If I were to survey the course of my life, I would probably find that I’ve been happy for most of it. I definitely can’t complain. My parents are wonderful. I’ve always had at least one good friend. Or, on the opposite side of the scale, I’ve never once been homeless, hungry, or murdered.
But this is what life comes down to, no? Perspective? For the sake of a concise blog post: yes, on a day-to-day basis, I think we measure our lives by how we feel, if “life is good” or one giant, cosmic laugh. And, personal circumstances considered, I’ve ultimately been very blessed, am very grateful. Today, I am very, very happy.
I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately. I feel like it has slowly been reintroduced into my life, like an old friend reclaiming its saved seat in my heart. But the return of happiness has also made me conscious of its brief absence. A startling discovery. It’s no secret that life was difficult, painful when my dad’s condition was at its worst. But I think my own condition was at its worst, at the same time. At the time, when anything negative was said, when anyone asked, “how are you?” I could barely respond without my lower lip trembling. I took life very personally. I’d never been more unhappy, more insecure.
To be honest, my life hasn’t really changed peripherally. The difference is that being unhappy eventually wore itself out. Repeatedly pointing out the same, unchangeable, negative realities became redundant. Pointless. Boring. And, if there’s anything worse than being unhappy, it is being bored. That is a true fact.
This morning, with the day off, I prepared for the company of one of my very best friends. When she came over, we drank fragrant tea, noshed on tasty treats, and talked about her upcoming wedding, in which I am a maid of honor. It was heaven! Magical! It was as if we were cut from an Anthropologie ad — the lighting hit our laughing faces just so. But even without the scenery, without the lovely friend, I’ve been feeling happiness dig its fingertips deeper and deeper into my soul these past few months. Because, I’ve realized this is what we have, all we have— this life, this short gift of time on earth, on the grand scale of things. And I know what mood I’d like to be in while I’m here.
On a less universal scale, a special thank you to Martha Stewart for a recipe she posted in the upcoming September issue. It is a breakfast cookie I have officially sent to a loved one in medical school. It is the kitchen sink:
Seriously! They are bigger than my face!
In other, other news: it is late, time for bed. A bientot, friend. Have a happy week.