Friday, August 5, 2011

to Catch Happiness

**I wrote this post a couple of days ago at my lunch break. Though I'd better get it posted!


For some reason I have this quote written down in the front cover of my CPA book, it’s by Benjamin Franklin it says “The Constitution only gives people the right to happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

Hmmm. I must have written it down because it resonates with me, so here I am at my lunch hour thinking about it (basically because the thought of studying right now makes me want to scream). Mike and I are on the cusp of buying our first house. I finally (finally!) have a good job. Mike just started a new job, more in tune with his passions, and the kids are happy at daycare. At the moment life appears stable. It probably looks pretty darn good actualy, rest assured we still have anxiety builders!

Something I am learning is that perfect stability is constantly eluding us. At the moment, the big things are in order, but the little things are constantly surrounding. The fact that I never have a list of go-to sitters (and I could really use one everyday this weekend), which leaves Mike and I juggling our schedules constantly. The fact that our shocks need to be replaced on our car, because I went over a pothole last week. Our daycare is closed for a week in August and guess who has no vacation to take off, so we are juggling what to do with our kids. If we actually end up buying this house and move we need to find a new daycare, that's major stress. Our to-do list, is far longer than our we-did list. It can really go on. Trust me, we do love our life, but some days its hard finding happiness in the day to day things. The broken cars, the messy house, the endless laundry, the grocery shopping...

The biggest and best example I can think of is when we moved to Seattle. We moved there for no good reason, except that we were so over Minneapolis and we wanted a change. That in and of itself is fine. But looking back, we thought that getting out of MN, getting out of the snow and the cold, the in-laws I don’t mesh with, the mundane day to day life would make us happier. In hindsight I see that Mike and I were coming off of getting married, starting back at school, getting pregnant, having a baby, we were just bored. Oh the lessons we learn!

Seattle did not make us happy. It didn’t make us unhappy either. But Seattle was no different than Minneapolis (except more expensive). We still went to work every day, still had complaints about the weather or the traffic or the fact that there weren’t any Super Targets (ha-ha…seriously though, Seattle- what is up with that?). I was still overwhelmed with a baby and being pregnant, we never had a day off without Lacey (my first time away from her was when I was in the hospital having Miles). It was the same. It was good, but it was hard. Let's face it, sometimes life is hard, and un-exciting.

We are approaching our 5 year anniversary in a couple of weeks. The time has really flown, but we have been juggling and figuring out from day one. That’s life. That is how we have adjusted to life. I am starting to learn that there will always be juggling. There will always be to-do lists, and chores, and day-to-day. There will be mountains. However I have learned one thing. Houses, Jobs, cities, conveniences, and things do not make a person happy. We are so often looking to "the next big thing" The house we want to buy, the new car, the new computer, the new furniture, fridge, etc. etc. etc. that we forget to just stop. breath. enjoy. To “catch” happiness, it’s very possible that we need to look at our mundane, day to day lives, and appreciate the exact moment we are in.

Like for example this morning in the car on the way to daycare Lacey was singing “Christmas time is hear, Christmastime is here” to the tune of Deck the Halls. That was pure happiness.

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