Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happiness

What is happiness?
I really think that's something that everyone thinks they already know, am I right?

I mean, what is the initial reaction when you think about what happiness is?

I think, initially, a lot of people think very, very macro about happiness... and that alone keeps us very, very discontent.

When I was young, I thought of happiness as a very macro idea - very large, the ultimate THING in life.  I placed way too much importance on that ideal of what it would take to be HAPPY - it almost consumed me, reaching for that brass ring.

I was wrong.
I run into young people every day who have it wrong.
Why are we holding our lives hostage to some mythical ideal of 'happiness'?
Why do we feel frustrated and miserable because we haven't achieved it?

We are looking at it wrong.
Happiness isn't a goal.

Happiness is:

A lick and a cuddle from a puppy.
A kiss goodnight from your kid.
The smell of a storm coming.
A really great ice cream sundae.
A day so oppressively hot that when you step outside, the pavement shimmers, and the smell of honeysuckle permeates the air.
The roar of the ocean.
Bare feet on grass.
The sun warming your face.
A cold bottle of water after mowing the grass.
A great song on the car radio, and the wind blowing in your face.
A completed job.
A sincere smile from a stranger.
Just making it before the light turns red.
Slipping into a hot tub when the air turns chilly.
Liking what you see in the mirror, at least some of the time.
Turning to the first page of a new book.
Truly not giving a damn what other people think of you.
Being brave.
The happy bustle in the airport.
Kids running through a sprinkler.
That tingle in your gut when you throw your head back on a swing.
A fire in the fire pit on a fall night.
The smell of lavender.
Cool sheets on a hot night.

It's not a goal.  It's a thousand little things that, if you stop to enjoy them, are beautiful on their own. When I say I want my kids to be happy, I mean that I want them to notice life... I want them to appreciate the many, many gifts of happiness in an ordinary day.  I don't want them to think as I did... to constantly chase this elusive 'thing', this ideal, that just doesn't exist.

Happiness is everywhere.  You don't earn it, you don't achieve it, and you can't anchor it and make it stay forever... catch it in snatches, because that's how it comes.

It's always around.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Break, Graduation, and Vacation - Lets Do This!

Tuesday.

Tuesday, the 7th.  I can do this... I can hang in there until Tuesday the 7th, when we get the heck out of here, and head to NC for my niece's graduation.

Did you catch that?  MY NIECE'S freaking GRADUATION.  Grace is 18, and graduating from Highland Tech on the 10th.  My baby niece who walked down the aisle at my wedding (at three years old) with her daddy as her 'flower girl helper'.  My baby niece who brought her stuffed monkey 'Brothie' everywhere for ages.  My niece who, when she was a baby in 1998, brought some of the only joy to my life during what was one of the hardest years I've ever known.

So yes.  That baby is graduating High School, and I am floored that the years have flown by so quickly.  In the blink of an eye, that baby is grown.  I am so pleased (and weepy) to be heading back to my hometown to celebrate with her.

Plus, I'm ready for a break; a suspension of normal life and everyday jobs and expectations.

Today is a good start - it's the first day of Summer Break, and I can already feel the stress kind of melting away.  Not worrying about sickness, school drop-offs and pick-ups, homework, grades, and the other issues that come along with school is a relief.  So far.  Ask me in a few weeks, and I'll probably be willing to sell my soul to move the back-to-school date up a month.  LOL!

But for now, I am peaceful.  I enjoy summer so much, and I'm really looking forward to a lot of lazy days of sun, games, movies, and sleeping in.  :D

Summer, bring it!  Let me have some of that brutal Texas sunshine I've heard so much about - I'm ready for you, I can handle it!