samedi, décembre 08, 2012

Is he happy? Depends...

"He's put on weight" said a friend after our encounter.

Putting on weight could be a sign of contentment -- right?

And, she added, he doesn't look happy.

I debated that with her.  What can one tell about someone else from a moment's glance?

Long run, I doubt he's going to be a happy man. But I wish him well. No one deserves to be miserable. Right now, though, I'm clueless. Wouldn't even want to hazard a guess.

But our conversation got me thinking about the nature of happiness (yea, I know, just call me a blogging Aristostle).

In part, I've been pondering this because the past year and a bit has been so challenging.  Last year we were just coming out of the ordeal of the kid's father's cancer treatment, which was hideous (though not as hideous as other people's cancer treatments).

This fall has twinned an internship with the second required course of statistics in my master's program. On top of commuting an hour to work in completely new circumstances, I've been doubling down on the course, going in an extra night to audit another section.

All of this on top, like a cherry on a volcano, of my unceasing anxiety about our daughter (more to come).

Yes to almost falling asleep at the wheel, eating meringues as breakfast on the way to work, not getting enough exercise, back spasms that make it almost impossible to walk now and then.

No to happiness.

But that's not necessary. I'm beginning to realize that happiness is also a choice.

I'm not going as rad on this one as my internship teacher, who said to a sad-looking student in our last class that melancholy is all  in your mind.

She perked up right after that (insert irony).

But I do believe that what we see, or refuse to see, can affect the way that we feel.

There's a lot I haven't been seeing in my  crazed rush from student meeting to dinner to dashing off a column due yesterday (well, at least it wasn't yesteryear!).

I haven't taken time to watch the moon dance among the stars we see so luminously out in this semi-rural village.

I haven't taken the time to listen carefully to the Grieg and Schubert that pours from my computer speakers.

I haven't walked slowly down the roads I see three or four times a week, looking for changes in our seasonal landscape(and I don't mean roadkill).

Last night I gathered up fragrant pine branches for the front porch swing.

Juniper berries peek out from the arrangement by the door.

 Lights glimmer within our cozy house.

There will be time eventually for laughter and celebration, a feast to prepare for friend and stranger alike.

There will also be time for gratitude.

Now is that time.

Every moment is an opportunity.

Happiness is indeed in the demeanor, and voice, and words, of those who chose to embrace it -- eyes wide open.

Aucun commentaire: