Monday, January 2, 2012

Can one be happy?

Definition of HAPPINESS
1 obsolete : good fortune : prosperity
2a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience
I woke up this morning feeling unsettled and out of sorts...not happy.  That happens to me from time to time and I wonder why.  Nothing in my life has changed drastically...the kids are okay, Jim is home, the house is in its normal disarray and things are as they should be...but me.  I left for the office and as I was driving, I thought about what makes me happy.  Do you ever think about what makes you happy?
I came home after trying to work to find the cars washed, the oil changed and my husband in his green sweatshirt, overalls and smudges of dirt on his face.  That made me happy. 
If you look at the definition of happiness, it talks about good fortune and prosperity...If you ask me, that has to do with money and health.  Yes, those are important things...health being more important than money in my book, but important, nonetheless. 
So if happiness is prosperity and good fortune...what if you have that and no love in your life?  Are you still happy?  I am curious to know what makes a person happy...so I decided to make a short list of what makes me happy...
*Sitting down at the mission with a group of "guests" and talking about life...
*Watching the band begin the show for the season and know my sons are among that group on the field.
*Watching my daughter run out on the Folsom Field and begin to march with the Golden Buffalo Marching Band...
*Watching my husband hand out trays and asking every "guest"...How you doing man, can we help you with your tray?
*Making 20 pounds of taco meat and watching it be eaten while hearing all the teenagers in line saying, "Thanks, Mrs. Ritter"
*Sitting with a patient and having them feel brave enough to ask what it's like to die...and me being able to talk about keeping them comfortable and being there for them and their family.
*Going to church, hearing the old gentleman singing one word off and looking over at my sons face to see that he appreciates him too.
*Reading the paper and falling asleep on the couch with the sun shining in on Sundays after church.
*Feeling my husband snuggle up to me in the morning after all these years.
*Having my kids come home from a late night, climb in bed with me to tell me all about it.
*Having the honor and privilege of taking care of folks that when I say good bye, they call out..."I love you."
As I read this list, being happy for me is about being with family, friends and people in the moment...appreciating what is going on right now and not thinking about the 401K or how to pay for college.  It's being vulnerable to the feelings, whatever they may be and letting go to feel what it is that is happening at the time. 
 If I go down the list again, I could point out that I don't have time to go to the mission, that band takes up so much of the boys time, that college marching band is a time drain on an engineering student,  who has time to make 20 pounds of taco meat and no wonder I eat...it hurts so much to watch all these patients die.  I could also look at the old man at church and scowl as he can't keep up with the hymns, I have so much to do on Sundays, who do I think I am to fall asleep in the sun on the couch after church...As far as snuggling with my old man...I am fat and old and we are too old for that kind of thing.  And really, let's face it, my kids are humoring me so I will let them stay out late again and for the patients that tell me they love me...I doubt it.
Honestly, those are a few of the things that make me happy...make me feel joy and as far as prosperity...ain't gonna happen with one in college, one on the on the way to college and a loose wallet.  But we are not hurting for anything and we have our health and...we have love.  Love for each other, for our friends, for service to others.  I feel like when I am sitting with a patient in their home...or when the phone rings and its one of my kids checking in on the way home...I have hit the jackpot of life.
So when I wake up and I am out of sorts...something is bothering me...so be it, I am going to tell myself that I am still happy...
that this too shall pass and its time to get going.  I am needed, I am wanted and I am going to be fine...maybe I will be out of sorts for the day but if I just think of what I have...I am happy...content and satisfied.  Its all in how you look at it, right?
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Brilliant post. I think I'll print it out and tape it to my forehead.