happiness

Areas communication competition

The kids were back at it again today with their speeches. The girl’s speech brought tears to my eyes – it’s an amazing speech anyway, so brave and powerful – but this time she was so much more confident and strong.

The boy gave a different version of his speech on communism and won!!! The way that kids talks with such confidence and clarity is amazing. Considering the introverted mom who is raising them, it’s impressive they can do this at all, forget the courageous way they can get up and talk.

I am so glad we are part of this club – in many ways it reminds me of how Pony Club used to be  when I was a kid before all the money and politics came into it. It’s because our club is small and full of really wonderful and supportive people. What a great place for my kids to grow and learn. Best of all the adults in our club are really cool, so I genuinely enjoy going to events and spending time with the club.

Who knew 4H was so much fun?

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happiness

It’s a small world

I had a parking lot goods exchange this morning that made me feel like I was doing a drug swap, but really I was just buying farm eggs from a lady I met on one of the Cochrane Facebook groups. After she contacted me to tell me she had some eggs I could purchase, I looked at her profile so I could recognize her and all of her photos included Mom’s Heather – the wonderful lady who looked after my mom for the last year and half. The “egg lady” is Heather’s best friend and we had no idea who each other was until I looked at her photos. There really is a small degree of separation between us all and I love it when the Universe randomly  brings us together like this. We chatted and laughed in the parking lot, and as I drove away I realized it had been a Happiness Moment, and that in fact I’ve been having Happiness Moments all along, I’ve just been too sad to see them.

Something awful happened to one of the members of my tribe earlier this week. Their poor family has literally been to hell and back over the last couple of years and the last thing they needed was another tragedy. I had a WTF moment with God wondering why they had to deal with yet more pain and I tried to figure out why it had happened to them. The best I could come up with was who knows, it was totally random. But, what I did realize was that I never once questioned whether or not they were being punished for something, or if God had forgotten them, or if He didn’t love them – I know this isn’t true – they are awesome people and live life being kind and honest.

And then I realized that if that was true about them, then it was likely true about me too. Sometimes I get really angry with God because I feel he’s forgotten me or is punishing me. But if I don’t feel that way about them – and the crap they’ve dealt with over the last few years is at least as bad as mine if not worse – then why should I feel that way about me and my kids?

And if you are dealing with a crappy situation in your own life the same thing is true – we can’t always understand the painful things that come our into our lives, but it in no way changes the value you have as a person.

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happiness

Ginger chews

The boy and I tackled the sad job of returning some of mom’s things today – I keep thinking I can’t take these things back she needs them – but then I remember she’s gone. I was grateful he came along with me so at least I wasn’t crying alone.

When we were done we went to the grocery store (because I have teens and they eat all the time) when I paid the cashier gave us each a ginger chew to try. We got to the car, opened them up, and popped them in our mouths. They were so good, but so chewy and they made the grossest mouth chewing noises imaginable. Both of us hate the sound of loud chewing anyway, so we took the opportunity to try and see who could be the most disgusting. I can’t imagine how we must have looked sitting in the car, mouths wide open, laughing so hard.

Thank God for that kid and his weird sense of humour. It feels good to laugh – it was an actual happiness moment. Thank goodness.

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happiness

Integrity and grievances

I’ve been slowly working away at the stack of things to do that have piled up over the last few months. I have absolutely no regrets about how I prioritized my time, but it doesn’t change the fact that I have a lot of catching up to do.

Something that kept playing in my mind as I was working this morning was how my dad used to talk about integrity. My dad lived with his heart on his sleeve, and it was important to him that people trusted him and that they understood that if he gave his word it was good as gold. He talked to me often about how you needed to live life with integrity – you had to be able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be ok with the choices you made and the way you treated people.

And not only did he talk the talk, but he walked the walk. I learned from him not because of what he said, but because of how he lived his life. In fact, I was surprised after he died how many of my friends sent me messages telling me of times in the past when they had troubles and they’d called my dad to come help them out. Most of these I never even knew about. He was reliable, dependable, loving, and while not perfect – always did his best to show up for the people he loved.

Now that I am rebuilding my life I have the chance to figure out how I want to be in this life. I need to live with integrity as well. I have little people watching me and learning how they need to be in the world too. That’s a huge responsibility, but it’s an honour as well – that’s how our family values get passed down. They need to learn to love fiercely and unconditionally, and to be dependable and forgiving.

Forgiveness.

That’s something that keeps popping up in my life right now. The idea that I can’t be truly happy, truly at peace, truly free, while I’m holding onto past grievances. It was driven home last week when the boy informed me that he had decided he was going to hate his dad for as long as he lived. While I totally understand his sentiment, I don’t want him spending the rest of his life with that blackness in his heart.

Unfortunatly it seems the only way I’ll be able to teach them to forgive is to do it myself. I have a few issues with this. First off, it’s really difficult to forgive someone who isn’t sorry – who in fact seems to feed off our pain and suffering. There’s also a certain element of fear attached to the thought of forgiveness – in the past every time I have forgiven him he’s come back and hurt me 100 times worse. I’m still not totally sure how to forgive someone who continues to cause pain.

But, it’s necessary. It’s necessary for me, and it’s necessary for the kids. I need to learn how to do this so that they can as well. I figure how he treats us is his karma, but how we respond is ours. I can’t talk about making love based decisions when right I am living a fear based one.

I wish my dad was here. I miss talking with him. I miss him for my kids, I miss him for me.

On the way home, the girl took this photo – it’s like God’s hand holding light over our house

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happiness

Love is the best way

The boy forced me out of bed this morning and made be go to church because, as he put it,  I needed some Godding in my life. I really didn’t want to go, but I sucked it up to make him happy (seriously, what teenager forces their parent to go to church?)

I’m glad I went, even though I sat in the back row and cried the whole time. I thought 2015 was the year I cried in public – turns out it was merely the year I learned how to cry in public. The topic of the sermon was love is the best way and I needed that reminder. When fear is so tempting a road to take, love is still and always will be the best way. I need to remember that when I’m tired, lonely, scared, angry – love is still the best way.

We watched the Super Bowl tonight. Even though the Patriots lost and the boy is crying it was still a fun game. He loves that team and it brings back for all of us the good memories of living in New England, and there were quite a few of them. We had some good times and good friends there. Sitting between my monsters as they yelled at the TV was a moment of great happiness for me.

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happiness

Sleeps and stretches

The weather here was pretty gross and the roads were horrendous, so I canceled my errands and had a home day. It was awesome and pretty soon I’ll get out of my pjs to get into new pjs for bed – I consider that a win.

I’ve been so tired lately and I haven’t been able to sleep properly in months. For some reason a couple of nights ago I started to sleep and now my body doesn’t want to stop. Last night I slept more than 12 hours.

I got out my franklin balls this afternoon and did some much needed stress management. In fact, I have decided my February goal is to meditate and morning page every day and that’s huge for helping with my stress.

For the first time in ages I feel at peace with my life. It is well with my soul.

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