Annotation to a Birthday


This is an annotation to “It’s That Time of Year Again”.

I finished the original post late last night but, even after I went to bed, it kept turning over in my head, this realization of happiness. I know that happiness is not only a feeling. It is a conscious choice. I realize that I am choosing to be happy. Is life always easy and a spoonful of sugar? No. There are days that are rough, difficult, lonely, and challenging. I know that, for Ben, teaching and pastoring can be a huge drain on his energy. Being at home with Elizabeth all day long, managing house and money, cleaning and errands and chores can all be a bit draining on me, too. Sometimes I do not know where to put my foot next, what is the next step to take, and that can be disheartening, the waiting. BUT I am choosing to be happy in the midst of it all.

We have so much to be thankful for. We have a home of our own, we have vehicles to transport us there and back again, Ben has good jobs, I am able to be with Elizabeth right now, and we live in a nice community with family close by. We are greatly blessed.  Granted, I could always want more, demand more in order to be happy – a bigger house, perfectly-manicured lawn,  a higher-paying job for Ben or myself, a different neighborhood. But I don’t want to put my happiness in things that can be taken away from me or lost. That’s not the point. Things or money or position aren’t happiness, they wouldn’t make me happy. I have a husband whom I love every single day, a daughter whom I adore, a family that is kind and generous and simply amazing, friends who bless my heart all the time…these are the things that matter in my life. It is for all of these things that I am thankful.

I am choosing to be happy every day. A friend of mine pointed out that choosing to be happy is a wonderful thing but so also is seeking out happiness. I don’ t know how much I seek it as much as cultivate it. As I consider it, I realize that I cultivate happiness in my writing, in trying to help and be there for others, being a helpmeet to Ben, teaching my daughter joy and encouraging her curiosity in the world, and in getting lost in the world of a good book now and again.

How do you cultivate happiness?

 

**EDITED 4-26-14**

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