Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pursuit of Happiness

JustOnlyJudy is feeling thankful. And melancholy. Touched by breezes of cancer...friends of friends. Family of co-workers. Clients and strangers. So why thankful? Because I choose it over fearful. And I could go either way when these winds start to blow.
I choose to listen to the whispers from the tops of the Douglas firs as the wind blows through them. Mostly quiet, secretive whispers. I choose to listen to the splat of the raindrops and the silence of a tear drop. I choose to be thankful for what I have today. For being alive at the age of 43.  I might read my 50 by 50 list with an increased sense of urgency. I might wonder what I would choose if my list could not be so long.
I might apologize faster, try to be more patient, try not to sweat the small stuff.

Melancholy. Oh it dances in quietly...often starting as a happy memory..of my boys and their cousin Aaron, like a third son to me on countless trips to the coast. Always the peacemaker between my boys. The memory dances around until I am looking at Aaron and he is posing for his family pictures before he leaves for Basic Training. He left today. My little cousin, a tall young man. My peacemaker heading off on a new adventure. He is bright, strong, competent and mature. He has a world of potential waiting for him and I am very proud of him. He will grow up fast. Perhaps he already has and I missed it. It really does happen so quickly.

And there's the anniversary. Next week. Ten years since my diagnosis. Thankful for what I have done, for where I am, for my support. My sons who have learned to help when I struggle, to stay calm when I 'lose my &*$#'! To quietly retreat until their real mother returns from her foray into rambling distress..fueled by my perception of chaos. But the chaos is mostly internal, despite my lengthy description of the state of our electronics and the kitchen. They have learned to know that. And I wish they had never had to learn to know that.
It has occurred to me tonight, in sharing the "Take the Noodle" story with Hunter, that Andrew may have offered me a noodle by going to the grocery store for me. By not losing his cool while I lost mine. Ah.... the melancholy for what I wish had been and could be different.

Life is precious. And fleeting. What will you do tomorrow that will make you smile? Our founding fathers had the sense to ensure "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Too many people talk about the middle one. I want to talk about the last. Our society has taken a turn toward the workaholic, success and material driven state that leaves people forever grasping for their 'happiness' when it may be sitting right next to them, or across the table, or down the hall in their bedroom, or outside in the forest. Pursue it people! It was important enough to be in the foundation of our country's beginnings. Talk about it! Check out the "Happiness Project".  Look for some happiness tomorrow. I will...I think it can win a dance-off with melancholy!

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