Monday, April 1, 2013

How to Find Happiness A-Z: A

You might wonder why I chose to focus all of April on Happiness. It seems no matter how desperately you grasp after it, it can slip through your fingers like grains of salt.

Granted, I'm not happy 100% of the time because there have to be downs if you're going to appreciate the ups, but there are a few key things that can help anyone find the silver lining, even through the rough patches, and that's what I hope to share through this A-Z adventure.

So "A" is for Attitude.

We've all had the experience of being bullied, right? Well for me that period of life was 4-6th grade. My maiden name is Hicken, and my first initial "C". Can you imagine how much of a hay-day kids had with that? People constantly taunted me with the insult--even some of the nice kids. There were even pledges to the rubber chicken in honor of humiliating me! Looking back on it, I know they were just being kids and following the pack, but at the time it was the only reality. I was a freak. --And I hadn't done anything to deserve it.

But then a strange thing happened: I moved on to middle school. I knew I couldn't leave my name behind, that people would connect the dots no matter what, so I changed my attitude. "Chicken" became a cool thing. Oh yes, people snickered when they first heard it, but when I introduced myself that way with a grin and outgoing warmth, what could they do? By High School, "Chicken!" was a greeting that echoed down the halls after me. It had come to represent the opposite of its demeaning roots. It was my title. It was my prize.

True happiness comes from taking the bad and seeing the good in it. If "chicken" can become a badge of honor, what can you do with your dark moments?

AND a quick thank you to Arlee Bird for pulling this awesome challenge together!


56 comments:

  1. That's a lovely story. It's true that if you change your attitude about something it can be so much easier to handle.

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  2. Bring on the happiness Crystal. It's a great story that every kid can relate to.

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    1. I know right? All it's missing is a cheese tray. *scratching head* Where did I put that thing down?

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  3. Like its said, "no one can nu you without your permission." Great story.
    Happy A-Zing! :)

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  4. Such a great post, and theme. I definitely think attitude is so important during those low points. It's not always easy to find, but it makes a difference once you can grasp it and cling to it.

    ____

    Find me:
    Blog: http://allysonlindt.com
    email: Allyson.Lindt@gmail.com
    Twitter: @AllysonLindt

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    1. That grasping is the turning point, isn't it? The moment you realize you have the power, not your circumstances. =)

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  5. What a great post. I am raising my grandson who fortunately, thinks he is wonderful. Still, this is a great post to share with him so he will be armed with knowledge that may help him later. BTW, my husband won't eat anything with cheese which makes cooking difficult.

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    1. ...

      ...
      *blinking back pitiful tears* No cheese? *gasp* That's about the saddest thing I've ever heard.

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  6. Love this story of removing taint through embrace. It's so true that adjusting our attitude toward things can show others another way of approaching them too.

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    1. Poetry worthy, right? Along with those pesky chickens. =)

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  7. Wonderful story. It's true, happiness isn't what happens to you, it's a result of your attitude to what happens in life.

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  8. Good for you!! Excellent choice to start things off with! :)

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    1. Right? It's like taking a view on life from "cruising altitudes". =)

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  9. Great outlook. I was a bird too in middle school and high school. I was dubbed "Big Bird." Hey, he is a funny loving character. :)

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    1. I hope you didn't wear yellow very often--that, or I hope you wore it every day to drive the point home. ;)

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  10. Great story. I love how you turned it around - shows what you can do with the right attitude.

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    1. I know, right? To this day I'll stumble across old school friends online who greet me that way, and I kinda miss it. =)

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  11. i love this---good for you---you made the lemonade and it was sweet :)

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    1. Yeah, but I would have rather I made cheese--because cheese is scrumptious. =D

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  12. Hi Crystal! Thanks for stopping by my blog. You're going to love me "C" post ( I'm writing about my experience with Cancer) and my O post ( about being original). New follower. I love this post! You're so realistic and have a good writing style!

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  13. Crystal,

    I love this! And the whole concept you have for this month!

    I think I know what happened to your cheese platter...I think my cheese-lovin' dog sniffed it out!

