Since my childhood, I have had a special place in my heart for animals. My mom obviously felt that seven kids and an ornery husband did not bear close enough resemblance to a zoo, so she continued adding dogs (and hamsters and goldfish) to our family. I liked my siblings sometimes, but I loved the animals all the time. Because animals brought me so much joy throughout my life, I decided to someday commit my time and effort to help ease suffering in their world.

Over the years, I observed that many of the kind-hearted and good-intentioned people never found the time to fulfill their commitments. As time marched on, I became concerned that I would be just like them, never finding the time or opportunity to advocate for the animals. I realized that I, too, was waiting for the perfect “someday” to take action. One day it struck me that “someday” was just an elusive time that didn’t really exist. I decided that if I continued waiting for “someday” to make something happen, it was likely never going to happen. I decided tostop waiting for “someday” and to go for it now.Later that night I researched animal-rescue organizations, and the next morning I met with the executive director of a local nokill animal shelter. My wife and I signed up for the next training class and began supporting the shelter in any way we could, which included spending quality time with the dogs and cats, implementing a new dog-walking station to ensure all dogs were being walked each day, cleaning cages, assisting at charity events, donating money and supplies, and recruiting and encouraging other volunteers.

Eventually, I became a member of the board and the fund-raising chairman, reaching out to corporations for additional financial support, and networking to find foster and forever homes for the dogs and cats looking for a second chance.  The warm feelings of satisfaction that come from rescuing and finding homes for these animals, or for participating in any worthwhile and selfless cause, cannot be described with words. They may, however, be felt in your heart when you are willing to stop waiting and start acting. If you have intentions of doing something someday, including being happier, consider doing it today. It is time to pick up the spoon and start enjoying your favorite ice cream (and happiness) that has been sitting in front of you melting away for too long. You can begin taking back your happiness today by incorporating happier habits into your daily routine. Pick your favorite Happier Habits menu items and start stepping toward a Happier You.