Happy Monday, folks! I’ve put away the crowbar for another week — there’s nothing like getting a couple growing boys out of bed on a Monday morning to give those biceps a good workout with garden tools.
No one was smiling this morning. Well, except me.
See, Monday morning now means a quiet house where I can just write. Writing gets me out of bed. Writing gives me energy. So does reading great writing.
And coffee! Coffee is really good too.
Finding happiness on a Monday, or any other day, is the basis for the wonderful blog The Happiness Project. (Yes, yet another great link found on Zebra Sounds!) On The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin shares her “adventures and insights as I grapple with the challenge of being happier”. In one poignant post, she shares the paradoxes of happiness; just one thing learned during her year-long journey of test-driving every happiness theory she could find. Good reading!
To me, the true paradox of happiness is its unexpected painfulness. A broken heart hurts like hell, but happiness/beauty can also pierce the heart with its sweetness. When I look at my children, I feel so blessed and happy and lucky that it hurts. The heart aches when sad things happen, but it can also ache with joy.
An alternative is to go through life slightly oblivious to all the intense beauty around us, keeping busy and on task to keep the mind and the heart from feeling too much. A conscious or unconscious decision. Plenty of fun and happy and laughs and pleasantness, just not the joy so sharp, it cuts.
Happiness brings tears to my eyes nearly every day. Is it a fear that all that makes me happy in this place could be ephemeral? The knowledge that in this crazy world, anything can happen, any day? Maybe happiness and sadness are separated by a very thin line, and the heart feels them both as one. Either way, I cry at inopportune times, but that is me.
All I have to do is look at those sweet sons of ours in the morning, before they are awake, and breathe deeply in their sleepy necks to wake them up. It feels like as much happiness as I deserve all day.
Of course, the sleepyheads are so much cuter before they start moaning about the need to get up. The onset of puberty might also change my tune. We’ll see.
If all else fails to stir the happiness in my soul, there is always the option of putting on a happy face, even on the days when life’s blessings are less obvious. Gretchen says it is possible.
The Little One has discovered that a paper plate works in a pinch.
Karen from Mentor said:
I loved this post. I look for things to be grateful for and happy about and things that just plain delight me in every moment of every day.
I have a book called 201 Little Buddhist Reminders, and Louise Hay’s book Heart Thoughts; both make me smile all the time. I love the “free affirmations” sites, where you shuffle and pick one….it’s like a fortune cookie online.
I can’t wait to go off and read the happiness blog.
I’m glad you have time to be ‘JANE’ on mondays!
and ps..don’t fear puberty…they’ll still be yours no matter how old they get, you just have to give them a bit more space, literally and figuratively… but you will have to restock the fridge every half hour 🙂
Jan Phillips said:
Your words rang so true to me, thanks
Jane – I totally get this – I do the same things. I get so happy I am afraid it will be taken away. I htink I could live with anything as long as I kept my kids and hubby. But that means we just appreciate happiness. we just cant let our fear drive us or affect us. Thanks for visiting me 🙂
I am happy (see, I did read your post) that I was not the only one with a somewhat grumpy boy this morning. Only 4 more days until Spring Break. That makes me happy-a break from homework, schedules and packing lunches. I am smiling just thinking about it! Thanks, Jane!
What a great post – and just what I needed! I think you’re right about happiness and sadness being separated by only a thin line. That little ache (that fear of losing what makes us happy) makes the joy sharper, more focused. Or so the writer in me thinks (and tries to capture).
After posting about my own frustrating Monday, you were the antidote. Thank you, Jane!