    I will be back again and again....I'll even call you Chicken if you'd like! =)

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    1. *making stink eyes* Darn dog. *pounding fist* ;) You can call me Chicken, or Cheesy, or just plain Crazy if that works for you. I respond to all three. =)

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  14. C.Hicken! LOL!!! I'm sorry. I shouldn't laugh. You poor thing. I can imagine how you were teased. Now it just relates to funny stories. I love your blog, and I love your humor. How did we not cross paths before? All that matters is we did now. I'll certainly be back.

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    1. Yay! New friends.

      But hey--don't dis the Chicken. Chicken has a rep, you know? =)

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  15. That's a great story, you "owned" the name and re-made it into a positive experience. Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog as well!

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  16. Great letter A -- Attitude! I couldn't agree more. Sometimes the bad things we go through help to make us who we become.

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    1. Can I amend that? The bad things we go through DO shape who we are.

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  17. Love this post! Attitude always makes a difference! I took a little longer to learn that lesson - teased from 2nd grade through 11th, didn't learn that lesson until my senior year, sadly.

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    1. Hey, at least you learned your lesson. That's all that really matters in the end, right? ;)

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  18. Beautiful post! Happiness has to be absolutely about attitude.

    It's not about bunnies and rainbows all the time. It's about knowing that life is good, even when you're on a downward slope for a while.

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    1. Although bunnies and rainbows don't sound like such a bad alternative. =) Especially together. Rainbow colored bunnies!

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  19. Attitude is SO IMPORTANT... it's the difference between life and death... well, almost!
    I love your funky and upbeat attitude... way to go Crystal! Woo-hoo!
    And yes, we have to take the ups and the downs... it's all part of the package that is... LIFE!

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    1. Yes, because if we're not living...wait a minute. Now I'm getting redundant. =) Thanks for stopping in, Michelle!

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  20. What an awesome theme, and a fantastic way to start the challenge. Attitude is very important in seeking happiness, and your post exemplifies this. I love how you turned chicken from a taunt to something cool! Looking forwards to the rest of your A-Z! :D

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    1. Yay! --Love the open smiley face. Looks like he's ready for a mouthful of cheese. =D --Mine too.

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  21. Attitude is all! And what better theme than Happiness. I wish you bucketloads.

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    1. Bucketloads laced with cheese? Because I'll take it! Thanks, Denise.

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  22. What a great post, I love your attitude :). Happiness is a wonderful goal in life.

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    1. I had never thought of it that way. *tapping finger to lips* I suppose it is a goal. Hm! Who'd a thunk?

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  23. Fantastic post and a sentiment I share, my 'Jolly Lion' block was created from a name I was tormented with at school (my name's Jolyon, so it was an easy creation for nasty boys!) - since then I have adopted it as my internet life - hurrah for embracing the horrors of youth and all the best with the A to Z Challenge!

    Joe

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  24. Thanks for sharing your story! It really shows good can come out of bad (:

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  25. Yes attitude does indeed determine how far we can go in life!Really kike how you turned that situation around; into something positive that really worked for you!

    Thanks for sharing that story! Great perspective!

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  26. opps- kike should have been like!

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    1. You've got a case of happy fingers too. ;)

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  27. Reading this came as a surprise. You were teased for Chicken? Here I always thought it was your nickname. I thought that you loved it. :) You weren't kidding when you said you put a positive spin on it. Good for you. And you wouldn't have been the same without that lovely name.

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    1. I know, right? It definitely always was my nickname, but I had to choose to embrace it before I became *deep voice* the Chicken.

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  28. What a great theme! And I love this post. Bet the rest will be just as inspiring :-)

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  29. Love that picture at the top of the post!

    Your story on bullying is such a good illustration of changing your attitude toward something. I can imagine "chicken" being said as a term of endearment instead of something horrible :-)

    PS - When I was young, the other kids teased me by calling me "book worm". I hated it because they said it in a mean way. It seems so silly now! Now I LOVE the fact that I'm a book worm!

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  30. Rachel, check out that comment 3 up from you. That was one of my high school friends. Crazy.

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Hit me with your cheese!