I was standing, baby on my back, hanging laundry on the line. The girls were playing “The Wheels on the Bus” on an old saw horse in the yard while the chickens scratched for bugs and the goats munched contentedly nearby. The air and the day were just so peaceful and I sighed to myself, “This is the life”. The life for me, as I am heartily aware that my provincial life is the last that some would want.
And then Cecily fell off the saw horse and needed comfort, after which we found ourselves holding hands, Aneliese, Cecily and I, walking across the pasture and up the laneway. I tell you, we were Waldorf, un-schooling, country-living textbook perfect. Blog worthy. My cup overflowed.
Once back home, my new four year old reverted to an intense three year old I’m-mad-and-you-will-take-notice moment. Well, make that many moments if you must know. During which time I found myself sighing a completely different, “this is the life”. We had been having so much fun and were so happy, why did it have to be ruined?
Happiness. It is such a good feeling. I love it. I crave it. And it taunts me with its illusive nature. I know all the rules; I know that a well-lived life isn’t always one that appears happy. I know that peace and joy are possible even in the unhappiest situations; I have even experienced that. I am well aware that happiness isn’t found in how much you have but I often think that I will find it in having less which isn’t true either. I even know that the importance of life isn’t about being happy and I know that I will never be happy all the time no matter what happens. I really believe all of that. But I want to be happy. I want that “I LOVE life!” , moment to last…forever. I want to look at life with a rosy view all the time, but I can’t and I resent that.
My children aren’t going to make me happy all the time. My husband isn’t going to make me happy all the time regardless of how he may try. My stuff and lack there of certainly won’t. Life isn’t always going to be a stream of perfect moments.I not going to be happy with myself all of the time or even most of the time. Without a doubt, there is plenty of ugly stuff in the world to make one unhappy. There just isn’t enough happy to go around.
So then I want to view life differently but I just don’t know how. I want to know how to milk every drop from the rosy moments without resenting them when they are gone. I want to know how to go beyond viewing the “happy times” as the peak of my life. I don’t want the shadow of, “I’ll be happy when ______” to dictate my days. I want peace and joy to be real and not just replacement words for happy. I want to make wholeness my life work rather than happiness.
Now I know that this is the point where I should tie this all up in a neat packaged ending and if I could, I would. Perhaps one day I will change the ending; some day when I have my answers. In the meantime, perhaps you, dear readers, have some thoughts to share. How do you approach life? Is it happiness that you seek or have you found something different? Are you able to embrace those times of happiness without them being your end goal?
I must add these thoughts. Please don’t read this and think that my life situation is unhappy or that I am unhappy in it as that is far from the case. Please try not to read and think that I’m complaining or ungrateful. To be sure I have those times, but my point is that what I long for isn’t dictated by life circumstance. Also please, know that this isn’t an expression of a loss or lack of faith in who God is, but rather an expressed desire to face my questions and longings rather than hiding from them. It’s my journey of living.