Have you ever wished for a perfect family? One that is always happy, where the children get great grades and excel in every sport, and the parents are always cheerful, and the puppy is both adorable and well trained?
Or maybe you’ve been jealous of that seemingly perfect family next door?
Don’t do that to yourself, says Tiny Garrity, a longtime Madison resident who runs a Happiness Club. Happiness is not about being perfect, she told participants in a recent Self Image Fashion Show event at the Madison Arts Barn.
Instead, she said, one of the keys to happiness is to strive to be positive, rather than perfect. Another key? Develop resilience that can get you through difficult times.
Because the truth is, as we well know, even here in Madison where so many have so much, most families experience problems, setbacks, and tragedies. With the right attitude, we can develop wisdom and learn from those setbacks, she said, and we can develop positive attitudes even in difficult times. “If you learn to think positively, you will draw positive things to you,” she said.
She recommended using “mental rehearsals” to prepare for difficult challenges and to use affirmations that reinforce the kind of person you’d like to be. When you’re down or scared, she said, it’s fine to acknowledge that and then to “act as if” you have the confidence to move forward.
She gave a great example. Garrity is shy. She's afraid of public speaking. Yet she speaks at her monthly Happiness Club meetings and gave a great talk on a stage in front of the crowd at the Arts Barn.
“I’m scared right now, to tell you the truth,” she said. “But years ago I decided I had something to say. I’m determined to say it.”
She then passed on some wisdom she received from her mother, which she has passed on to her children. “I’ve told my girls this and I’ve seen it work time and again. Trust your gut,” she said, adding that how you feel about whether something is right or wrong is often more reliable than just thinking it through or relying solely on the judgment of your friends. “If you learn to trust your gut, it’s usually right.”
Earlier this week, , Alissa Beem on , and Karen Gomez on .
To find out more about the Happiness Club, check out this web page, or contact Tina Garrity at 203-494-9940 or Ting45@aol.com. The Happiness Meeting is held on the last Wednesday of each month from 7:00 - 8:45 p.m. at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library at 801 Boston Post Road, Madison, Ct. 06443