Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

I haven't been what I would call "happy" for a long time until fairly recently. I do remember being happy for most of elementary school . I didn't have a ton of friends, but I was well-liked, if that makes sense. Then I went to junior high and high school. I was NOT happy for most of that time. Part of me not being happy was just teenage drama, some of it was more teenage girl liking teenage boy drama, but most of it was because I was in a group of other kids and we just hung out with each other and there was just all kinds of odd drama that happened with our group over the years.

And then I went to college in 1984, and The Boy died three weeks into my freshman year and I was terribly sad for two years after that, and mostly sad for at least another 3 or 4 years past that.

And then I got to a place where I wasn't happy, but I wasn't sad. And I stayed like that for awhile. Then I had my first miscarriage in early 1998 and I was terribly sad for a year. And then back to the not happy/not sad on and off for a few years, and then 2006 was a bad year, and then 2008, well, that year was just truly AWFUL. If there was any reason to be sad about anything, it was probably happening to me that year. I was still pretty sad during 2009, but something started happening to me during 2009. There was a little sparkle, somewhere, starting to glow inside of me. It had been so long since I'd been happy, I didn't even recognize it at first.

And then when I realized that I was starting to feel some happiness, at first it seemed odd. I wasn't sure what to do.

And then, it was so gradual at first, but I slowly figured out that there were a few reasons that I was feeling happy. In some areas of my life, I finally stopped thinking about myself so much (the poor me side and everything always happens bad to me side) and started thinking more about others. And doing more. And in other areas, I finally started thinking about myself more (the fat, out of shape, out of fashion side) and started doing more to make myself healthier.

And then I discovered other things that are helping me be happy: Trying to show love to others every day. Smiling more. Trying to live a good life. Sleeping more than 5 hours a night. Reconnecting with people. Sharing. Writing. Finding balance. Being Authentic. Listening to myself and following through. Following the rhythm of the seasons.

And although I still feel a twinge of sadness that I have been sad for so much of my life, I am also realizing that it was just part of the journey to get me Here. And I'm also not naive enough to think that I won't ever be sad again. But I also don't think that I'll spend 20-30 years with mostly NOT happy either. And that makes me happy. :)


Minerva Jo said...

you're awesome.

love this post.

Krista said...

I have struggled with depression most of my life, but didn't know what it was--having eating disorders in high school and then trying to be ├╝ber perfect, married late, miscarriages (5) adoption, then bio kid when I was over 40, then quitting my career and living in a foreign country=recipe for disaster. But I am starteding to regain myself and my life. Hard process. Thanks for being so open and honest!

Mary said...

Yes, it is the sad truth that we learn so much more from hardship than the easy way -- and one thing we learn is gratitude and appreciation for when we are feeling happy!