Tag Archives: Happiness

What I Didn’t Know I Knew

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This is a guest blog I wrote for Matt Estes’ blog three years ago, but I can’t find that I ever posted it on my own blog, so here it is.  If you remember reading it here, I stand to be corrected:

When I was asked to write a guest blog about finding happiness in life, I wondered what I could say that wouldn’t appear to be trite. Then I decided that all truths of life are in their essence trite—because at heart they are what everyone eventually discovers if they choose to examine life as it occurs. They are also at the heart of most writing. It is only the words chosen to convey them that change from teller to teller. Here are some truths I have discovered as I get older.

I think I like writing because it teaches me what I’ve learned but might otherwise forget.

I guess we can’t really own beauty, but I’m enjoying it while it is possible!!!

I don’t really know what I think until I write about it.

Dogs adore us and expect things from us but probably don’t appreciate us that much. I think it is one doggie treat and then on to the next. Out of jaws, out of mind!!!

We have to be glad for what happens in our lives, not sad about what ceases to happen.

Life experiences are often like presents under a tree. Although we have not chosen them and though they are not what we expected, if we choose to unwrap them, we might find some wonderful surprises.

Even the terrible things in life have the seeds of some happiness in them. Many times this is our only consolation; and if you refuse to believe this, life is likely to be a terrible disappointment.

There are many friends who will seek to tell us the truth about ourselves, but a truly good friend will make us laugh in the telling.

In my friends, I seek my copies and my opposites. One reassures me that I am not alone in this world. The other shows me alternative possibilities.

Although I am not religious, I can’t deny that there is a huge creative force in the universe. The way I have discovered this is through finding it within myself.

I have a limited amount of patience for a limitless number of children. In a way this is the opposite of motherhood, although I think it makes for a very good schoolteacher.

My 4-year-old stepson called me his “wicker stepmother.” In spite of the fact that I had a huge basket collection, I don’t think he saw the pun; although I’m sure he saw the humor as he grinned wickedly every time he said it.

I was made strong by the most terrible things that happened to me in my life. I was rewarded by the good ones. I don’t think there is a scorekeeper evening out the game. I think we ourselves choose to find the rewards in what is offered to us. One man’s prize may be another man’s punishment. Point of view is everything.

It is much easier to spout philosophy of life from comfort than from pain. I know this and acknowledge that in any crisis situations I was not thinking about the significance of the experience. Flight or fight is one thing. Reflection about fight or flight is another.

About Me (revised to reflect current age and years of residence in Mexico): I am a 70-year-old woman who has lived on the shores of Lake Chapala in Mexico for the past 17 years. I grew up in South Dakota, received my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Creative Writing at the U. of Wyoming and immediately emigrated to Australia. After teaching there for a year and a half, I traveled through Timor, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Kenya before coming to roost in Ethiopia, where I lived for another year and a half and taught school. When the revolution that deposed Selassie made it necessary to leave Ethiopia, I taught high school English in Cheyenne, Wyoming for seven years before a very persuasive dream caused me to resign my job, sell my house and move to California to write full time. I studied screenwriting and film production at U.C.L.A. and apprenticed at a Hollywood agency, then worked for a TV production company for three years before marrying and moving to Northern California where I studied metalsmithing and papermaking and sold my jewelry as well as art lamps made in collaboration with my husband at arts and crafts shows across the nation. I was also the curator of the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center for three years. In 2001, I moved to Mexico where I have continued to create mixed media assemblages and retablos, to publish four books and to write for several online and print magazines.

 

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This post was recognized by Matt, of Normal Happenings, for the “heliotrope magenta” Nice Job Badge!  Thanks, Matt!

(You can see Matt’s blog HERE.)

Jubilant

I knew immediately which photo I would use when I saw this week’s word prompt.  This picture was taken of my sister Patti greeting my husband Bob at my nephew Jeff’s wedding. It was taken long before digital cameras were invented.  Thanks, technology, for good scanners to translate all these old photos as well as simple editing tools to remove the specks they all seem to contain. I know the quality is terrible, but I could not resist using it.

