Happiness is a choice we make every day.
We say it’s stolen, but that’s not quite true. It’s only taken if we don’t guard it.
Usually we give it away.
Likewise, happiness isn’t exactly something that appears on your doorstep like a surprise delivery of flowers.
You have to open the door and sign your name on the line in order for it to be yours. Then you can take it in, put it in a crystal vase or a beat up bucket, whatever you have available, and let the fragrance fill the house.
I’ve been worried that I was losing a part of myself that I really liked because of the recent Perfect Storm I call ‘Life.’
I kept thinking, “I’ll be happy when _______.”
- I get a job √ (I got two)
- My car is fixed √
- My car is registered in my name √
- I turn in all my visa paperwork √
But the problem is that there’s always a list.
Sometimes we have good things on it like parties or birthdays or trips to the beach.
Unfortunately, bitterness can slip into your system easily–and it can happen anywhere.
But happiness–like anything of real worth–you have to fight for that.
I went to a party without my kids, and it was a struggle for me to NOT feel guilty about having fun. It didn’t matter that they didn’t want to come with me, I still felt I was breaking some kind of unspoken Maternal law. For many years, fun has been a frivolous word in our familial vocabulary. Everything had to be practical, educational, or otherwise edifying.
But there is value in fun.
There is value in joy.
There is value in happiness.
We might not be able to calculate it or weigh it on a scale, but how we interact with the world and the people around us matters a great deal; and part of that mysterious formula includes a heavy portion of fun.
I feel like a patient who’s been in a coma for a long time. Or, as my son might depict, an alien exploring a new world, where I am ill suited and awkward, yet slowly finding where I fit in; discovering the good things the world has to offer, instead of remaining in the cold darkness above.
Life has become therapy.
Whether I’m standing at the German DMV behind mountains of paperwork or digging my toes in the sand at the lake while my kids sling seaweed at each other, happiness is there.
Each piece of paperwork is a step towards a new life.
Each burst of laughter fills the soul.
So open the door. Sign your name on the line, and make it yours.
Happiness is a choice.