Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


I Made It Up

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  ― Abraham Lincoln

I didn’t know Honest Abe, but I’ve read about him. And you know what? He was right about a lot of things. Especially this one!

I went to a beautiful friend’s father’s funeral the other day. The funeral was a real celebration of the man’s life. A wonderful, wonderful time of sharing happy, joyful memories.

The man loved God, his family, and life. He served God by leading Boy Scout troops for thirty years! He loved airplanes and had quite a collection, which he donated to the Air and Space Museum several years ago.


The family asked the minister to talk about the man’s life and how he enjoyed it. (I enjoyed learning about him.)

The music was outstanding! The first song was, “AMAZING GRACE,” one of my all time faves.  (Mom’s, too.) And at the end of the service, they played, “SPIRIT IN THE SKY” by Norman Greenbaum.

Gotta love that song! Perfect for the occasion.

After the service while I waited to go through the line so I could hug my friend, a man asked me if I’m happy all the time.

Happy all the time? I told him yes, I try to be. But that wasn’t the complete truth.

Like everyone else, I run the gamut of emotions–happy, sad, excited, bored, joyful, cranky, and once in a while, pissed off. (Oy.) But like Old Abe suggested, I’ve pretty much made up my mind to be happy.

And have you ever noticed that when you say something out loud and often, it’s true?

For instance, I told a critique partner once (after hearing someone complain about having a book deadline) “I love writing. It’s like when I played make believe as a kid. That was always my favorite game!”


I’ve said that many times in the years since that first time. And you know what? Even after all this time, with all the ups and downs in publishing, I LOVE writing.

Since the day I went back to work at my current job, I’ve told anyone who asked, “I LOVE my job!”

I really do. 🙂

Is it true because I say it or do I say it because it’s true? Or maybe if I say it enough times, I’ll learn it?

I’m not really sure. I doubt that it would work in every circumstance. But you know what? There might be power in words.

Ever noticed when someone tells a kid he’s bad often enough, it’ll turn out to be true? Or if you tell him he won’t amount to anything, he doesn’t?

Well, there are a few things I need to say to myself that aren’t really true yet, but I want them to be.


Things like–

I love eating healthy, low calorie food and losing weight.

I adore exercising, sweating and being out of breath! (I really do enjoy walking. In the fall. When it’s not too hot.)

Cooking is my favorite way to pass the time.

Cleaning house and doing laundry are so much fun!

Come on words! You’ve got the power!clip_art_illustration_a_red_outline_of_a_heart_0071-0904-2000-1161_TNHow about some Bloggy Love?

Tell me. Do you believe Abe was right? Can a person be happy, just because he/she makes up her mind to be?