happiness

Bad to the Bone

I had an extreme case of the feels today – just too many emotions running around inside of me. It ended up being a day that I had to do a lot of driving, and Spotify led me to good old George Thorogood – Mr. BadToTheBone himself.

In my early 20s I listened to his music over and over and over, and today it did me good to blast it as loud as I could as I drove all over hells half acre.

Sometimes loud music alone in the car is needed. It brought me back to a really happy time in my life, and grabbing a hold of those memories and those feelings helped put my current state of emotions in a better balance. And knowing how to do that? That’s happiness.

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Ray a drop of golden sun 

This evening the kids and I were bouncing along the road chattering and giggling when we had to stop to let a herd of deer pass in front of the car. 

  
Then, because it’s us and all, we started singing very loudly and very badly Do-Re-Mi from the Sound of Music. Jacob even kindly rolled his window down so the deer could hear us howling out the song. 

As we went around the corner we turned into the ray a drop of golden sun part of the song 

  
I always wanted to live in a musical. Tonight was about as close as it’s going to get. My happiness moment with the kids. 

Home. This is what my happiness looks like.   

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Dashing through the snow 

Today’s happiness moment is a very simple one because it was a simple kind of day. We seemed to all be pretty tired and there wasn’t a lot of movement. That’s happiness in and of itself, as I feel like we are always on the go. 

It snowed off and on all day which made for a beautiful winter silence. Jenna and I drove over to my cousin’s place in my city car, pretty unsure we were going to make it safely. But that little car dug deep (literally in some places) and we powered through. 

My happiness moment was driving through the snow with my girl as we looked at the deer in the fields. It was a beautiful moment. 

  

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Baby it’s cold outside

One of the best things about living outside of the school district is the fact that I get to drive the kids in to school every morning. I wasn’t sure how these mornings were going to work, or how tired I was going to get of driving into town twice (at least) a day. On top of that, this year the kids are at different schools and their start and end times are an hour apart.

What I thought was going to be a horrible spin our wheels time twice a day, has ended up being precious solo time that I get with both kids every single day. Jenna’s young enough, and she still thinks I’m cool enough that I get to hear a lot about her life anyway. But if I didn’t have this solo time with my too cool 14 year old boy I would seriously have no idea at all what was going on in his life. Plus, on days like today it’s a real reminder of how darn funny he is when he’s not all stressed out, or tired, or thinking about girls.

We were listening to Baby it’s cold outside on the way into town today and Jacob came up with this gem:

You know this song is basically about a man being all pervy with some woman right? I mean listen to him – he keeps saying he wants to stay, she keeps saying he really should go. And what’s up with him saying it’s so cold out? He should have a jacket. I mean… surely he knew it was cold outside before he came over. He has no excuse…..

 

Then a few minutes later as we were listening to Frosty

And Frosty is just as bad. What is he doing taking all those kids out into some field? Where are the parents? What is wrong with them – why aren’t they looking after their kids??

 

Then he looks up at the Baptist church (with it’s huge 3 story windows) and says

Holy crap! Look at how big the tree is at the church!! That’s amazing! How do you think they got it in there?? It’s beautiful!

Then he looks at me and asks why I’m laughing so hard. I respond with

Yes, and look, they have light posts in there, and clouds…. dude – it’s the reflection from outside.

Fortunately he is good with laughing at  himself and we shared a good belly chuckle all the way to his school.

If they got on the bus every day, I would miss these golden moments. These are the moments that are making memories for the rest of my life. My happiness moment.

 

 

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Let’s go riding in the car

We do a lot of driving now that we are living in the country. Most of the time I love it – I take backroads whenever I can so it’s usually stress free driving. This has opened up for us is a lot of time spent together without any other distractions (besides saying ohhhhh look at the sunrise, or look at all the deer, or are those cows out on the road?) and a great opportunity to really talk to each other.

My happiness moment today was driving home with my boy. It’s a bittersweet happiness moment as he was unloading on me all the stress and worries he has about being a 14 year old boy. Sad because I hate to see him struggling with anything, I still wish I could jump in and put a bandaid on everything to make it better. But, it was my happiness moment because it was a beautiful reminder of the bond we share, of the trust he has in me that he will tell me everything that is going on at school. Life at 14 can be difficult, confusing, fun, scary, happy, upsetting, and hormonal – often all at the same time. I feel so honoured that he is taking me on his journey into adolescence and grateful that he’s secure and feels safe enough in our relationship to share things with me.

Love that kid

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Funky Bunch

This quote came up from Louise Hay on my Facebook feed earlier today and I’ve been thinking about how this has become true for me over the past few months. If you had tried to explain to me at the start of the year, when I was beginning my Happiness Journey I wouldn’t have been able to understand the difference. Back then, from the state I was coming from, just being able to search for happiness was a big deal. I am still actively seeking happiness, but I have also found that I am able now to follow my joy (or my bliss). Not only have I been slowly able to discover what that bliss is, but I am in the process of giving myself permission to follow it and be happy. That’s been a bigger step than anything else. Allowing myself to be happy, reminding myself that I am worthy of it and that I deserve it.

