Happiness (3)

18 08 2007

Only one happiness entry today, but it’s a big one…

Things that make me happy:

1. Having a job!

Yes, I’ve got a job for September.  Not full time – yet.  Contract college teaching, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Having a job makes me happy on so many different levels.  Certainly there is a lot less stress financially, but it really is a lot more than that.  I feel quite adrift when I’m not working.  Looking for work when you don’t have any – and when it drags on – can really impact a lot of things, including your confidence.  I know that your job shouldn’t be everything, it shouldn’t be your whole life, but I’m someone who is much happier when I’m working and working towards something and working at something that I feel is meaningful.

And I get more done.  This summer I’ve had tons of time to do things I’ve always wanted to do, but something held me back, particularly where my writing was concerned.  I get a lot more done when I have more structure, more of a schedule, more to occupy myself.

I probably won’t be quite as enthusiastic when I’m loaded down with marking from seven and a half (can’t forget that half!) courses, but for today I say three cheers for work!


Happiness (2)

9 08 2007

I thought maybe it was time to take stock again or at least to start doing it on a more regular basis. Here are five more things that make me happy:

1. Theatre

A summer full of theatre and one fantastic production of Pentecost. I now have a copy of the play and I’ve started reading it through and hopefully I’ll be able to post more of my thoughts on it soon.

2. So You Think You Can Dance

My summer guilty pleasure.

3. Finishing the first draft of a short story I’m (pretty much) happy with.

I had a short story brewing for a little while. The idea itself came about three weeks ago and then just fragments of it. Then over Monday and Tuesday I was able to get the draft finished and I was quite pleased with it. I’ll have to come back and read this when I start the first revisions to remind myself that I actually felt quite good about it at one point.

4. Potatoes from the garden

They aren’t all ready yet, but I was able to find a few that there were fully grown and they have to be the most delicious potatoes I’ve ever tasted.

5. Really good reads

Thinking back over my summer reading, I’ve realized that I’ve read some really good books. Many probably wouldn’t be classed as “literature,” but they were so enjoyable and brought me back to just the pleasure of reading a really good story and that’s something that makes me happy and for which I’m very, very grateful. There was a time when I thought they way I read was changed forever, but time does seem to heal all things.

Que Cera Cera

26 07 2007

You know when you can’t get a song out of your head?  This one has been in my head all afternoon:

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

I hummed it as I made dinner.  It was still up there in my head as I sat down and spent time polishing and sending off a few more resumes, and it’s still there now.  Usually I would be annoyed.  But tonight I’m glad.

It’s a good sign I think.

I’ve been feeling a little blue for a few days and whether it’s the writerly mood I wrote about before or various other stresses, I’m not sure.  But suddenly, this afternoon, for no clear reason, everything felt okay and I started humming Que Cera Cera.

Maybe it’s about reading some really good books.

Maybe it’s all the theatre – lots and lots and lots of theatre.

Maybe it’s because I was out today listening to an awesome ukulele band or the fireworks I watched last night.

Or maybe it has something to do with the little girl splashing about in the rain as we took shelter under the band-shell when the aforementioned ukulele band got rained out.  She was – as the Artistic Mama put it – “taking lemons and making lemonade.”  She made everyone there smile, I think.  I remember doing that, splashing about in the rain, not worrying about anything beyond that second.

And maybe that’s what it comes down to.  Enjoying the moment.  It isn’t something I’ve been good at recently – for a long while actually. Maybe, just maybe it’s because I’m starting to trust that things will be okay.  And that I can breathe a little.  And that the right thing will come at the right time.

Que Cera Cera… 

What Makes Me Happy – #1

18 02 2007
  • Regina Spektor songs
  • Students who don’t plagiarize
  • Grey’s Anatomy (when it’s not making me bawl – or maybe that should be because it’s making me bawl)
  • Intricate plots involving a can of tuna
  • Jane Austen Diamonds

Coming Attractions

17 02 2007

I’ve decided to add some weekly (yes, I hope it will be weekly) features to the blog.

  • Required Readings
  • What I Believe (inspired, in part, by last week’s Grey’s Anatomy, though I had been thinking a lot about belief before that)
  • Things that Make Me Happy (just because, you know, it’s important to think about these things.

So coming soon – before the weekend is out so help me – one of these brand spanking new themed entries.

I know you’re all waiting with baited breath….


21 08 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness recently.

Probably because I’m not experiencing happiness per say.

I’m content. I’m blessed and I’m thankful. I’m even learning to enjoy small, simple pleasures again, something that I would have thought impossible a year ago. Yesterday I made muffins – a simple things, yes, but, making the time, going through the routine of it all, was both comforting and reassuring in the most bizarre way.

I felt something approaching happiness while doing that small, simple act, but I’m not experciencing happiness as I once believed it to be.

I had something of a crisis a year ago. My world, my future came pressing in on me. It’s something that many, many people experience, I’m sure, but it felt unique. It felt like that burden of fear and anxiety about the future was all mine.

I’ve got past it. I’m not sure how I did it. I know that a year ago I was crying every afternoon, and now I don’t. I can’t actually remember the day when it stopped, but it did and I think that’s the most important thing.

It has left me changed though, and while I am thankful for some of those changes, while I rejoice in the ability I have to learn and appreciate certain aspects of life that I once took for granted, I also mourn certain losses. Like my simple trust and faith in the future. Like my steady nerves which now (on certain days – though some are better than others) sometimes lay in shambles.

And, of course, happiness.

I suppose happiness becomes too complex. Once you reach a certain point, once you realize certain things about life and yourself, it becomes too qualified and dependent on too many factors. “This makes me happy as long as I don’t think about this” or “I’ll be happy with this as long as I don’t get that,” etc.

I can see now that I expect too much of it, of happiness (expecting too much is, I believe, my tragic flaw, but more on that in the future, I think). I count it and I qualify it and I equate it with perfection and though it tries to be all that I want it to be, the pressue is too much. It pulls, it strains, trying to bear all the burdens of expectation I put on it.