Two girls in identical blue dresses

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Happiness shines

It’s true. There are two sides to every story—no matter how right we think we are. Will you create your happiness story–or will you let someone else do it for you?

In my last blog I wrote about kindness and how it affects relationships—especially with our life-mates. However, this week, I saw that bestowing kindness is not always as readily accepted as we might think.

The other day I went to the fish store. Even with a coat on, I felt cold in there. A woman behind the counter who was clearly old enough to be retired, looked sad. I didn’t blame her. I hate to be cold too, but the sling holding her arm gave her an even bigger reason for not smiling.

With what I felt was genuine empathy, I said, “It must be uncomfortable standing there with that around your neck.” She grunted and nodded. Not to be deterred, this Chatty Cathy continued with, “I hope you don’t have to wear it too long.” Then I became concerned that she thought me invasive or nosy for she didn’t seem receptive to my comments. Nevertheless I continued, somewhat sheepishly, “I remember the worst part of a sling is how it pulls on your neck—starts to hurt your back too.

Eventually she looked at me, surprised that I understood or cared about her situation. “The worst part,”she said,” I’m right handed.” That clinched it. Everything she needed to do was hindered by the sling.

For a few moments, we discussed the value of being ambidextrous, and she began to smile—and so did I.

The Outcome of Caring

This was no great tale of heroism or kindness on my part. However, the next day I came across an article on the Magic of Receiving that reminded me of the fish store encounter. The author states, “Your willingness to receive can be the very energy that causes the reality you are seeking.”

For a few moments at the fish store, this woman smiled and forget her pain. Hopefully experiencing a caring conversation made her day a bit brighter. I know it made me happy to have that pleasant exchange—even with a person I barely knew!

This thought then reminded me of the reason I committed to writing Survive Your Husband’s Retirement. Early in my husband Art’s retirement I found myself in a group of woman with retired husbands. The majority of them resented their mates being home all the time. They were not receptive to the thought that they could create their happiness story for this new life style and relationship.

Being receptive to new ideas

From this experience, I knew there had to be a better way, so I started interviewing dozens of women with retired husbands. Their thoughts on creating compatible and happy retirement marriages, offered a gold mine of ideas, that I wanted to share. The women I spoke with had the right perspective to make it work. Almost every woman interviewed spoke of the need to be receptive to the possibility of  happiness in retirement life. The women’s attitudes helped them create harmony in their relationships regardless of any difficulties they faced.

Create Your Happiness Story

Will you create your happiness story? Are you receptive to joy in your life? Do you accept others’ kindnesses and share it with others? Do you see your positive attitude as the reason for your happiness? Do you know someone who is not receptive to the goodness of others? Do you know why?  Can you help them create joy and compatibility in their lives and their relationships?

Please share your thoughts on kindness and receptivity in the comment section or post this on Facebook to help others decide if they are open to happiness.