Years ago, at a particularly difficult moment in her life, my wise stepmother told me she chose not to fall into depression, and chose to be happy. “It is a choice,” she repeated. It took me years and some hard choices of my own to understand what she meant. Did I mention already she was wise?
I think about the happiness I know, and have come to realize that it has to do with being at the moment and counting one’s blessings. Cliché? Well, maybe it is, and for a reason.
An empty-nester has a lot of time to think about things. Time occupied by meeting the needs of others is suddenly vacated, leaving patches of spaces that, before they’ll be filled by new demands, just hover there.
I choose to think about happiness as moments of grace. Not the big ones, the expected joyous milestones, but little gifts that remind us we love and are loved in return.
Meeting a friend I have only known virtually, who took the trouble to drive many hours just so we can spend an afternoon-
Having a relative offer to drive down to help DD’s transition to college. Every bit helps-
And this, right now, this very moment-