The other day someone asked me “When was the last time you were really happy for a long period of time?” I paused for a moment and said “I’m happy now!” He seemed stunned and almost didn’t know how to respond.
I suppose that’s not an answer we hear very often these days. For many people, the idea of happiness seems almost out of reach. I used to think that. There were many times I just felt as if I was existing and the idea of long-term contentment and happiness just felt almost impossible.
As adults, we are taught to be polite, answer “fine” to everything and when we aren’t feeling “fine”, we hide it and tell people we are “fine” anyway. I have a dear friend who described F.I.N.E. as Fed-up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. I always chuckled when I responded “fine” and she responded back with that. It’s often true that when someone answers in that manner, they are most definitely NOT fine. When one has more disappointments and rejections than one can count, it is often difficult to pick yourself up and keep going.
But something has changed for me. Instead of relying on those “possibilities” and “potentials” to bring me happiness, I’ve begun to look at everything I already have and feel immensely grateful. I am not rich in the financial sense, I don’t have a significant other, nor was I ever able to have children, but oh my goodness…I have more friends than I can count! I have loving, supportive family members who remind me on a daily basis how truly lucky and blessed I am.
I have a little place I can call my own and I smile every day as I wander pass the flowers I planted or look at the pictures I’ve hung. The other day I stood there and just gazed at my bookshelf. I finally had unpacked books and mementos that have been in boxes for years and just seeing them brought back beautiful memories.
I really am grateful…grateful for life with all of its laughter, peaceful moments, brilliant storms, trials that strengthen me, magnificent scenery, and most of all, for all the shared love.
As I think about the amazing experiences I’ve had, the wonderful people I know, and all the “best days so far” to come, who am I not to be happy?!