What makes us happy isn’t always healthy, yet health and happiness are two things that seem to go hand in hand. That being the case, I want to talk to who ever invented elephant ears. Because happy? Yes, they make me very happy. Healthy? Not so much. Still, when I bite into one of those deep-fried doughy sheets of cinnamon and sugar goodness at the state fair each year, I can’t help but smile. I mean, who eats an elephant ear with a frown on their face? And it’s not just elephant ears. The disconnect between what is good for us and what makes us happy is present in a lot of situations. Shopping? Um, yeah I love it. But overspending and, worse yet, buyer’s remorse is not good for my emotional wellbeing. More recently I’ve noticed the disconnect on a pretty personal level. You see, along with elephant ears and shopping, nothing makes me happier than making someone else happy. I’m a classic people pleaser. And I’m a peace maker. I hate conflict, arguments and pouty faces. So I work super hard to make sure I see very few of those things in my daily life. There are times when these qualities serve me very well. But there are other times, especially as I get busier, older and add more people to please to my roaster, that I’ve realized I’m going to have to reevaluate just how much people pleasing I can handle. Sure, seeing others happy makes me happy. But there are instances where making people happy isn’t always good for me — the most obvious way being that there just isn’t enough time for me when I’m working so hard to make everyone else happy. So, in 2011 I am going to try to do more things for me. (Those who have categorized me as self-centered in the past, can stop laughing now, this is a serious issue for me). The first (and, honestly at this point, only) thing on my list is adding a workout routine back into my life, particularly swimming — something I love to do but never carve out the time for. As cliché as working out might seem as a New Year’s resolution, I figure this plan is two-fold genius. It not only gives me more me time, it also makes up for all of the deep fried food items of wonder I, without a doubt, will continue to indulge in. Voila! Obviously pairing health and happiness together is easier said than done but then again so are a lot of things in life worth doing. I mean, elephant ears don’t deep fry themselves.
Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.