Monday, December 31, 2012
A Happiness Project
It gives me an excuse to sit around and do nothing while claiming to be "thinking" and "writing".
I think about what I have done, what I have learned, what I need to do, what I can do better.
And for the first time in a long time I feel pretty happy about things. Oh, I still have a long way to go, and can make a long list of the things I can do better -- I still can't play a stringed instrument, I'm still not organized, I don't blog every day and my butt is still the same size it was last December 31st.
I need to send more cards and letters. I need to visit those who need a visit. I need to walk more, enhance my yoga practice (read: start), eat more fruits and vegetables, work for peace, completely boycott Wal-Mart and avoid all drive-thru restaurants (except for Starbucks. I'm not a saint.)
I need to appreciate who I am and what I do best.
In 2012 (ie, today) I learned/realized that what I do best is make people happy.
I make people happy when I teach them something new.
I make people happy when I play the piano with my wacky and inaccurate enthusiasm.
I make people happy when I blog. Here you go, friends -- now be happy.
I make people happy when I make them something -- cookies, a blanket, supper.
I make people happy when I listen to them.
I make people happy when I show up. (Now, I know this sounds pompous, but every Sunday when I walk through the doors at Our Lady of Providence and Pat Burton greets me with a hug and an "I'm so glad you're here," I know I have made him happy. Showing up and being present is a great gift.)
Making people happy makes me happy. So, I'll close with one happy story.
Last month, as Clay and I were laughing and talking about 30 years of marriage, I made a off-hand "promise" that in the next 30 years, I would never get mad at him again.
With one month down, I am happy to report I have kept that vow.
It should be noted that: A) he is pretty terrific; B) he works hard at keeping me happy and rarely gets mad at me; C) our children are all grown up and therefore we don't have all those parenting differences/arguments; D) we are both a lot wiser, more appreciative and more patient with each other than we were in 1982.
(Here is an amazing thing. I just tried to list the things that made me angry in the past, and each thing I typed seemed small, petty and not worth getting mad at in the first place. Ahh. Enlightenment is lovely.)
And here is another amazing thing. These past 30 days -- despite the holiday and everyday stresses -- have been some of the best days I can remember. I joked with Clay that on November 29, 2042 (the day after our 60th Anniversary) I was looking forward to really getting mad at him.
I think, instead, I'm looking forward to looking back on the best 30 years I can remember.
Peace. And happiness.