Being happy

I am sitting in the sun in my son’s playspace, typing this on a computer on top of a Remo kids percussion drum, and understanding that I am happy. Happy. It’s strangely hard to say that without feeling like I’m exaggerating. I am content. I feel peace. It seems as though I keep writing these posts to explore that happiness and sense of peace because some part of me can’t quite believe it, some part of me is waiting for something to disrupt the peace, because for years my life was a landscape of rupture and repair, rupture and repair, rupture and repair.

How to be happy? How to accept that one is happy, content, at peace? To let it settle in the bones and the heart and feel that it belongs there?

That my body and mind are a home to happiness?

Gradually. Through exploring the new state and reinforcing its existence. Through reflection. Through words.

The newborn months were of course amazing, but they were very challenging and there was a feeling of barely managing to survive—a very different feeling than peace. And then he was able to roll over; sleep for long stretches; sit up; take more consistent naps. The acid reflux went away at 7 months. He transitioned from a “challenging” babe to an “easy baby” (although I’ve grown to kind of avoid those labels). We traveled, we saw lots of family and dear friends. S blossomed, socially, and continued to meet his milestones a little early, and our family of three knitted closer and closer together. I transitioned into a wife who takes her husband for granted less and has a habit, now, of apologizing for missteps and never forgetting to express warmth and love to her man. All of this movement, growth, planting, fruition.

And now it is time to relax. To let the contentment reign.

We wake at 7, as a family, have breakfast together. We go until 10, getting ready for the day, playing, walking, what have you. S naps from 10 to 12. Lunch at 12:30 and play time, playdates, and so on, happen until about 3. 3 to 5, he naps again. We eat dinner as a family from 6 to 7. We play, bathe, read, from 7 to 8, when baby boy goes to bed. Mama and Dada then might make a vintage cocktail (our new hobby) and watch Nashville, with lots of commentary. Sometimes we make each other laugh so hard we can’t breathe.

It’s a simple, beautiful way to spend the day, to spend a life. I am so used to feeling yearning–habitual yearning, grasping—that I have to remind myself that it is okay not to yearn.

I will feel like something is missing. That I’ve forgotten something. And then it will hit me: I am feeling the absence of discontent, of yearning. And then I will tell myself to just sit with the peace and contentment, to enjoy it.

There are things I still want, of course. I want to live closer to my extended family in Midwest, so they can be a big part of S’s growing up. I want a home, not an apartment on the second floor of a house, and one with more space, with a big porch, a garden, a kitchen I can cook in more easily. I want to become more financially savvy and pay off our debts. I want to write fiction, non-fiction, articles, essays. I want to exercise more and feel more comfortable in my body. I want my hair to grow long again. But it is different to want something than it is to painfully yearn for it.

I seem to have so much more perspective now than I’ve ever had, and it is allowing the peace to flow in.

I’m so grateful I had the strength to leave my first marriage eight years ago at age thirty-three and stumble through a very thorny forest to arrive right here.

Leave a comment


  1. Ah… Happy Monday!!

  2. Julia

     /  October 20, 2015

    AlthOugh i’ve been a poor commenter, I am still here, happily reading along. I am so happy for you to have reached this feeling of contentment. It sounds glorious.

  3. I absolutely adore where you are at! Here now sans thorns.

  4. “Sans thorns”–love that!

  5. So happy for you. And I am in a similar place in my own life after a somewhat similar journey. The absence of yearning, the absence of doctors appointments and all accoutrements….. Thanks for your words.


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