noun: the state of being happy
One day I asked my husband what he believed in. “You have to believe in something!” I demanded after an argument over modern day religion. “I believe in myself” was his answer. The discussion of connecting to church, a group of friends, a community, was over with those four words. That’s why I love this man.
I began taking dance lessons at age six. By the time I was sixteen I was teaching dance. At eighteen dance classes were paying my way through college. I became an elementary school teacher, a wife, a mother. I guess I believed in myself, too. But then everything started fading away, all my momentum going in reverse. I stopped my educational endeavors, I stopped working, I stopped being a good friend. So it went for more than a few years…more like a few decades.
So, what do I believe in? Where does happiness come from?
I believe in family. I believe in us. I try to measure my days in laughs. I push away the worry and I pray to be protected from anxiety. Then I open my eyes and embrace the circus-like atmosphere that surrounds me. I garnish strength to continue washing clothes that aren’t mine, cooking food I don’t eat, and cleaning up messes I don’t make. I have the unconditional love of a man I greatly respect. I unconditionally love my children who respect me. Yes, I have made many sacrifices, felt lonely and lost along the way, but in this moment everything is relevant. Everything is real. I kind of like that about myself…no regrets. Happiness.
“The grand essentials of happiness are:
something to do,
something to love,
and something to hope for.”
Allan K. Chalmers