December 11th: Happiness
I was talking to my daughter’s boyfriend yesterday. I’d asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said he just wanted to be happy. I told him I’d give it to him if I could, but that’s not how it worked. I still don’t know what he wants for Christmas. He made me think, though.
All my life, I’ve just wanted to be happy, too. It took me until recently to realize that happiness is not a destination. It’s not a place you finally arrive at, and then everything is magically great forever.
Happiness is found in a million little moments every day, constantly flowing by. You can notice them or not- it does require you to be present and observant, that’s for sure. I can’t remember ever being happy while I was in go-go-go mode, trying to check things off my to-do list.
As a matter of fact, happiness asks us to let go of our expectations and just be okay with where and who we happen to be at this moment, don’t you think? Happiness happens when we stop worrying about how we look, what other people think, how broke we are, how busy we are, how tired we are, what freaking losers we are…just, all of that nonsense.
I was happy as a clam this morning as I strolled the beach with my dog. No makeup on, grubby sweats, not trying to impress a soul. My thoughts tried to intrude there for a minute when I caught my eye in the rearview mirror on the drive home, tried to start in with some BS about the way I looked. “Nope.” I thought, “I love me exactly the way I am.”
I was feeling overwhelmed and lost as I wandered the aisles of Target looking for things I needed and Christmas gifts, but I was happy when I visited with the clerk who rang me up. I am happy right now, writing this. I was unhappy when I checked my credit card balance this morning and realized I’d forgotten to cancel two very expensive annual memberships and that they’d both charged to my account this week. And I will have moments of both throughout the day, I’m sure.
That is the way life is. Weird moments, awkward moments, stress and exhaustion, elation and numbness. And dotted all through our days, chances and glimpses and opportunities to be happy…or not. You can notice it, or not. You can see the beauty, or miss it. You can be here, or lost in thought. You can grab onto that happy moment and enjoy it…or you can let it slip past you. Today, I really hope you see them. I hope you hold them in your hands while you can. Because happiness is not a place. So stop waiting to get there. You’re already here.