Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Choosing happiness

One of my favorite quotes (and I don't even know where it came from) is:
Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination
Its so easy to get mired down in longing for better things and feeling self-pity - especially lately.  I've had a nagging uneasiness that I just can't figure out - which is actually strange for me.  Typically I'm a "flat line of emotion" - there's not a lot of ups or downs to my emotions.  Its not that I'm living my life in constant despair, but I heave recently felt that I'm missing out on something.  Last night I was trying to get caught up on the 100+ blogs that reader tells me I still need to catch up on, and I read Pioneer Woman's recent post where she asked her readers to comment on how they saw their life 20 years ago, and where they are now.  Most of the comments related stories of wide-eyed hopes and then serious disappointments. (I'd add a link, but I'm emailing from work and I don't know how this way - if you want to read for yourself, just click the PW link in my sidebar)  It was actually quite sad to read, but as I read, it hit me (like a ton of proverbial bricks):  my life isn't that bad.
20 years ago, I was 13 years old.  I don't actually remember specifically what my thoughts for the future were, but I do know that I always wanted to be a mother.  As I got older, I know that I wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids.  I saw myself as a cute, skinny mom, living in a nice home, with plenty of money so we never had to worry (yes, I was delusional).  I never envisioned myself as the primary breadwinner with the constant worry of money.  And maybe that is why I have felt unhappy about things recently - things are definitely not the perfection that I dreamed of as a young girl.  But reading some of the comments from PW - stories of illness, divorce, and serious heartache - I realized that I have it pretty good.  I have a good job, a comfortable home, a husband who loves me, and the most amazing children ever.  Yes I'm busy - but it is because I have a great job and family to occupy my time.  And I may be slightly chubbier than I'd like, but I have food to eat.
I want to live more simply - to focus on the abundance that I have.  Because I am blessed.


Omgirl said...

I don't remember much of what I hoped for at 14. I'm pretty sure I thought I'd be on Broadway or the silver screen. but other than that, I feel pretty fulfilled. I'm glad you're taking such a positive attitude toward life!

carrie said...

Christie!! I loved this post...and you said it perfectly. I do the SAME thing.....and I think I miss out on the "right now" moments...'cause I'm too worried about what I thought everything should be. It's hard though.... We all go through ups and downs. I've never really been a "down" person...and I've felt so discouraged and frustrated lately in so many aspects in my life. I just need to get over it and change things up. :o) I'm sure it's hard being the primary bread winner in your home....and I'm sure it's hard on Ben sometimes, too. BUT.....you are an amazingly motivated person who I admire for having a good job and being able to do that for your family. When I went through my divorce I had a really hard time with that....because it was a road I never thought I'd have to go down. You do what you have to do for your family.... Be proud of that. Ben does love you....and even though I haven't been around him in a long time, I'll never forget how he used to talk about you. It was cool. :o) Oh, and by the way.....I would hardly call you CHUBBY. Give me a break....that's silly!! :o)

Lynita said...

Well said! I often wish for more, but then I realize that with all of my struggles and challenges, I am still very blessed. I have 2 amazing kids, who for some reason really love me, and another on the way. My husband has his faults, but he loves me and is a loving father. He works really hard to make it so that I can stay home. And while me staying home means sacrificing a home of our own, I am finding it worth the sacrifice. I have so much respect for you and the roles you play, provider, wife, mother, friend and daughter. You have a busy life, but busy is good when you consider all of the people in your life who love and respect you. Thanks for the uplifting blog today, I needed it!

Mindi said...

great thoughts--we all need a mini-reality check every now and then, it's good for us.

thanks for MY check today!

kari said...

Wow I really like that quote. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Thanks for the post - it's always nice to be reminded that my life isn't as bad as I sometimes make it out to be. I have a lot to be thankful for.

pithydithy said...

I could have written this post. Well, except that I am not you and don't know your password. But otherwise could have written it.

Seriously, when I was young I was always dreaming and working so hard to get "there." I just knew that around the corner was the day when life was easy. And, somehow, despite getting the degrees that I worked so hard for, the job that I wanted, and the family that I yearned for, it's still hard. I never have enough time, we can't keep up with the house, the checkbook is always running low as I look ahead to payday. Either there is no such thing as the easy part of life, or I'm just not there yet. Maybe retirement? Probably not.

Anyway, I hear you.

Oh, and I have no idea what PW is and don't see it in your sidebar. But I'm probably just being slow.

pithydithy said...

PS-- I should have added that I hear you on reminding myself about all that is good. See how I get sidetracked on the stress even as I'm trying to say that I know I have it good? Nice.

janae said...

This was a great post I think we can all relate to. I find myself wishing for more/better when I really have so many blessings. I just need to focus on the positive more often. I need to go read PW's blog when I have some time. I've always loved her blog.

Tiburon said...

Great post. Love your thoughts :)
You are very blessed

Julia said...

Okay i didn't read anyone else's comments because I wanted my thoughts to be untouched.

Have you ever watched Big Love on HBO? I watch it and posted on a forum about how none of the wives have lives like they imagined (single wife, polygamist, trampy one-nighter). And someone responded...'well who has a life they imagined'. I wanted to punch them, but I guess it is true.

I always wanted the husband to come home at 6 PM so we could have family dinner. I wanted someone who came home at a regular time each night to a loving wife who wasn't angry all the time. I wanted that husband to WANT to come home. I wanted my kids to feel they have the loving environment of the Brady's. It isn't happening. I guess it doesn't.

But I do think you are right. I like to complain a lot, but I think I have it pretty good when i stop and think about the "goods".

Holly said...

I wish we could all apply this to ourselves everyday. Especially me. To stop working for something, and live my life on the way.

Holly said...

I wish we could all apply this to ourselves everyday. Especially me. To stop working for something, and live my life on the way.