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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator. (W. Beran Wolfe)

My birthday approaches—and the vision that faces me in the mirror changed over the years. Fortunately, my happiness no longer relies on a young, smooth complexion or a waistline that would have made Scarlet O’Hara jealous with her pinched, ridiculously tiny middle. I need to look beyond the surface, or inside it, depending upon my perspective at the time.

My middle granddaughter, kindergarten age, once told me she could tell I was older than her daddy; I have wrinkles. Fortunately, I was able to laugh. She meant no insult. She was merely pointing out facts. And my reflection agrees, even when the light has been dimmed.

In some ways I am busier now than I was thirty years ago. Sure, I worked an over-full day in a hospital pharmacy and I had two young boys, but I had little notion of who I was. A task was simply a task. One day led to another and I fell into it with little purpose except to survive. Someday, I wanted to write, but those dream moments felt as vague as fog seen through a window, untouched, distant.

My life now is no more perfect than anyone else’s. However, I no longer live in the past or wait for the future.

When I was born there was a hole in the placenta that fed me. I was starved for the first and last time in my life. My head was the size of a small wilted orange. I weighed four pounds, seven and one-half ounces, full term. My mother was told her newborn would be fine with a little more weight on her skinny limbs. Mom didn’t believe the hospital personnel, especially since I was rushed to the nursery, no time for a quick see-you-later. She did not get the chance to count my fingers and toes until ten days after my birth, the day I was discharged. Therefore, we never bonded as parent and child. However, as the years passed birthdays became enormous celebrations.

As my family grew we celebrated with our cousins. All the children received gifts. The birthday child was honored with cake, candles, the traditional works, but all of us opened un-birthday gifts, such as tiny toy cars or coloring books, balloons or crayons.

The disconnection between my mother and me was not malicious or intentional. It happened because it did. And strange as it may seem, the experience gave me a richer understanding of the less-than-perfect parts inside others. And I am grateful for that lack of love.

Today I type words on a page that celebrate the positive, hug grandchildren, try to let friends see the goodness I see in them, make up my own recipes and add extra servings of affection in each dish. I try to refrain from the negative and after a slip-up, remember to say, I’m sorry. My name remains internationally unknown; I’m not a millionaire, and my publications haven’t made it to any famous listings.

But, the metaphorical button that rolled under the radiator can stay there. I have more important goals to pursue.

happy thankful Optimism Revolution

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