*image via Free People catalog

(I want to start blogging again. But I'm not sure what it means to me. Or when. Or how I'll do it. But I'll start today with this...)

I was walking this week. A grey overcast afternoon, with a 25 pound baby strapped to my back. And I felt happy. There was nothing spectacular happening. Just a typical stroll on a mundane day through my middle class neighborhood.

And it occurred to me that this is as happy as I'll ever be.

And this felt profound.

It was not an altogether pleasing feeling, however. Because... I felt as if I was losing something, losing the idea, the possibility of being MORE happy.

Maybe I didn't know it, or wouldn't put it into these words, but I've long been in search of happiness, MORE of it, as if there were MORE out there to be had if only I could arrange my life "just so".

I thought I might be MORE happy if I were...
A thin pretty stylish girl, riding a mint green bike with a basket on the front along the banks of the Seine, headed to my tres chic Parisian apartment, where I live and make my art or write my novel or whatever, something creative, and where my dashing, handsome and romantic husband were waiting. I would be dressed head to toe in gorgeous clothes and my home would be filled with evocative furnishings and art, things I'd made myself, souvenirs picked up on my glamorous and adventuresome travels. I would have fancy dinner parties and fun friends, kindred spirits, loads of them.

And... I could go on... about my fantasy life. It's really embarrassing though, like I'm still twelve years old, in my head.

Because I'm just now realizing, knowing really, that even if this was my fantasy life, I would actually NOT be MORE HAPPY.

I would still have sinks of dirty dishes to wash and paperwork to be filed, fights with that dashing romantic husband, fat days where my pants barely buttoned and I wanted to stay home and eat dark chocolate (otherwise known as PMS). I would still have the occasional unexplained mean reds and deep blue moods. I would still have colds and insomnia. I would still wonder if I should be doing more, faster. I would still have the occasional unexplained bout of melancholy and feel lonely. I would still be... well... me.

And what this means, well, is this:

there probably isn't VASTLY more happiness to be found out there.

The happiness I have now (on average) is probably about all I'll ever have (on average). And I think that's okay. I think it is.

But it's a mind shift, to know that, to be okay with that, to sit with that, to accept that. It means stopping the search for MORE happiness. It means stopping the rush. It means slowing the to do list. It means putting my dreams into a new perspective.

It means no longer dreaming about being the pretty girl riding the mint green bike along the banks of the Seine.

So today, I am the aging pretty girl who always wants to lose 10 pounds, wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, doing a load of laundry, drinking a cold cup of tea, looking into the big brown eyes of my little boy, and thinking, maybe, just maybe, it's okay to be exactly as happy as I am, as who I am, as where I am, now and always.


  1. Hi there...welcome back. Glad that you are feeling happy.

    What you said reminds me of the Thoreau quote I have on my blog:
    "Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder..." it seems that's just what you've been doing.

    I hope that butterfly comes often...in fact every day to sit on your shoulder...

  2. i think that is beautiful realization. it is the little things that make up a good life. taking care of things and folks is where the good stuff lies.

  3. I often think that. That "this is as good as it can ever get" or "I can't get any happier than I am at this moment". They are very simple moments with my family. Thankfully they happen quite a lot.