"Sir, it is surprising how many people will go to a distance for what they may have at home." — Samuel Johnson
This was today’s quote in a daily email I receive from the author of a book titled “The Happiness Project”… When I was en route to Honduras for my birthday trip in April of last year, I noticed a girl in the airport, reading a book that caught my eye. I filed the title away in my mind (as opposed to the list I actually keep on my smart phone, of books that I want to read – yes, I DO have one of those, and you fellow readers will appreciate that!) and then again saw the book a few weeks later, at Barnes & Noble.
“The Happiness Project”, by Gretchen Rubin, is her accounting of a year-long project that she started after realizing that she was not truly enjoying her life, and all that she had. It wasn’t that she didn’t LOVE the things in her life, but she (like most of us) realized she wasn’t “living in the moment” and making the most of what she did have. So Rubin picked an area of her life to focus on each month - whether it was her work, relationship with her husband, her time with her children -and really focused on identifying what made her happy, and what she could do differently to better appreciate things.
Sound interesting?? Check it out here - I can’t adequately explain and do her project justice, especially since I don’t have the book here in front of me. But I walked out of B&N with it that June day, and started reading it, preparing to start my own Happiness Project.
Then the bottom of my life dropped out in July, and I found myself someplace that I hadn’t expected to be – single, again, at age 40. And at that point my Happiness Project was put on the back burner, as I dealt with the changes in my life. But this time was different – (A little backstory: my now-ex and I had separated once before, and were planning to divorce at that time as well, but then reconciled after three months apart. And I didn’t handle our break-up/separation very well- too much time on my hands = too much time out on the town, and just not taking care of myself. Not in a good place.)
But, as I said - this time was different - and seven months ago I was in a better place, emotionally, spiritually and just with myself, in general. I’ve said that I have never felt God at work in my life as much as I have over the last three years, in just the little things, and I truly, truly believe that to be the case. My faith has continued to grow, and He has continued to bless me, and has helped me to handle anything that comes my way.
Over the past seven months I’ve had time to heal and process things, and have come to realize and admit that things were not what they should have been in my marriage, for either of us, and that we are and will both be happier not married to each other.
And as I was busy adjusting to the changes in my life, I agreed to let a friend give my name/number to a friend of his – and was fixed up on the first blind date that I had been on in a very long time. A blind date that went amazingly well for both of us, I’m happy to say, and I’m excited about what the future holds.
Is my life perfect? No, but I’m happy. And on Valentine’s Day this year, I look back and think about where I was this time last year – and I had no idea that it would be the year it has been, good and bad. But I choose to be happy, and I hope the same for you! I’ll end today’s post with a quote too, --- one of my very favorite quotes, by Carlos Castaneda:
“The trick is what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
Happy Valentine's Day!