I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately. My happiness.
When am I most happy?
Right now Paul is in the kitchen baking me a birthday cake. This makes me happy. It's 9:15 on a Tuesday, and the man is baking me cake. If you don't find that scene to be a turn on, we have bigger issues to discuss. I'm holed up on the couch with the laptop, editing the college application essays of one of my favorite kids in our neighborhood while watching Parenthood on the telly. All of those things make me happy. I will be in bed by 11, tomorrow is my birthday. Boom. Happy.
Most of these things are incidental, but collectively they contribute to a greater good, a feeling of contentment even.
Tonight I put my boys to bed alone, Paul wasn't home yet and I was done for the day. Sensory overload. STOP TOUCHING ME CHILDREN. The Fat One has been teething for the past, oh, always. The Nub had no nap after playing like gangbusters for hours at "Ban's" house and though he did protest greatly, was out in 2 minutes. By 7:24 pm it was all quiet on the Verbie front. Even though I spent the majority of my day with good friends, celebrating birthday week and talking in a kitchen while eating cupcakes (thanks for those Jill), I was crabby.
But then my man came home, the scent of baking cakes perfumes my senses, and I'm pretty sure I'll wake up tomorrow in a better mood.
My 20's were hard. They were a decade of learning and hard knocks, momentous and life changing events. I graduated from college, moved away from my family, lived in the sun, made some of the best friends of my life, married my Paul, got pregnant 4 times, gave birth to 2 beautiful boys, got initiated into motherhood, lost a business, gained some maturity, cracked wide open my future, learned how to fight for the people I love, and to enjoy what I've been given.
It's taken me 30 years to get here, but I know what makes me happy and it's all of that stuff. The hard stuff, the good stuff, the friends and the family stuff. Even when I am knee deep in wallowing over some problem or hurdle that feels like it might eat me alive, I understand that whatever it is won't break me. That happiness is always an overriding choice and will eventually return when the problem is fixed, or maybe as the solution itself.
I am happy. I am happy and grateful for these people that I love, for this life that we lead, for the fact that God is generous and free with these blessings. I am happy that I made good choices when it counted and I feel like this birthday is a badge of honor. I survived my 20's, I learned a lot in my 20's. I think I still have much more to learn in my 30's, but I'm pretty happy with where I've gotten so far.
So here's to the next 10.
We'll re-evaluate at 40.