A few weeks ago I took one of those silly Facebook quizzes “what is your 60s theme song”. Mine was Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys – it actually is my favourite Beach Boys song and one that I turn up every time it comes on the radio. Today, however, another Good Vibrations came on the radio – the one by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Remember them? Awesome times…. Anyway, because I’m me, I started car dancing to it. This was moderately ok while we were on the back road, but once we turned onto the road into town Jacob was horrified with me. But, it’s Marky Mark, I said…. I used to dance on the speakers to this song I said (I was quite awesome in my time). Jacob informed me that some white people can dance, but mom, you’re not one of them. Whatever. It was fun. It lifted my spirits and brought me joy. I did reel it in a little bit so as not to completely humiliate him (it was hard).

Our times to and from school are some of the best parts of the day. It’s an easy drive – it’s a back road I’ve been driving my whole life, and the biggest issue is either deer crossing the road or someone in a tractor – so the fact that I don’t have commuting stress makes a huge difference in the mood of the car. The kids are at their funniest, and I get a chance to really find out what’s going on in their lives.

Today on the way back home I felt kind of like we were a funky bunch as the kids were reaching back and forth tickling each other, laughing, and singing along with the radio. That kind of happiness or joy just happens. I don’t have to seek it out anymore because we are all a lot happier in our souls now, now we can just allow it to flow. But, I still take the time to be grateful and appreciate it. This was my happiness moment today.

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Beacon Hill… discovered….

Tonight the kids and I were up in Royal Oak – a neighbourhood in NW Calgary. Back when Jacob was a little squirt – 12+ years ago – his dayhome was in this (then) new area. I worked in a town north of Calgary and knew all the back roads. Well, the city has changed. I know this, but sometimes it takes me driving somewhere to really understand how much it has changed.

We finished up in Royal Oak and were headed to Crowfoot (about 5-10 minutes away) and I missed the turn onto the main road. No problem – there’s the jail… there’s the dump… I know where I am. We will just follow this back road and we will get there.

Nope.

So, we ended up in an area called Beacon Hill. Never heard of it. Although it’s where the Costco is and I did know there was a Costco around. There’s tons of shops! Of course we got lost driving around the shopping centre and couldn’t get out for a while. Then a few more wrong turns and 20 minutes later we were in Crowfoot.

The entire time we were driving the kids were cracking jokes and laughing so hard they were hiccuping and snorting. Silly crazy happiness moment in the car today. I love those two.

Bonus happiness when we got home. Abu and Ella (the girl cats) were upstairs beating each other up. Aladdin (boy cat) was downstairs with me looking up at them. I could see the expression on his face and said it out to the kids “what do I do? What do I do? Girlfriend or sister, girlfriend or sister… whom do I save??”

From the tub, without missing a beat, comes Jenna’s voice. “Sister, you always pick the sister. Sisters are forever….”

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Head in the clouds

I love it when a happiness moment happens first thing in the morning. Starting the day with smiles and laugher is a better boost than any cup of coffee ever could be. 

We were driving down into the hay valley on our way to school when we noticed that there was a cloud lying in the middle of the field. 

We all got excited, as every time we drive through a cloud we reach our arms out and try to grab it. We had low lying clouds that would rest on our mountain in Roanoke so it’s a past happiness memory. 

The three of us unrolled our windows and held our hands out touching the cloud while we laughed at how silly we were. After we stuck our hands back inside we all tried to find bare skin on someone else to show them how incredibly cold our hands were. Which brought more laughter. 

  

I love these drives back and forth from school. Many happiness moments happen while we cruise this beautiful country. It’s good to be home. 

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The middle of the road 

Jacob has been home sick the past couple of days. Welcome to back to school time- suddenly we are around a lot more people, add in some personal stress on his part about starting a new school – and voila! Cold virus enters our house. I knew he was really sick today because he had to miss 3 blocks of phys ed, making it his absolute favourite day of the week.

Towards the end of the afternoon he seemed to perk up a bit and wanted to watch a movie with me. I pulled out one that I’d PVR’d a while ago just hoping someone would want to watch with me. An old classic (in my mind), Canadian Bacon. As someone who has lived in both the States and Canada I love the stereotypes in this movie. Add in John Candy, Alan Alda, and Dan Aykroyd, as the Canadian cast actors and it is just that much sweeter. I miss John Candy – he made me laugh. They all make me laugh.

It was awesome that Jacob also got a lot of the double entendres of the movie. He remembers living in Quebec and having the language police checking to make sure things were in both English and French. He knows how many people think that Toronto is the capital of Canada. Often when we are out in public I’ll turn to the kids and say “be normal… not normal for you, normal for everyone else”. He now knows that line comes from this movie. And oh my… the scenes in the RCMP detachment, I could watch them over and over.

My happiness moment today was sharing a movie that I love with him. In the 25+ years I’ve been watching it, I’ve never found anyone who would watch it with me. It was wonderful to have someone to laugh at it with. Someone who got it in many of the same ways I do.

Today as I was driving home from the morning school drop off I came across someone else who drives the same way I do on my road. This road I drive as fast as I can and right down the middle. I have to – the pot holes are so bad you have to know exactly where to drive to keep the car in one piece. I was flying in the middle going one way and a big white truck was booting it down the middle going the other way. As we moved to our own sides we waved, braked, and backed up so we were window to window. It was my cousin-in-law. We sat on the middle of the road having a morning chat, giving each other heck for being on “our road”and  in the “middle of the road”. When we were done and had each pulled away, Jacob started laughing. He was looking in the rearview mirror and said “and here you guys go again, right down the middle of the road as fast as you can”.

It’s good to be home. 

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