Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pause in our Pursuit of Happiness and Just Be Happy

It's easy to take the good life for granted. Life gets stressful and busy. Things that should be wonderful - Christmas shopping, decorating for the holidays, baking, spending time with friends and family - start to feel like a chore. The to do list is so long that these blessings start to feel like burdens. 

There's been a lot of unwelcome drama in my life in the last few years, and it's been easy to ignore the blessings. But sometimes that drama is what makes you appreciate what you have. This summer my world was rocked as I spent several weeks in the hospital. When I was informed I had a blood clot, I had a moment where I wondered if this was it. Maybe this was how I was going to go out, and that wasn't acceptable. I've spent a lot of time the last few years lamenting the things that went poorly instead of being thankful for the things that have gone well. The news of that blood clot made me realize I had to reassess how I was looking at my life.

There are so many cheesy sayings about thankfulness that I could throw in here, and at this very moment I believe every one of them. This morning I looked into the now white face of my 8-year-old Golden Retriever and got tears in my eyes. Even as I am typing this I tear up just thinking about how much I love my pups. It doesn't matter that Izzy went to the bathroom in the house last night. One look at those big soulful eyes, and I'm over it. I will work to not lose my patience with them and appreciate the joy they bring into our lives.

Every woman gets annoyed with her husband, and I'm certainly no exception. But I'm pretty lucky to have mine. He's my biggest cheerleader, my staunchest supporter and my absolute best friend. I think it's annoying when people say that about their significant other, but it's really true. When I'm at my worst, he's at his strongest. I don't know what I'd do without him.

There are so many blessings - family, friends, work, a new home we love. This holiday season I will forget the stressful and busy. I will appreciate every single moment. I'll force myself to stop and be present. I won't just cross another thing off the list and move mindlessly to the next task. Guillaume Apollinaire said: “Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” This holiday season I wish that for all of us. 

From our Christmas card photo shoot. Our little family makes my heart happy.

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