Happiness is a strange concept for me to fully understand. How do you know you’re really happy? The reality of life is that we do not walk around with huge smiles on our faces all the time, we do not laugh twelve hours a day, and we can’t always be doing the activities or past-times we enjoy, because life is not like that. Of course I’ve felt happy most of my life, I’ve laughed a LOT, and usually I’ve achieved everything I’ve attempted to. I’m privileged and I know this.
BUT people upset us, work gets stressful and sometimes is not enjoyable, relatives and friends become ill and we have to say hard goodbyes. Sometimes, just sometimes life throws a load of crap in our direction and it is very difficult to cope, let alone feel happy! But does that mean happiness cannot exist? Or does it take a little piece of life to stop us in our tracks, to make us acknowledge what we have, what we should be grateful for and to also THINK about how we are feeling? This is what happened to me on Friday morning.
I locked up the lodge and climbed into my car. I checked to see I had the key cards and holder in my pocket, and looked down at them in my hands. Then I suddenly noticed something.
I couldn’t stop smiling. Huge, great smiles. In fact, they were the type of smiles that make your jaw ache!
It was cold and rainy, the kids were tired and not in their greatest moods and I knew I had at least seven hours of travelling ahead of me. So why was I smiling so much?
The answer is I’m not sure. But I know that it made me sit in the car for a minute, gather my thoughts and consider that actually it was because I was REALLY happy! We had a fantastic break at Bluestone, the place is so relaxing and beautiful. I’d spent such good quality time with the kids; we’d played games, ran about, laughed so much we’d cried and also best of all, we had rested. For the first time in months and months, I felt stress-free and rested. I did not have to worry about chores at home, reports that needed writing, or even worry about time! We could do what we wanted, when we wanted. Being the only adult meant that I made all the decisions, yes this also meant more hard work like unloading the car and cleaning up- but it was liberating.
The happiness I felt was partly from that liberated feeling. I had travelled alone with the kids, been in the ‘Oh Shit Zone’ and I had coped. In fact, not only had I coped- but it had been FANTASTIC, because the consequences of doing what I’d done, had been so positive. What I was thinking, saying and doing were all in perfect harmony. I had been honest with myself, and I had had time to fully act on my vulnerability, which I think had resulted in the wave of happiness.
So now I intend to treasure that moment in the car, I will cherish the memories of my week at Bluestone with the kids and look back fondly, knowing that it was the break we all needed so badly. Bluestone will definitely now become a place I will visit and feel happy, because of the memories that we hold.
Life has thrown some crap at us recently which I’m not going to dwell on, but feeling refreshed and clear-headed after my break I’m ready to cope with this stuff better, and try my best to feel happy, as much as I can. Life still happens, I still have to deal with it, problems do not go away on their own, and no doubt new ones will arise in my life. After all, we cannot be happy, without experiencing unhappiness, surely?
But for now, I shall feel happy, and feel grateful for everything I have. I won’t allow the holiday blues to kick in. I’m lucky to have some wonderful, trustworthy and caring friends, two beautiful and bright children, a loving and kind family unit and a job I love that is well paid and gives me great job satisfaction. All these things are important, I have a feeling 2015 is going to be both an important and a great year, and I now feel ready to embrace all that it’s about to bring!