I must confess…happiness is

I finally got around to watching Disney Pixar’s Inside Out this weekend. We didn’t have a chance to see it when it was first released due to my Dad’s illness and eventual death. It was one of those movies that I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch without being overwhelmed by strong emotions at the time. Silly to put off seeing a kids film in case it got too much, but that’s exactly how it worked out.

It was worth the wait – it was a fabulous film and all the hype was well deserved. I loved the story, the characters, the emotions and the many layers of imagination and creativity that came together to bring Riley’s mind to life.

What I loved the most, however, was the eventual conclusion that no one emotion is better or worse than another. They are all valid, they all have their place and they all have a purpose.

I really liked how Joy eventually came to value Sadness and realised that sadness was as necessary to Riley as the happiness that she herself brought along. I think it was bittersweet to see how a single memory could be seen through both a sad and happy lense.

This revelation has struck a chord with me this week as we tackle the confession prompt of “happiness is…”

Happiness is not a single layered emotion. Happiness can be combined with a whole host of other emotions which in some ways, actually enriches its overall emotional pull. For instance, happiness can be combined with excitement, anxiety and nervousness when a long awaited event finally takes place. Or happiness can also come with a side of sad remembrance when recalling happier times with a long lost loved one.

Or happiness can be especially sweet once achieved after much pain, hard work and disappointment.

I could have written all the cliched things that make me happy – family, exercise, friends, the beach, writing, etc. But I think the real sources of happiness and joy in my life come from the flipside of pain, sadness and anger. Just as they are shown through Riley’s experiences in Inside Out.

Happiness is... www.myhometruths.com

For me, happiness is…

  • spending time with my mum & my brother. I appreciate Mum all the more now that Dad is no longer here. I enjoy her company and rely on her strength and experience. I appreciate my brother all the more after all the hours we sat together in hospital. I enjoy his sense of humour and am proud of his genuine devotion to his family.

My family - my nephew, Mum, my brother and my Dad www.myhometruths.com

My family in happier times – my nephew, Mum, brother and my Dad x

  • thinking of my Dad. It’s dreaming of him whole again. It’s imagining him speaking to me in his real voice, telling me a funny story or sharing an inappropriate joke. It’s feeling at one with him in spirit. It’s knowing he would be proud of us and how we are progressing though life. It’s having a drink for him and holding his flannelette jacket tight.

Dad's flannelette shirt www.myhometruths.com

Dad’s shirt, hanging in my wardrobe

  • those little milestones that are a long time coming but finally achieved after a long, hard road. It’s seeing Gilbert accept an award on stage with his trademark bopping and dancing on the way up. It’s seeing Matilda playing with fellow female cub scouts and spending an outing being social and having fun. Happiness is particularly sweet when seeing the kids achieve and thrive despite their diagnoses.

Gilbert & Matilda with Evie www.myhometruths.com

Gilbert & Matilda with Evie

  • watching Delilah grow in confidence and independence, despite the sadness that lingers as she leaves her preschool days behind her. It’s seeing her interact with her friends. It’s hearing her excitement when talking about her school buddy. It’s knowing that she is ready to progress to big school, even though I feel like desperately clinging to her long lost days of babyhood & toddlerhood.

Delilah with her first lost tooth www.myhometruths.com

Delilah has already lost her first tooth!

  • long talks with Nathan, even though they are tinged with discontent about our current state of being. There is a sense of purpose and hope whenever we talk about our future plans and our dreams for our family. Happiness is there in our shared goals for the future, even though we still have a long way to go to achieve them.

Nathan & Kirsty seeing stars www.myhometruths.com

  • helping others come to terms with diagnoses in their own families. It’s being able to suggest services or websites or specialists who may be able to assist. Amidst the pain, confusion and devastation of a diagnosis, I find a level of happiness and satisfaction in being able to help take some of the load off and provide a small measure of support to those who need it.I Must Confess button www.myhometruths.com
  • hosting this linkup and the facebook group. Not every confession is light and fluffy – there are a lot that are not happy at all. But it makes me feel fulfilled and satisfied to give people the chance to be truthful and real. It makes me happy to see the amazing support given to everyone who takes the leap and makes a confession. The situations are not always happy ones but the support is always genuine and it makes me feel good to see such a caring and sharing community.

So, for me, happiness can be complicated. It can come from the most unexpected places and from the most unpromising of situations. But that’s what makes it all the more special and all the more worthwhile when it comes my way.

What is happiness to you?

Link up your post for some #imustconfess love and find out what everyone else is confessing this week.

And don’t forget to join in with our #imustconfess community over on facebook. It’s where the confessing continues beyond the linkup. And the best part? You don’t even need to blog or be a blogger to take part!

Join the community!

