John Barrymore once said, "Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open."
I am really happy right now.
If you had asked me a week ago, "Hey, are you happy right now?" I probably would have said no. No because of stress, no because of angst, no because of a million reasons, none of which were related to each other but all of which were weighing me down.
You may be wondering what has changed.
Nothing. And everything.
The truth is that the things that have been stressing me out are still there. The things that make me angsty are still there. The things that were weighing me down? All still there.
Stressful situations? Should not rob you of your joy in life. They should serve as a mirror, I think, which highlights the moments of your life that are not stressful. Not always easy to do (perhaps, on occasion, impossible) but necessary because you will NEVER eliminate stress from your life. It's not possible. So does that mean that you -- or I -- will never be happy because you are stressed out? Should it mean that?
I don't think it should. So I can no longer let moments of stress steal away moments of joy. That's it. I won't give any more of my happy up to undeserving details.
Angst? I'm sorry, but I no longer will apologize or worry if the way I live my life makes other people nervous or unhappy. If you think I need to find a different job? If you think I should hear the ticking of a biological clock, if you think I'm incomplete because I don't have a husband (or the intention to find one again, ever)? Thank you for caring about me, but I'm good. I'm REALLY good. So -- I can't carry the feeling that I'm responsible for the fact that you're concerned, and I refuse to continue to try to explain why or how I'm living. I'd rather live joyfully than angst-fully.
As for the other million things -- they're there. They're always going to be there. I can dwell on all of them, all of the time (pointless. Overwhelming. Ridiculous) or I can deal with them, one on one, as they come.
Kind of a no brainer, right?
Having said that, let me say this: I didn't sit down and decide any of this with purpose or intent. I sort of arrived at happy and then thought -- what do I have to do to keep it? Because I've been happy before. But I'd like to be happy more often. I'd like to live with and in this sense of contentment not for an hour, or a day, but every day. As many days as I can grab.
So here I am.