happiness

Unconditional love

I remember when I was younger I’d hear people talk about unconditional love and I couldn’t understand why they made such a big deal out of it.

It wasn’t until I was much older that understood that I had been raised in a house that was fueled and filled with unconditional love. I had the safety of knowing that no matter what I did or how I behaved I was loved. So it became the way I learned to express love as well.

And now as I sit here with mom I am thankful again for the gift of her love. When I came home and I was so broken mom gave me grounding so I could find my footing again. She gave me love so I could feel safe. She gave me support so I could look after my kids. She gave and she gave her love unconditionally and I will be forever grateful for her.

We did a family communion here at the hospital this afternoon. Those rituals being such peace and after we cried and smiled as we shared stories and memories of mom. She’s had quite a remarkable life. I am so grateful for the support of our tribe as they gather around us in person and virtually. It brings happiness and peace.

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happiness

You are not alone

The part of my brain that feels sorry for myself keeps yelling out omg why am I dealing with all of this all by myself?

But the part of me who really sees what’s going on says you are not alone

And I’m not

All day long people have been coming by, calling, or texting and saying just that. None of us here are alone. We all have each other. It’s why we need a tribe to get through this thing called life.

This morning I finally got around to putting up the calendar my cousin-in-law made and January’s caption seemed perfect for how I feel today

We need to turn our eyes to that which is unseen and rely on our faith.

Today has been emotional but it has also been filled with peace and love – and that is happiness.

Gratitude:

Mom’s amazing caregivers

My tribe

The kindness of my sister who is staying overnight with my mom.

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happiness

Come together

One thing I have learned as I’ve been writing this happiness blog (almost 3 years now) is that happiness isn’t about rainbows and unicorns. It can be found in every moment of life – even the crappy moments. And honestly over the last 3 years I have had a lot of crappy moments.

Lots.

Things aren’t going well with mom, we had some news today that was difficult for all of us. We are now shifting towards comfort care for her and trying to make things more peaceful for her. Love is always the most precious gift to give, and right now she needs a showering of love.

Inside that dark cloud some light appeared. The hospital today quietly filled up with our loved ones. There are sure a lot of people who love my mom, and we have a lot of people who love us too. I talk a lot about my tribe and how I don’t know what I would do without them. Today was a shining example of that truth. The tribe is quietly and lovingly holding us all in this moment and I am so grateful for that. It’s the true meaning of happiness – we are all coming together in love and prayer.

My gratitude today:

My sister

Heather

The rest of my tribe

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She’s a really good person

I drove home one of the girl’s friends this afternoon after their sleepover. My daughter has worked hard to very purposefully pick out kind, thoughtful, fun friends. As this girl got out of my car she said thank you for having me over. I really like spending time with Jenna -she’s a really good person. 

In these teen years that are so filled with uncertainty, drama, and angst for girls I thought how wonderful it is that she’s also got such good friends who not only see but bring out the best in each other. That is a gift that will last her a lifetime. That is happiness.

And I completely agree. She is a really good person.

My gratitude:

the special souls who provide me with a safe place to land

My Drishti

My sister and the strength we draw from each other.

 

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happiness

It’s a girl party

The girl is having her sleepover party to celebrate becoming 13. She has purposefully and carefully selected her friends – she’s slowly building her tribe. I love having a house full of kids. It makes me happy that they want to be here and on glad we can all celebrate this awesome girl. Happiness.

Gratitude :

Quiet time with the boy

Giggling girls

Free baklava

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The gifts I bring

I feel like I’ve struggled my whole life to acknowledge and accept the gifts I’ve been given. I think I’ve always felt not good enough, or that I don’t measure up in some way. And I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. I think most of us at some point struggle with our self worth or self esteem.

It’s taken me a long time to understand that my gifts have value not just in spite of them being different, but because they are different. God gave me these gifts and it’s my duty to use them.

Same is true for all of us. We all have unique gifts we have been blessed with. Sometimes they’re harder to find, or a challenge to acknowledge, but our gifts need to be celebrated.

Today I had someone remind me that my gifts need to be celebrated and shared. And yours do too.

My gratitude

Heated steering wheel (it’s -35 it’s important)

My girlfriends

A warm cup of tea

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The foundation of the community

Our community hall has been the hub of our community for generations. We celebrated the 90th anniversary of the building last year, and as a board member it’s been an interesting year to reflect on the importance of the hall to our community.

As a kid I remember going up for lunchbox socials (my grandma always made my lunch so people would actually want to buy it), there were dances and us kids were allowed to go for the “early part” before people went crazy, and then there were the Christmas parties complete with Santa. Our hall holds the memories of the pioneers who settled here so many years ago. They are kept alive by all of us here – the descendants of these people.

I love that there are still so many people here who love what the hall offers to us. It brings us together still, and it seems to be more difficult now to make time for our friends and family – when really that’s what life should be about.

I came home from our monthly meeting tonight with a deep sense of peace and gratitude. I am so grateful I’m part of this community, part of this tribe. Happiness.

My gratitude for today:

I’m grateful for the hall and the community brings together

I’m grateful for found money

I’m grateful for the warmth of my house in this freezing weather.

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