all those wonderful moments prior to that, and not get stuck on things that can easily be fixed. And, if it can’t be fixed to remind myself it’s just a material thing; not the end of the world. To make it my choice to take those happy parts of my day and just focus on that. Guess your post lead me to one of those aha moments. Thanks Katybeth.

    • Aha moments are grand. And so is allowing yourself the gift of feeling good, being happy. You don’t have to earn that right—it is your birthright. Just noticing when you have a great day or feel good and something enters your mind or your life that tries to spoil it can be helpful. Sometimes I get very physical with those kinds of thoughts—karate chopping them or stabbing them with sword (kitchen knife). It works for me and I am sure your family (if like mine) have seen you do crazier things (if they happen to walk on you in the middle of chop chop) And you know, always keep them wondering when you might finally blow….) May good thought be with you!

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