Pack lunches while waiting for the Keurig to brew my coffee while I quick unload the dishwasher. Wake them. Hear I don’t want to go to school. Hear that’s not fair maybe a dozen times as well. Hear I don’t want to go to school another three times. Drive them. Clean up. Start to work. Feel behind in work. Pick them up. Look at the homework. Realize there is nothing for dinner. Start dinner. Hear I don’t like this dinner. Clean the kitchen again. Pick up. Help with redundant homework. Dread bedtime. Postpone bedtime. Realize that you left the clothes in the washer. Start bedtime.
And on and on and on.
Deep down I wonder if sometimes I fear happiness.
I really don’t like typing it – kind of that fear of admitting something crazy – but it’s true. I’ve had the carpet ripped out from under my feet so many times in this life journey that I think I exist better in this state of unsettledness and worry and wonder. Maybe I don’t fear happiness, but rather fear always having to be strong. You get that, right? Because somehow strength might mean that since I’m strong then life is great and I’m forgotten. Forgotten in a life that is filled with hard stuff or where I’m tired or I just want a friend to listen.
Who wants to feel forgotten in this journey called life?
Who wants all of those mornings of getting up and diaper changes and clothing choices and hair washing and washing dishes and driving and listening and multiplying and cleaning and working to simply be in vain? And yet yet yet those weary days it feels like we have to put the weight of supermom on our shoulders and we cannot remove the label for fear of it all falling apart.
So we as a collective group have to be strong.
Even though we are tired and exhausted and worried and have lost that happy part.
Or we’re afraid, perhaps like me about the happy part just a teeny bit.
How can there be happy in a world that looks nothing like the world I dreamed of as a little girl?
I didn’t dream about failed marriages and money issues and personal worries and just plain hard mothering. I thought somehow life would be easier. Hahaha. Easier, right? And yet, yet most of life feels like I’m operating on cruise control keeping the emotions tempered because we’ve learned that we cannot cry nor can we be too exuberant.
We’re told to just live and embrace today and to be neutral.
But then there are these seconds.
Seconds of joy and happy that dot the life that looks so different than I imagined.
Life is full of crescendos and diminuendos and peaks and valleys and a whole bunch of flat moments.
And in it all we can, if we chose to really dare to live, experience happiness and joy to it’s fullest. And we’ll experience the antithesis too. Sadness and despair and lost dreams. And we’ll live with a whole bunch of oh my word is this really life?
Somehow I think I became afraid to dream because I thought happy was defined by having everything perfect. Happy meant kids that always behaved and that were on the A-Honor Roll. Happy meant family dinners around the table not me yelling dinner and hoping someone shows up to eat the dinner I made for the. Happy meant not being alone and yet most nights, in fact every single night for over two years, I have locked my front door, gone up the stairs and pulled the covers up to my nose alone.
If I based happy on all the Hallmark moments then I should be miserable. In fact, sometimes I feel that way. Scared to step out on the limb and to let the little things moments wash over me and to just be happy. Maybe it’s because I’m so tired of dealing with fighting over Minecraft or kids who should love each other calling the other a name. Maybe I’m just tired.
Maybe you are too.
I think I’d like you right now to stop whatever monologue is going in your head telling you that happy isn’t possible and to replace it with the words I am worth happy. Because you are. And when we discover that we are worth happy we start fighting for us. We start saying no when we need to and yes when we need to as well. We start looking at those who take advantage of us and we declare we are worth it. We begin to become alive.
So from today on I want you to tell yourself that you are not only worth it but to no longer feel shame over your life if it isn’t what you dreamed about. None of us have perfect lives. None. Instead we’re all a bunch of women plodding forward living life. Life will move by us – whether we chose happy or not – and I’ve decided that I, and you too, are worth deciding that we are going to live this life well.
It’s a brave thing.
You are worth finding happy.
You are worth being happy.
Just like me. We are worth looking at us in the mirrors and being proud. We’re worth letting moments not be perfect but just real. We’re worth times with tears in our eyes and times laughing. We’re just worth living – without fear – and labels and expectations. We’re worth you and me and others looking at each other and pushing each other to breathe. Yes, breathe – without worrying about measuring up or hiding but simply knowing that the list of everything we do is awesome. And that tucked in that awesome are many many many beautiful moments.
Is this really life?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
From now on we’re going to let ourselves not fear happy but instead will live looking for it. One day, one thing, one moment at a time.