Monday, August 1, 2011

Journal 47 Happiness is not a fish....

It's Holiday Monday. Simcoe Day, named for John Simcoe, an important historical figure whose actual contribution to our wonderful country escapes me right now. I'll get there.

Reading Tiny Buddha today, it's wonderful message about the judgment we slap on others ends up with us slapping judgment on ourselves. An unsavoury thought. The more I think about it, though, the more I agree. As my friend L. said in an email this week, she's avoiding the sabotagers of life; I say go one better. Avoid them in your head. Even when they're right in front of you. Maybe they are stealing your ideas that you worked hard to come up with. Maybe they don't have their own original train of thought and need to borrow yours. Maybe they were not raised with the decency to tell a friend whose hurting, Hey, I know it's a hard time. What can I do?
No bother. Some are not capable of these unselfish acts.

So. Get them out of your head. They can't have that space for free. Period.

Back to Tiny Buddha. The message, what we resists, persists, gave way to the author of the post listing (I love lists, love love love them) her happiest moments. They weren't earth-shattering or unattainable. They were what they were. Her moments, in no particular order (again, as a list-lover, I love that even more).
Also, I think I needed to read that right now. Last nights' writing of Time Travel Part Two (and it's not even done yet, there is still more to come) wrung me out emotionally, the dark holiday weekend second night in, the solitary mood I was in, the music I had on (alot of 'bad idea' emotional songs, see Sunday Playlist from last week) all conspired to take me down the grief path.
Granted, I had the time and space to see that through, finally finishing the book I was reading this morning, after falling asleep over it last night in bed.
I awoke at 7 am and picked up the book, the end of a life in a memoir. From cancer (as I've mentioned previously every single book I've picked up over the last few months, be it fiction, non-fiction, an article in Vanity Fair, what have you, involved someone dying of cancer, someone's parent dying of cancer, someone having cancer, someone affected by cancer/illness/death in some way). So I finished the book, filed it away, got out of bed, made coffee, laced up, and ran a painful, stiff, HOT, ten kilometres and didn't think about anything but the bright sun, the heat, the leaves on the trees, the police catching holiday Monday speeders on the Bloor viaduct.
I returned home, paid some attention to my tan on my rooftop and decided, since I've read all my library books as of today, to re-read The Prophet, right from the beginning, instead of letting it fall open to whichever page/poem looked appealing, which is what I've been doing lately.

I'm going to make my own Happiness list right now, nothing fancy, as I sit here typing, after my energetic morning, in a late afternoon sun-stupor, wearing a bathing suit cover-up, flip-flops, and hair flopping my eyes. I will note I've had nothing in the way of proper nutrition today, unless some leftover risotto from the fridge and cookie-dough ice cream fit the bill. I vow to think about happiness and it's rightful role in my life, despite the pain of the last few months, as much as I can allow. And I am going to get dressed to go out and meet a friend for drinks very shortly, lest you think I truly have become a shut-in.

Happiness List

  • My niece and nephew's births, respectively. Unique in their own way; the anticipation of my sister's first child, my niece, a girl (!) and then the arrival of her second (a boy! so amazing). The opposite seasons of their birth, matching me and my sister (summer and winter). How tiny and beautiful they looked. How they changed my life is such an unimaginable way.

  • Running in Central Park, for a good 7-8 kms, on a hot September afternoon, on vacation in New York City, and reaching a running high of which I've not yet replicated (or tried to). Also, seeing a man on the bench, his sad, kind eyes meeting me. Maybe an angel. Seriously.

  • Running along the East River (don't think I'm some kind of NYC know-where-I-am, I might as well have been blindfolded the whole time I was there, we arrived at night, a surefire way to guarantee that, when you are somewhere you have never been before, you will NOT be able to find your way around with a map).

  • Driving to Maine by myself, despite my nervousness as a driver and my trepidation of going somewhere unfamiliar, alone, and all the gifts that awaited me there.
    Listening to a version of Stay (Far Away, So Close) recorded live in Boston, one rainy Sunday afternoon, alone in the car.

  • Quitting my restaurant job because my self-respect and inner feelings toward myself meant more to me than money.

  • Hearing recordings of a long-lost friend, knowing that I could still hear his voice even if I couldn't see him anymore.

  • Chicago in the springtime, all the design stuff I could possibly take in at one time, the feeling of success and privilege of that trip.

  • St. Maarten, both times. The Beach, my friends, the sunset, the moonrise, the view from the cigarette boat, speeding along the Caribbean sea. The hills, the promise of another life just over the horizon, one that I didn't know was going to happen yet. The dusk on the beach, my ipod, me, a glass of pinot grigio, nowhere to go, nowhere to be, nothing but my thoughts. Opening my eyes and looking, really looking at my life.

  • The letter from the lawyer this week on some news about my father's estate, news that will help my mother, and the fight to get here thus far.

  • Winning the lawsuit over the people I bought my condo from. Knowing I deserved the win and that I had earned it. And that I was resourceful and wily and I could pull strength out when I needed it most.

  • Visiting my dad during his chemo last summer, walking to PMH and spending time with him, quiet time. He could still talk. He could eat a bit. I remember the tomato soup with saltines dinner I bought him from the hospital cafeteria, and how much he enjoyed it. Reading and looking at Newsweek and Macleans, his wonder at the state of this world we all have to share.

  • My talks with my aunt. How I miss her.

  • I've just given an overview here, and again, no particular order. And yes; some of these are 'pure happy' but some are that little bit of happy tinged with something extra.

    As I read in The Prophet today;

    "And ever it has been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation".

    The same could be said about happiness, I think. You treasure it most when it seems elusive

    It will return.

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