How to be Happy When You're Sad
Meet Jane Smith Fisher
My story begins on August 31, 1990. That was the day my father died suddenly of heart failure. During the following two years, my mother, my young son’s father and my grandmother (who lived with us) all died. The only family we had left were my brother and sister, who lived out of town.
I’m not sure how or why but through my shock and grief on the cold December day my grandmother left us, I had it in me to understand that my three year old son and I still deserved to be happy.
We had no family or support group close by, I didn't have a job or a plan. We also had no way of knowing just how unkind the ensuing years would be.
When I look back, I see three motivating factors that roused me each morning. I was determined to create a happy childhood for my son, who faced his own challenges, find a way to support us and enjoy my own moments of happiness, if only in small spaces.
Thankfully, against all odds, I managed to achieve the first and last objective. However, as many single mothers tell us, navigating a career without a support system is a tremendous challenge. Bouts of severe depression, which is now controlled, further complicated my effort.
There was a silver lining. I believe some of my pursuits led me to create this website, if in a circuitous way.
I created a children’s graphic novel series which is still used in classrooms across the country.
I developed and conducted children’s creative writing workshops for the Girl Scouts, that were related to my graphic novel series.
I earned a graduate degree in education and worked as a teacher for a few years.
I ran for public office.
Though I didn’t win the political race, at public events I saw my ability to connect with people who faced some of the same challenges and struggles I did. It seemed a natural progression for me to help my community in a different way . . .
My website and lecture series, based on the strategies I’ve used, are designed to help everyone find opportunities for contentment and yes, joy, while in the midst of adversity.
The intersection of sadness and positive determination; moments of happiness.