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Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: 'Getting happy' by remembering to be happy now

Published: Thursday, May 17 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

Read more: 15 powerful things happy people do differently

John Mayer is a favorite artist of mine. I love that he is completely unique — both in personality and sound. When a John Mayer song comes on the radio, I let his melodies take me into my memories.

One of my favorite songs is an older, lesser-known tune called “Comfortable.” I first heard this played for me by a good friend — OK, the friend was a crush — in college in his dorm room. I fell in love with the song, of course.

Years later when I met my husband, I thought back on these lyrics:

Our love was

Comfortable and

So broken in.

That’s the kind of love we have. Like a good old pair of jeans. Easy, worn in and your favorite thing to put on. They’ve seen you through your salad-eating, outside jogging days as well as your I’m-staying-on-the-couch-watching-five-re-runs-of-"Gilmore Girls" days.

Mayer recently did an interview with Ellen talking about some ups and downs he’s had over the past five years.

After a couple of “really dumb” interviews where Mayer shared information that was perhaps a bit too personal, he said he “woke up.”

"I lost my head for a little while. I lost touch and I didn’t want to ask for directions,” Mayer said. After being forced out of the spotlight because of vocal surgery and recovery, Mayer said just being his age allowed him to re-focus on what was important in life.

“I live in Montana — middle of nowhere. It's really excellent. You get to a certain age where you prepare yourself for happiness. Sometimes you never remember to actually get happy. I remembered to get happy.”

I love that thought! Isn’t it hard to remember to “get happy” sometimes?

I thought about my family's recent adventure in selling our condo and trying to buy a new townhouse. For months, all I could think about was getting out of that place. I was sick of the third floor. I was sick of carrying two kids up those flights of stairs. I was sick of having to park outside and rudely awaken my sleeping baby to wind and snow while I balanced five bags of groceries on each arm.

I complained. A lot.

When we finally sold our condo and moved out, a wave of nostalgia hit me. I thought of bringing my firstborn baby home to a warm, safe place — a beautiful nursery complete with a round crib my husband built from the ground up with his own two hands. I thought about listening to the sound of little feet chasing me down our long hallway as I carried our laundry into the family room for folding. I thought about our amazing neighbors and lasting friendships we made. Suddenly, all those inconveniences seemed insignificant.

And while I’m ecstatic to be moving into a new home, I’m a little sad I spent so much time putting my happiness on hold. I should have done as Mayer suggested. Instead of just someday preparing myself for happiness, I wish I had made an effort to just let it into my heart.

Just remember to get happy.

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.

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