I checked my Facebook account on my laptop right before I was shutting everything down for the day at work. Now that I work in an office I don't seem to have the time to be on Facebook very much; when I was at the coffee stand I was constantly checking my status feed. I figured I'd spend a few minutes scrolling through, zoning out, looking at pictures and reading my friends' plans for the weekend.
I saw a status from my beautiful, amazing, outspoken girlfriend that said this:
It had 34 comments.
When I clicked to read the comments, it was exactly what I expected. "My children". (Awwww. How sweet.) "The perfect cup of coffee first thing in the morning". (I can get behind that sentiment.) "Bacon". (Someone does Crossfit....) "Having you as a friend" (Agreed.) "Sunsets and rum". (Hehe.)
I wanted to post something, something that no one else had posted, something that would make the reader pause, and smile, and agree. Something profound but not wordy. Something without too much mushy bullshit.
And then I paused. How do I define happiness? Is it in stuff? Is it in relationships? Is it family, is it a career path, is it spiritual?
I keep waiting for life to slow down. To not be so crazy. To have a system, a rhythm, an order. To make sense. But it hasn't, it doesn't. As soon as I have a handle on one part, another blows up. Yet I AM happy these days. I'm calmer than I remember ever being. I'm content. Even.... Joyful.
So, to my little world, happiness is....
*New paint for an old house; because it means we all have a bedroom and my son will live across the street from his best friend again. He will ride the bus to school and roam the streets with his buddies. And I will know my neighbors' names, and have friends close by (like walking two houses away close by). And I don't need to know how long we get to live there, because it will be at least 4 months and that's enough for now.
*The princess texting me that she only missed one problem on the first math test she's taken in a year-and-a-half; because it means she's following through and learning and remembering how good it feels to have your brain hurt with new information. Little successes can do so much for self-worth and learning about life, and she is accomplishing this.
*My mama baking cookies and making homemade chicken noodles, and emailing me to pick some up after work; because that person is my mom and sometimes in the last couple years it seemed like life had changed her from being my mom. I don't care how old you get, sometimes you need a mom. To bake you cookies and dinner and tell you you're awesome.
*Spending an unplanned afternoon in a hospital, saying goodbye to someone I didn't know very well but my best friend did; because this beautiful life holds a lot of sorrow and I was able to be there with my best friend while she walked through that sadness. And really, awful times like that are only manageable when you can be surrounded by love, as she has been this week by her friends.
*Bailey's in my coffee as I type this; because I can and I'm a grown-up and no one is looking over my shoulder condescendingly. I don't have to worry about alcohol in the house anymore, I don't have to remind myself not to count beer bottles or to bite my tongue when I take out the recycle.
So Many Things.
My sister made me a wall hanging several years ago for Christmas, and it is one of my most prized possessions. The sentiment reads:
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
I'm enjoying every step.