Wednesday, September 30, 2009
More Meditations on Happiness
I was on a long hike with one of my best friends today and told her about the Maureen Dowd piece about happiness, "Blue is the New Black." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20dowd.html?em=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1253822732-/d7MrbB6Ty/Q+moEcQLUEA. This friend is beautiful, successful, and single. She adopted her son two years ago and he is literally cotton candy. Her life is incredibly full and she wants for nothing, not even a man. She asks herself on a daily basis, am I happy? Now mind you, there have been many times in her life where the answer has been, 'no', but lately she said, when she really asks herself that question and thinks of her state of mind, the answer is usually, 'yes.' What could she possibly be unhappy about? There is a lot if you want to go there.....the state of the world, unemployment, wars, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis, but really if you want to look at happiness as a state of mind then it's conceivable, all things considered, to think that we can choose it.
When I was in Africa last summer with Jason, we spent a lot of time in the most remote part of Swaziland visiting homesteads where people were being treated for HIV/AIDS. We met some very happy people despite the most unhappy circumstances you can imagine. I was stunned by the eagerness to be happy. And then I went to an Island off the coast of Mozambique, where they made their own beer, fished for their dinner and lived in Gilligan's Island style huts. I drank their warm beer, hung out with the locals danced to amazing African beats under the moonlight, and found myself the HAPPIEST I have ever been. No worries, no hormonal imbalances, just pure bliss, smiling from ear to ear, feeling in my body and full of life's pleasures.
Cindy and Sandy came over the other day and peered through my fence. I was outside filling the new birdbath with water. Cindy asked me, "Andrea are you 24?" I said, "24 what?" She said, "24 years old?" I laughed, "Nope. 41." She gasped. "Wow you look young." (trust me I don't look 24). One of the twins went on to say, "it's because you don't have kids, and all that stress." (they are 10 years old) and then Sandy said, "I don't know if I'm going to have kids. I want a career." It's like they are reading my blog and saying just the right things so that I will keep writing about them. But there are just some things you can't make up, and Cindy and Sandy (with their dog called Baby) are two of those things. I felt happy in that moment. Not African happy, but happy enough.
I don't know if you can choose happiness, I'd like to think you can. I do believe happiness is a state of mind, built around our perceptions of what we believe we need to make us happy. So that's the idea, change our beliefs of what we think make us happy and get on with our happiness.
It's been a week since I did IUI. I will know something soon.
Note to Self: Act the way you want to feel.