Choosing happy

Choosing happy, blog post by Roshan JamesOn a cool October day in 2012, I made a choice to follow an inkling of an idea. I can’t say it was a big dream, or that I even had a clear picture of what I was aiming for. It was the kind of now-or-never moment when a single step in a new direction triggers a series of changes…and then a year later you look back and realize that life looks and feels dramatically different.

The nature of the change itself was almost inconsequential – it was more about following a gut feeling toward a happy thought to change the direction of my career. And then that happy thought influenced other choices about work…which influenced choices about taking risks…and seeped into how I started to think about my days and moments, and what I accepted and declined to be involved with. Taking more time for myself felt indulgent, but a happier me made a lot more sense than an unhappy me.

One of my biggest learning curves has involved facing the realities of making choices that were more closely aligned to what I truly want in life. A sense of wholeness, a healthy family life and a satisfying career have all been themes in our home over the past few years. As idyllic as this sounds, each had its own set of challenges and rewards, and not one of them resembled what I thought they would in real-life. Deciding to get married, selecting an awesome community to establish a family, choosing to have a baby, choosing to have another baby…all good things and all exceptionally rewarding. Deciding not to go back to my full-time job, opting instead to start a business, choosing to be a mom who is present at home and at work….all good things and all exceptionally challenging.

Through building a business, I had to become very intentional about how I spent my time – at home and “at work”….which, for a few months, were the same place. At times, it felt like I was working around the clock, and other times I would go days without a single business meeting on the calendar. Reconciling and finding a balance takes continuous effort, but focusing on my kids and putting their happiness first has been the most effective lens for keeping things in check.

With each additional decision that yielded contentment, it gave me more confidence and courage to look at other areas of my life that needed to be addressed. By far the toughest experience this year….and, so far, in my lifetime….was the first, real conversation that my husband and I had about the condition of our relationship. While we had both worked hard to love and nurture two amazing kids, and find happiness in our careers, we had lost sight of each other. We’re still in the process of working through a separation that, at times, feels right and wrong. It still feels a little raw to open up about it in such a public way…but it also feels cathartic to say, “Yes, this is hard….it is also right to give ourselves room to breathe so we can make better choices for our kids and ourselves. And, we are learning to make more right choices, more often.”

For me, choosing happiness has a lot to do with paying closer attention to my instincts and then orienting my choices using this compass. Sometimes it feels easy and sometimes I feel like hiding in bed all day. But I’m realizing, with each better choice, happiness is here and now as much as it is the end-game.


  1. Very well stated. Life is about choices and choosing happiness is one – sometimes the decisions can be difficult in order to achieve. Wishing you well in your journey, and reminds me of some very hard decisions in my life.

  2. Claire D'Arville says:

    As a more seasoned married woman i recommend rediscovering each other while apart. My husband and i separated 12 yrs ago to reflect on ourselves individually then as a couple because we too had 2 young busy boys and trying to work full time and lost sight of each other. We were intentional to not involve others in our relationship while apart. We took time and patience and gave each other much grace and forgiveness and worked on what needed repair, what we needed to let go and how we needed to nuture each other. We won each others hearts back and to me now that is HAPPINESS! It was hell but so worth while. I hope you two rediscover each other. Thanks for being raw and brave posting your story!

    Claire D’Arville 🙂 ( Kim Kungs friend)

    • I find your comments very encouraging, Claire. Thank you so much for sharing your story, too! Steven and I are talking about working on our relationship and focusing on us again. It will be a tonne of work, and definitely won’t be an easy process, but there is still a lot of love there, and we both feel that we can’t just walk away from that. Thanks again for your words of encouragement 🙂


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