Happiness is Presence

It occurs to me as I am sitting in the arena. Friends next to me, family nearby, and screaming fans all around me. Happiness is here. Happiness is present, are you? I thought for a moment that this place might be the happiest place on earth. A hockey game, that is where happiness was present in that moment. The jumbotron was capturing smiles, cheers, dancing, singing, it was “happiness” personified by a thousand of my closest hockey friends/fans.

Earlier that day I was having breakfast with the one who could be my sister. This time it was a feeling that washed over me that whispered “this is home” as I could feel the calm overcome me. Being in the presence of one that knows me better than myself and loves me more than myself is a gift. The thing these two very different experiences have in common is that I would have missed the moments if I had not been present. If I had not left enough peace within to quiet my mind to experience the moment, I could not have felt the jubilation of the hockey game or the peace in my quiet brunch.

Today I am here alone and once again experiencing something so similar that it occurred to me that this peace, happiness, and presence is available to me anytime I choose it. Here I sit alone, cleaning up paperwork, organizing, listening to music, and realizing that this is bliss. Do I dare interrupt this moment for any other obligation, no, for this is what presence affords us, the choice to stay still, right where we are, now, in the moment, present.

Life as I live it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 19

Day 19 prompt:

Author Janet Mock noted, “None of us should reach for normal. Normal is so basic.” What is your opinion?

My answer:

Well this is a fun prompt. I am not sure how I feel about this as I have tried it so many ways and normal feels resolved, normal feels calm, normal feels less resistant. I find lately that I actually prefer normal over those reaching to be above-normal as I have never been someone that follows the crowd and in today’s world the crowd is doing anything but normal. It is normal now for adults to be athletes, competing in Ironman competitions so frequently that completing such a fete no longer seems “special”. It is normal now to go to college at any age and achieve educational degrees at one-time meant for the purpose of expertise in career. It is not uncommon in today’s world for someone to achieve a Master’s degree for the sake of saying they have achieved it.

It is ironic and maybe hypocritical for me to cite abnormal as unappealing as I have lived much of my life working to breakthrough norms or expectations. I have reveled in much success in my life that would not have been considered “normal” for my upbringing or capabilities. While I do not take for granted any of these achievements the efforts were exhausting. Worse is the pressure to do it again and again for the sake of doing it. This is where my “want” for normal exists. I want to be happy with what I have, not wanting for more, enjoying where I AM. This, I am finding, takes as much work as achieving a place where contentment can live. Hoping that my normal is as basic as I can make it.

Living life as I see it – L.

Moments

The moments…I live for them and I revel in them. One of the things that I have started doing in the last year is recognizing the moments. I can think of so many that have happened in the last year simply because I took a minute to stop and recognize them by saying out loud, “In this moment, I am __________.”

Yesterday my moments were many. It started watching the sunrise, then a walk on the beach, breakfast with my sister-cousin, spending most of the day with “the Aunt’s” and then finishing up with a hockey game where I got to see the love of my life doing what he loves. SO MANY MOMENTS IN ONE DAY.

To anyone else a day like I described is just a “good day” but to me they were many moments.

  • When the gnats chased me in my car and the song “Miracles” came on…that was a moment. It made me smile and so happy to be there.
  • When I was sitting in front of my beautiful cousin and sharing breakfast on a Sunday morning. Two souls sharing and caring for each other, it was timeless. It was a loving moment.
  • When I was sitting at my Aunt’s table and working with them on our first book, my Aunt Judith said, “this is what we do every day…we just laugh all day” and I thought what a beautiful moment, so cherished.
  • When we were at Gary’s game and he and Dave were so happy to have us there it was truly a moment of gratitude. We even laughed that it was so funny how happy Gary was that I was there. Most guys, well we won’t worry about most guys…my guy wanted me there and loved that my Aunt’s joined me!

Sometimes my moments are not in the activity and those are the ones I cherish the most because it simply occurs to me that in THAT moment I am so happy. I had this happen on Saturday as I spent the day completely chilling out and all of a sudden it happened. I said to Gary, “In this moment I am in absolutely NO pain and I feel so optimistic about the future.” I said it again, just to make sure I captured the moment. It was what I had waited for months to feel; pain-free and hopeful for the future.

I was so fortunate to share so many moments with my Mom and that is what makes living this life without her bearable. I have moments that I simply will never forget and will always cherish. One that makes me smile even today is…

  • Last August as she was relegated to the bed a Paul McCartney special came on. She was a fan of the Beatles so I told her we were going to watch it. She wasn’t speaking much at this point but was aware. I will never forget laying there beside her and seeing her toes come to life, tapping to the beat of the music. I looked over at her in that moment and she was lip syncing the song!!! I was floored!!! She wasn’t just aware she was THERE! I will never forget that moment as long as I live. It was THE moment.

This life is busy, it’s full of tasks and distractions. If you don’t actively recognize the moments as they happen they will pass you by. Pay attention to your world, your surroundings and find the moments!

I challenge you to POST your moment in the comment section of this blog telling us what that moment was and how it felt. I am so excited in anticipation of sharing these magnificent moments with you.