Since I am so bad at sharing links, today I will share two. So there. Since I came across these two articles, today’s topic is happiness, : the first on why parents should make their own happiness a priority, and the second from Gail Val-Oxlade on contentment and money (h/t Simply Frugal.) These got me thinking on how to be happy, and why I am happy, and what makes me happy.
And the answer is: Finishing. I finished my bloody match-matchy Christmas Stockings that cause me so much guilt and grief. Been there, done that, got the craft. Next November 21, no longer will I sigh longingly as I gaze out on the freshly fallen snow, pensively wringing my hands, muttering “Oh, those stockings. I have to finish the stockings.” Nope, ‘cuz I’ve got 8, count ’em, 8 identical, hand-embroidered, handmade, personalized stockings sitting in a storage tub in my basement. And as soon as I turned that last cuff out and I saw that it wasn’t backward, or crooked, and was generally OK, I felt great. I made something neat from nothing. It felt freaking awesome. And like birth, I immediately forgot all the swollen ankles, heartburn, nausea, not to mention 20 hours of labour. I looked at my brand new thing and thought “When’s the next one?” Yes, I am now looking for a new craft project. I know. I’m sick.
Part of the reason I need more crafts, is that we finished watching Battlestar Galactica. Every Friday night, my sweetheart and I would pop some corn and sit and watch two or three episodes of BSG. It was like a date without a babysitter. And with a baby. I’m sort of glad it’s over because for the last eight episodes I couldn’t figure out what the frack was going on. And why is Bob Dylan channeling some kind of otherworld music? My sweetheart told me that I am not allowed to shout questions at the TV anymore. But still we couldn’t stop watching. These two in the clip could have been us. Scary.
Happiness is finishing. And faith. Faith in God first. And some in yourself to figure out an answer and in the future, that it will turn out okay. Faith enough to trust to go with the flow when you need to, and put your foot down when you don’t. Faith to decide to be happy. Which reminds me, years ago I arranged a “Mom’s Evening Out” with a gal down the street. We signed up for a Pilates class together, and I thought that since we both had two kids, we would just use it as a time to chat, and blow off a little steam. I was thinking relaxation. Boy, was I wrong. As soon as my backside touched her bucket seat the onslaught began.
“Do you know what happened to me today? It was Emily’s birthday on Saturday so I had to go to Sears get photos and then Mackenzie started crying and then Emily had a temper tantrum outside the elevator and then I still had to go to Costco to get a cake and then….”
This went on for 5 F-ing minutes. Finally, I couldn’t take it. My kids were young, too. I put up with enough hissy fits and spilt milk all day, I didn’t need my night out to be filled with someone else’s brat attacks. In one of my least proud moments of my life, I found my mouth suddenly open and I blurted out,
“Yeah, well. I know someone who’s daughter had cancer. Twice. That was really stressful.”
She stopped talking and stared straight ahead for a moment. Then she said, “Our friend has cancer. He told his wife that now she had to make him spinach dip. It was really funny.”
My husband suddenly had to work every Tuesday night, the same night as those Pilates’ classes.
The final F of happiness: fib.
P.S. If you want to see what happens when some Japanese retails decided to use English in their signage and certain language intensifier that starts with, you guessed it, an F, click here.