Wednesday, February 26, 2014

finding happy

We all have happy, constantly brewing and swirling within. Even the jerk that cut you off at the Starbucks drive-thru window. Especially the contemptuous soul who averted your smile and eye contact while not holding the door open for you in the rain. And although we are all in a constant mode of happiness creation, not all of us know how to give it life and let it out. The pain of that builds up and suffocates. That suffocation is directly responsible for every mean jackhole we encounter. It is directly responsible for every jealous feeling we laminate over. (I rock at that). We create a happiness aversion; focusing on things that we really don't care about in the big picture. Shoving happy down deep inside is impossible work and takes all the energy one can muster.

The older we get the more encumbered we become by life. The release of happy is often impeded by obligation, old scars, ego and angst. Living in the past or the future keeps happy deep inside, cluttered under layers. Happiness gets lost in the shoulds- be/do/say and think. I believe much of our adult life is mining for happy. Some of us find it and some of us don't. We keep filling up on the wrong things- like being right, or buying stuff or looking pretty. We have to unlearn our adult ways and get in touch with the kid inside.

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This morning while Parker was still asleep I heard the familiar roar of the engine that has hummed us through the past few years of Wednesdays. We ignored our incomplete state and we ran.

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Bed head, waffles and wheels. This truck thing never gets old. Some days- like today a feeling bigger than life washes over me while I am watching him. It's spiritual --watching his wholehearted passion explode. I feel like I am witnessing something great.  Today we ended up being 30 minutes late for preschool drop off. Oh so worth it.

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The boys were effervescent in the rain this afternoon. Grey would expectantly turn his face towards the heavens and feel each drop connect.

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And Parker walked up and down the sidewalk. I sat and admired his effortless happy.

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We were lucky enough to catch a second truck today too. The first one this morning was trash- this one was our Frank- he picks up the green waste.

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Happy is every day and often profoundly ordinary. It hides in plain wide open spaces. Why is that so easy to forget? Happy is a practice, like yoga or medicine. 

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I found my happy at the bookstore tonight. It's important to make time for on-purpose happy and for me that often looks like learning. My three words for 2014- adventure, learning and giving. 

Sometimes it's good to free flow things that make you happy. You don't have to share them with me if you don't want- but you have to write them down. Something magical happens when you write them down.

Parker's eyes
Greyson putting his own pajamas on tonight- backwards and inside out
Dark chocolate/caramel seasalt everything
The sound of the rain as I type
Authentic, honest, expressive, imperfect people
People who have found their passion and feed it
Breaking Bad on Netflix (addicted)
margaritas with salt and a splash of OJ 
Mexican food- ALL of it.
The smell of clean baby hair and clean laundry
love when it's so big it leaks out your eyes

Happy isn't universal or a given or even always easy. Happy is today. And the good news is we get to try it all over again tomorrow.


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  1. You make me happy. You say words and take pictures that my heart understands. Happy takes effort, but part of the effort is recognizing when we see/experience happy. It is too easy to wait for the "big" happies and miss all of the little ones. Your list is a perfect example of noticing and enjoying and appreciating the little happies. :-) I make a point to think of the things that made me happy during the day when I walk home. Sometimes it is hard to think of things, but then I notice things like the smell of someone's dinner cooking, or freshly cut grass, or how it is a little quieter out than some days, or the sky is blue, or the moon is out. (I love the moon... the moon makes me happy.)

    Have a lovely Thursday!!

  2. Just lost my comment when I hit "preview" and don't have it in me to type it all again - sigh.
    Thank you for the thought that my happy is in me - I really need that today.

  3. Hi Friend! The sound of my son singing when he thinks no one is around. Or even when he knows I'm there. My husband. Kindess. Helping others. Just the right combination fo coffee & creamer. Your writing & photos. And the dark chocolate/sea salt/carmel thing. Thanks for askin. I would add, making a list of happy, to my list of things that make me happy :) What a great exercise.
    Love & happiness to you! sweet Momma. Jen

  4. I think I want to take this quote, make it pretty, and hang it in my house. Beautiful words!

    'Happy isn't universal or a given or even always easy. Happy is today. And the good news is we get to try it all over again tomorrow.'

  5. Thank you for this. I need it this week. I'm having a hard time finding happy. I'm missing my family. What I miss most is human bodily contact. Hugs, touching, holding hands. I used to think I missed out by never having lived alone, but now, even though I'm not alone in the house, I'm alone in family. And it's hard! I don't know how service men and women do it. Makes me appreciate them even more for their sacrifices.
    But.... hot lattes, my gratitude journal, the generosity of the folks with whom I'm staying in TN, my co-workers, my new job, the sunshine in the morning, no snow!, your blog!

  6. Happy is: going for a run outside (rare in this crummy Midwest winter), sunrises, my two little ones chattering in their beds with each other in the morning, sleeping through the night, not having to wait for an el train to work, a seat on that el train, getting a good parking spot in my urban neighborhood, a clean desk, no goldfish crumbs in my car, my husband's bolognese, when my husband empties the dishwasher without asking, having enough time to wash my hair in the morning before work, having enough time at work to read my favorite mommy blogger!