The Rules…

I Must Confess

– I Must Confess is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for the whole week.

– You can link up something old or new, we’re not fussy around here.

– Feel free to go with the prompt for the week or add your own confession, whatever suits.

– Please go forth and share the comment love – it is bloggy crack after all!

– We’re always open to suggestions for the weekly prompt (I’m compiling prompts for 2016 – so please share your ideas with me!)


Next week’s prompt – Christmas confessions!

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22 Responses

  1. I haven’t watched Inside Out yet but I will – I think this is a lovely post on your feelings of loss (or how you’re dealing with it). Mine now seems kind of frivolous….
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Happiness is….

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Lydia. I’ve been in a reflective mood lately so maybe that’s led me down this path. Nothing wrong with being frivolous though – Looking forward to becoming a little more light-hearted myself soon!!

  2. I loved loved Inside Out. It has to one of my favourite ids movies (I try to avoid them now as my kids are older but this one I had to see). I think I was a week early last week as I posted happiness last week – oops.

  3. Denyse says:

    I haven’t seen Inside Out but I do know that when my son took the older grandkids he said it affected him too. I like this post as it speaks of truth. We cannot have happiness without the other emotions. Sometimes for me happiness is more like contentment. I added a lighthearted look at happiness as a youtube clip of a song titled that ! Love to you as you work your way through the myriad of challenges called LIFE. Denyse x
    Denyse recently posted..Happiness Is. 340/365.

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Denyse. I certainly have a different perspective on happiness now than I did this time last year. Life certainly takes you on a journey… 😉

  4. Have been dying to watch Inside Out every since I saw the first ads for it on TV, but alas, not having children any more I had no excuse to go! Hopefully it will be out on Netflix soon because I still really want to see it. Loved reading your happiness list too x
    Janet aka Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Comment on Why I’m Not Working in the Nude Today by Janet Camilleri

    • Kirsty says:

      Fingers crossed it will get to Netflix soon. We borrowed it from a DVD kiosk – I’m sure you could do the same if you are busting to see it – no-one will ever know!!!

  5. Vanessa says:

    I think happiness having goals, working towards things.

    I read something in a book once: “every accomplished goal is a dream that is dying”

    I don’t know how much I agree with it but it has stuck with me.
    Vanessa recently posted..Employees Are Valuable

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s a unique perspective and, technically, a completely correct statement. Not sure that I like the perceived negativity of associating goals with the death of dreams but I can see why it has stuck with you. Quite a powerful image.

  6. cate says:

    I bought inside out when it came out on DVD a couple of weeks ago (the kids all saw it when it was in cinemas), but I’ve been avoiding watching it because I don’t want to share with them! I love your list of happiness.
    cate recently posted..Hello Monday

  7. Oooh, I want to see that movie.
    We all want to be happy all the time but really how would we know happy if we didn’t have sad etc.
    Family makes me happy too and talking to and cuddling Mr Sparky. It is good to know what makes us happy so we can turn around a blue day.
    Anne@GritandGiggles recently posted..Happiness

    • Kirsty says:

      You’re so right with your point that we wouldn’t know what happiness really was without something to compare it to, like sadness. Definitely make the time to watch Inside Out – it’s worth it x

  8. I really like your perspective on happiness, I’d never thought of it that way.

    Happiness to me is being stress and anxiety free with nothing clouding my mind. It’s having weights lifted off my shoulders and of course, just being in the moment with my family.
    Eva @ The Multitasking Woman recently posted..Who Has Time For Stain Removal?

  9. I’m the most happiest when I hear bub and T having fun together. I so want her to have a relationship with him because I missed out on having one with my own dad. I can’t help but smile to myself when they’re spending time together and giggling etc. Even though he does teach her bad habits like farting and burping haha.
    Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted..Dyson v6 Absolute vacuum review

    • Kirsty says:

      That’s what Dads are for. I’m watching the same sort of relationship develop between Nathan and our kids – it’s cool, despite the not so cool bits!!!

  10. I made it. Had plans to arrive to the confessional party yesterday but the blog was out for the count. Another hack attempt and it was just easy to put it into hiding and wait things out.

    I’m off prompt but I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. Especially after seeing Oprah last night. For me, happiness is a state of mind.
    Raychael aka Mystery Case recently posted..All I want for Christmas is… a blogging GIVEAWAY

    • Kirsty says:

      You’ll have to spill about seeing Oprah – I knew you were a little meh about going after seeing her last time – I hope it was worth it!

  11. Zita says:

    I have not seen the movie but think I should watch it now! I love the message of it that you have described and definitely agree about happiness being multi leveled. I missed the confession this week (obviously), I seem to have a lot going on and nothing going on at the same time and things just not coinciding.

  1. June 8, 2017

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