Kristin's Kinders

With Kristin Henry

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Jun 14

Happiness for a Lifetime

Posted on June 14, 2021 at 10:10 AM by Kyle Jost

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. 
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. 
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.” 
Chinese Proverb   

I feel this last part on so many levels.  So much has happened to us all in this last year that left many feeling powerless and overwhelmed.  My own family experienced a family death along with countless personal illnesses, challenges, etc.  Friends who are dear to me have dealt with a brain cancer diagnosis, others, a loss of a child, and still others, have lost a home, job, etc.  What remains throughout all this strife is the power of human connections.  When all of the noise of everyday life is stripped away, what is left is simply people and their incredible ability to reach out and help another no matter how dire their own situation.  It seems to go hand in hand with our message of #mountainforward.  Life keeps throwing zingers, but when we respond with kindness and grace, we can do most anything. 

Recently I had two family members in the hospital at the same time.  Meanwhile, one of my dear friend’s husband was in Renown’s ICU post-brain surgery.  While my family struggled to just stay afloat, I felt exhausted, stressed, and generally overwhelmed.  What helped me most, however, was to carve a tiny part of my day out to make someone else smile, if I could.  An unexpected coffee for a friend, a hug, a silly joke, Golden Girls’ jammies for the hubby in ICU; whatever it was, I found my own day was vastly improved when I was able to provide a small reprieve in another’s day. 

I know this sounds corny, but when I started to make a point to think of ways to extend myself to others, it came right back to me.  There was the friend who took our young daughter overnight to give me a break, another who dropped off lunch to me at the hospital, a group of my preschool parents who gave me a gift card for a massage, or a note left on my desk at work.

I have felt such gratitude for my own life, no matter what curveballs are thrown, when I offer up myself to serve others.  I get to experience this daily in my work at the preschool, but when I pushed out further and began to do the same in my personal life, I was rewarded immensely.  It’s like the magic penny Girl Scouts learn about: “Give away the magic penny, and you’ll end up having so many,” or something like that.  See if you can give of yourself a little more this month.  Let me know if you notice you truly are gifted more happiness when you give of yourself more, and remember, #MountainForward!


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