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And since there is no such thing as too much jubilation, here are some more:
(Click on first photo to enlarge all photos.)

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/jubilant/

Balance

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“Too much happiness or too much unhappiness render us
oblivious to any good or bad changes around us.” 
Alka Girdhar

 Balance

Happiness, like sadness, takes up too much room–
like a greedy house guest usurping our closets with their excess.
What bride notices the homeless on her bridal route?
What new mother thinks first of the starving hidden half a world away?

Sadness, like happiness, eats up our world.
The hungry yearn first for bread,
the ill for surcease from pain.
Who feels the thorn may overlook the rose.

Life is balanced, not within each,
but within the all.
What seems unfair to the single eye
is perfect harmony for the all-seeing.

So much easier
for the fortunate to feel worthy of their lot.
to feel, somehow, that their place in the  world
was created just for them.

Do the cursed feel equally singled out for hunger, cold, pestilence and misery?
Does a master mason have an intended place for every stone?
Does a baker single out a single speck of flour for inclusion?
Is a bee instilled with life to pollinate a certain flower?

What kind consciousness could have borne the guilt
of thinking through a plan more specific than the overplan–
the functioning of the grand machine of the universe
wherein happiness and sadness
swing like a pendulum
that somehow balances all.

The writer who provided the quote that prompted this poem has also written an article about Abdul Kalam  that you can find HERE. The link to the article the above quote was in can be found by clicking on her name above. We would both be interested in what others might write in response to this prompt. If you do, please send a link to both of us!  We want to know what you think.

Happily


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Happily

Nothing in this world can exist happily ever after.
A house is built of lows and highs: foundation before rafter.
Up and down’s the truth of it, the brilliant and the dark.
No week is composed totally of Sunday in the park.

Existence is a pendulum that sweeps across our lives.
Worker bees die every day in service to their hives.
Good seems finely balanced by a constant lurking evil.
Roses have their aphids.  Cotton has its weevil.

There is so much that’s wonderful in the world we live in,
but no one wins at every game. Sometimes we have to give in,
playing with the cards we’re given–flush or straight or fold–
sometimes in the heat of luck, sometimes out in the cold.

Ups and downs create the whole of our amazing world,
its surface formed by contrast of the knitted and the purled.
Sometimes we’re given what is sweet, at other times the bile
as we choose moment by moment to live happily for a while.

The Prompt:“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/happily-ever-after/

No Pain, No Rain

The Prompt: When was the last time you shed tears of joy?

No Pain, No Rain

I am always the first to cry
when loved ones move away or die.
I sob when I read tragic books
‘til those around me give strange looks.
Sad movies also create gushers
as all around me, folks turn hushers,
then call out management or ushers
to warn me that I’ll have to go.
so others can enjoy the show!

I shed tears of hot remorse
at friends’ breakups and divorce.
Western music? Love gone wrong?
I sob at every single song.
In my times of great frustration,
restraint just takes a short vacation
as I shed tears of consternation.
Yes, anger makes me spring a leak.
I mop my eyes; I blow my beak.

When I lose my glasses or my keys,
bump my elbow, skin my knees—
yes, I cuss and then I cry.
It’s just the way that I get by—
relieve the tensions, curtail pain.
To stem my tears I try in vain,
knowing it’s a bit inane
for folks my age to use their tears
to express anger, sadness, fears.

It’s not appropriate to sob
when I burn the soup or botch a job.
Yet tear my favorite blouse or pants
and remain tearless? What’s the chance?
There’s just one time that I get by
and do not feel the urge to cry—
when I need not dab at nose or eye
with handkerchief or sleeve or nappie.
I do not cry when I am happy!

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Vero, age 3, lives at La Ola girls’ home in Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico, and the only time I’ve ever seen her unhappy was once when she was taken up for a nap. She was asleep the minute her head hit the pillow, so the tears didn’t last long.