Overcoming adversity and creating a happy life sometimes requires great work on our parts. Sometimes to live a life worth living and to experience more positive emotions and to have a sense of mental wellness we have to climb mountains in terms of efforts to feel good. But thankfully, for most people, living a life worth living and feeing 'happy' only requires some work, such as making a decision to see our circumstances as worth being grateful for, and intentionally savoring the good times. In this article I'm sharing with you how my early love of department stores still helps me feel grateful and happy. And even how a bit of a miracle happened around this early love.
Actually, a childhood dream of mine about department stores came true, and how it sparked many wonderful enchanted memories and happy feelings!

A few years ago we took a short vacation break that included three nights in London. But where to stay? My husband mentioned hotel names to me that the supplier had offered. I couldn't help but be intrigued with the name "Selfridge's". After all, wasn't that the name of the biggest department store in London? I remembered it being equal to Macy's in New York City. I said, "Let's go with that one." And we did.

I was hoping the hotel was close to the department store but I never dreamed it would be so close! It was literally outside the back door of the store -- about 50 feet from all the giant food halls that are a part of the store. I was shocked! This was a dream come true. I could wake up and go for breakfast by roaming food halls that brought in delicacies from around the world, and I could stop there after touring and have a snack or lunch, again from anywhere in the world!

Suddenly old memories of my love of department stores floated to mind. I remembered going with my mother to Malley's in New Haven when I was a young child. I remembered my anticipation as we got off the trolley and neared this glorious store. It was full of giant wrought iron elevators and pneumatic tubes that ran overhead. I loved the sounds of those tubes rushing money and receipts back and forth. I also loved standing in the elevator as the attendant named all the wonderful possible purchases available on each floor! Of course, I was particularly interested in children's clothes and toys! Yes, let me off at those floors! I couldn't wait.

Later, as I grew older, we moved to Bridgeport and then it was another department store. Reid's had a lunch counter and my mother always took me for a tuna fish sandwich and/or coffee ice cream. I even got my hair cut there and the toy department was endless. My real dream was to sleep overnight in the toy department! I would hide out with all those wonderful Alexander dolls. This was a dream that went unfulfilled in childhood.

So, here I was as an adult -- almost living out an old dream. And live it I did, except instead of tuna fish I ate delicacies from Thailand, and as I lingered over my cafe latte I had a chance to watch people from all over the world pass by. Instead of toys I shopped for cosmetics! It was a lovely experience. Those early memories layered themselves so nicely on top of my 'adult' vacation making a three-day hotel stay really something special.

Have you ever had something positive come around again? Perhaps the shape had changed but the essence was almost the same? If you have, can you share it with us as I did? Or if you can't think of anything in particular, try to remember several wishes of childhood and think about how they would reinvent themselves now. This can be fun to do and can even lead to a determined effort to finally make an old wish or desire come true.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Holstein is the originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R) and a positive psychologist in private practice since 1981. She is the author of The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, Delight, and now The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything).

Dr. Holstein speaks on radio, and appears on television in NY and NJ. Her website is www.enchantedself.com. She gives lectures, seminars, teleclasses and her quotes appear often in national magazines. She has a weekly radio show on www.internetvoicesradio.com, Kids, Tweens and Teens, A Positive Psychologist Looks at All Three. She is the official guide for positive psychology on www.selfgrowth.com

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