“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet.” — James Oppenheim
I am no stranger to adversity, pain and a broken heart, my life path has encountered these on more than a few occasions and sometimes, through my own fault. But one thing these bumps in the broken road have taught me is that happiness is right where I am.
I married the starter hubby at 19, full of Cinderella dreams that came crashing down soon after the engagement. Hey, when the groom shows up to the wedding drunk, it MIGHT be a sign that you should yank up those skirts and run like hell for the hills. My daddy even leaned over and whispered something to the effect that it wasn’t too late to kick off those heels and bolt if I was so inclined. I missed that less than subtle hint, and I guess everyone thought I was aware that my very soon to be husband was plastered. I wasn’t even remotely aware that the ridiculous grin on his face had zero to do with making me his wife, and everything to do with over consumption of alcohol until communion, when he downed the entire chalice of wine himself. We had already said our vows, were legally wed….EPIC FAIL!
Then I met and became legally bound
again a few years later and once again had blissful dreams of happily ever after. While married I was happy, and loved him very much. But it was all a dream while I slept for those years.
When Sleeping Beauty awoke from that beautiful dream, a shattered heart was the reality. But it didn’t take me long to pull from memory and stop dreaming of somewhere over the rainbow in the distance and start finding happiness right there in my own back yard (thank you Dorothy). There, in my present reality, I found happiness. In those people that chose to wrap around me in love and support, I found comfort. In the little things like the sun shining, a great song on the radio, a scoop of my favorite ice cream, or a special text from my niece* when I went home before we all moved into one house, I found happiness growing under my feet. As it grew like a vine it wrapped around me, and on bare branches roses of hope and joy bloomed.
I am a fairly easy person to please, pretty low maintenance. I don’t need a lot to make me happy. A favorite candy bar, a warm hug and a really deep kiss, my hand wrapped in someone else’s, the giggles of the kids in the neighborhood as they play outside, the purr of my cat in my ear when she wants me to wake up and scratch her head, my daughter’s dog running at me all excited to see mommy (gotta love visitation with the pooch!), curled up with a cup of coffee and the Divas on a winter morning in front of the fire place, or on a starry night on our deck, a sweet text “good night” or “good morning”, hugs from the twin 6yo nieces, these are the things that are now, under foot, growing the REAL happiness in life, in the current moment.
*one night when I left the Divas, while preparing to move out of the Black Hole’s galaxy, my niece texted me, “don’t lose your green card, we want you back!”. It made me tear up to know someone wanted me.