Tag Archives: happiness

Jiggity-Jig.

I travelled back to Chicago this weekend. It was a quick trip – equal parts business and pleasure, colleagues and family, alcohol and water, comfortable and strange.

Yesterday provided me plenty of time (2+ hours in the airport, 4+ hours on planes) to mull over recent events. For as happy as I was to be “home,” I could not wait to be back in Carolina. As I waited to get off my final plane and into the arms of my cute husband/chauffeur, my seatmate asked where I was headed. “Nowhere. I’m home now,” I hastily replied, anxious to grab my bag and go.

And then it hit me. It was so natural to say I was home, even though there are plenty of times when it doesn’t feel that way.

As the clock ticked past midnight, I couldn’t wait to get into my apartment, where my dogs, my bed, my carefully-hunted antiques and hot-pink pillows awaited me…where my suitcases full of clothes are still awaiting to be unpacked from the move…where I was sure to find a sink full of dirty dishes and an empty fridge…my hallmarks of home.

I answered the questions “How do you like South Carolina?” and “How is your husband doing?” a lot the past few days. And the answers were always the same…”Better than I thought I would,” and “Beat up, but still making progress.” And I guess therein lies the truth in the whole situation. We’re beat up — him physically, and me emotionally, but we’re better than we thought we would be. It’s an adventure, and we’re really digging writing this new chapter.

My mom made a comment to me yesterday…something along the lines of, “You seem to really be making the most out of this whole thing.” And I am. Or at least I’m trying really hard. Sometimes, I think that’s all that’s needed to convince yourself that things are good.

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Deliriously Happy.

When I set out to craft a post, I usually leave the title for last. Somewhere along the way, my brain finds something poignant to represent my story, and I usually know instantly what that is once I type the last sentence. Today, I knew what the title was going to be before I typed a single word into the body of the post.

In the continuing saga of sad events in our lives, alluded to here and here, the phone rang again in the dead of the night, announcing that another life has been lost. This man has been mentioned as one of the nicest there was, supporting my husband’s team physically, mentally, financially, and every other way possible. In the short time my husband knew him, he became a mentor and a hero, the embodiment of all Tom wants to be when he grows up. As with my friend’s death earlier this year, the abruptness rocks your foundation. You call your loved ones because you need to hear their voices, you drive a little slower, you take the time to taste and smell your coffee and not gulp it down in a mad rush. Life suddenly feels heavier, the gravity pulling your mind back into the present, encouraging you to feel every ounce of your being.

In the face of pain, loneliness and change, I have decided to be happy. Personal struggles have been shelved and reframed, knowing there is only one acceptable outlook in my life right now. There will still be heartbreak and grief in my life, but the goal is to make sure it is fleeting. Instead of dwelling, I am choosing to replace it with gratitude and love.

When I miss him, I remind myself that I’m lucky enough to have him in this world with me.

When the pressure of the move threatens to break me, I remember that my husband is one of the few that has the chance to chase his biggest dream.

When the stress of work envelops me, I remind myself that I’m lucky to have a career that I enjoy that provides me with income, benefits, satisfaction, and a work-life balance that I’ve always wanted.

When I try to look at something and my vision loss prevents me from doing so, I blink, refocus, and silently say “thanks” for the ability to have received the medical care I needed to preserve the rest of my eyesight.

When I pay the bills, instead of cursing, I remember how lucky I am to have the money in my bank account to do so. {I also remember the faces of the homeless men and women that I met when I visited my sister who works at a shelter in California. Her stories remind all of us that we are blessed and lucky to have what we do, no matter how often we think it’s not enough.}

Life is not easy, nor is it always pleasant on the surface. But if you work at it, you can distill a pattern of beauty that surpasses what the eye can see. It will speak to your heart, and joy will begin to bloom, spreading quickly and warmly throughout your body. I hope that this post serves as a turning point, becoming the gateway to positive posts and banning the negative. Realism and honesty is always accepted if not encouraged, but I can no longer allow myself to dwell in the glum and melancholy.

For Jim and Kristyn, and all those that we hold dear, we owe it to them to be the best of ourselves, to choose the path of delirious joy, overzealous passion, and abundant love.

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