My co-worker laughed when I asked how her little one was, then proceeded to regale me with the antics of her three year old. It had been a while since Naomi and I last worked together and time had flown by.
“I’m turning into my mother!” She stated with a grin. “I never thought I’d ever say that, but it’s happening.” In an effort to get her little girl to pick up toys in the afternoon, Naomi had started using an activity chart and stickers. I told her I’d employed similar methods when my daughter was young.
“Now I’m even contemplating using the Happy Chair,” Naomi admitted.
“Happy Chair?” I replied. “I’ve heard of time-outs and chairs in corners…what’s a Happy Chair?”
“It was my Mom’s favorite punishment, and I hated it. She would set us on a large stool and tell us we couldn’t get down until we were happy,” Naomi explained. “It was so aggravating, but it worked.”
“Yeah, and she could tell if we really meant it or not. It’s hard to fake a smile.”
I pondered the Happy Chair idea as we turned back to our work. I think that’s what God’s done to me in the past. Put me in a difficult situation that I couldn’t get out of until I’d either accepted it, or learned to be happy in spite of it.
I read a book years ago entitled “Happiness is a Choice”. I wasn’t in a very good emotional place at that time, and didn’t get much out of the book because of my sarcastic attitude when reading it. Over time, though, something must have sunk in, or else I’ve become wise in my old age. I’ve learned not to let circumstances prevent me from enjoying life. There’s always something to be thankful about. And thankful people are usually happy people.
I think Naomi’s Mom had the right idea. We could all benefit from a little time in the Happy Chair!