Things Add Up To Happiness
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Student Life

It's the little things that Add up to happiness

Make lemonade out of lemons and smell the roses every now and then. As cliche as it is, this is the key to happiness, no matter the situation.


During my recent travels to the South for work, I met an older woman dressed in all black, that staggered around with poor posture. Her head dangled with weight at the end of her bent neck, making her back stick out above her head whenever she walked with purpose.

She was waiting patiently for the judges in the room next to me to be done judging a group of pageant girls, as I assumed she was in charge of the modeling judges. In the meantime, I was running the sales table in the hallway right by the waiting area.

I was nibbling on my sandwich, while scrolling through social media, deciding that I was going to read another chapter in my book when I realized that the lady was just sitting there staring blankly into space. She didn't appear to be impatient or upset, nor did she really appear to be comfortable.

I felt my heart give me a nudge to make small talk with her, even though I wanted the peace and quiet to focus on my book, at first. I looked over, picked up one of the magazines, and asked if she'd like to look at a magazine while she waited. She replied with, "No, I'm quite used to this. Thank you though."

There was a moment of silence between us until she brought up that she hates to see the pageant girls walk around with frowns on their faces, even before the crowning happens. She continued to make her point that the way someone carries themselves is so important, and that first impressions stick with people.

She said that one time when she judged for Miss America, she witnessed the woman who was chosen to win the crown, drop down to first runner-up because she had laughed at one of the judges for tripping and falling in the hallway. To her, she said that meant everything, and that it showed the girl's true character.

As the conversation continued, she said that if you're positive throughout your life, good things will come. To me, I thought that it was funny that she was saying such things since I've been reading into the idea that if one puts goodness into the world, we shall receive it back.

So, I told her that I thought our conversation was interesting and that I also believed in the concept. She affirmed that it's the truth. She stated that she witnessed a woman who started with participating in beauty pageants, who never won a title, become a millionaire, and that was because she never whined about not winning.

It wasn't her time to win something.

She told me that she ran a modeling agency in New York City and how she travels to Europe from time-to-time for meetings. From what I was hearing, she's successful in her career. As she was telling me more about herself, I found out that she lived in an apartment in the city with only her German Shepherd and Shih Tzu.

Her first husband died, and just a couple years ago, so did her second husband. Her parents passed away when she was just sixteen years old but, yet, she somehow made it into the world with such a profound perception of life.

She said she gets by because she doesn't dwell on things. She continued to tell me a story that one day, she told her coworker that she was going to go outside in the rain to listen to the raindrops, and she got one of those "ARE YOU CRAZY?" reactions. She responded with a "No? I'm just enjoying the weather."

Instead of complaining about the weather, like most people, she decided to find peace in it. Sounding like something I would do, I told her that I liked how she thought of life, and she said that it's important to wake up and tell yourself to enjoy life every day, and that "misery loves company."

It's so easy to find something to complain about.

She said that being grateful for what you have rather than constantly wishing for what you don't is what makes life brighter. Every morning, she said that she wakes up and sips her coffee, smelling the steam rising up from her mug.

I just found her view of life to be beautiful. She had the choice to let her losses take her away, but instead, she found joy in her blessings. She didn't get consumed by her successes, either. As she said, she decided to make lemonade out of lemons.

And to think, this conversation stemmed from me asking if she'd like to read a magazine. It might sound far-fetched, but I believe this woman was sent to deliver a message to me to continue to find the good things in my life and appreciate all of it.

Being grateful for everything in life just opens the doors to a happy heart.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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