In this season of joy, love and extreme craziness, I find myself needing to repeat a mantra in my head. Whenever I write a post like this I feel as if I need to preface it with the fact that I know I am fortunate. I am the luckiest of the lucky. I have a fabulous life. My problems are first world and twenty-first century for sure. But, to be honest, none of that really matters. I still get caught up in my head. Little things become big things. Trivial, unimportant happenings become monumental disasters of epic proportions. Business trips that crop up on the once-a-year night that I am hosting book club might as well be a year-long deployment. Dinner that should heat up in thirty minutes and really takes an hour becomes catastrophic.
I started to realize I was getting into a bad place over Thanksgiving weekend. Granted, it was the anniversary of my dad’s death which is something that is a real cause for sadness in my life. I can still hear his laugh ringing in my ears. But what if I lose it and can’t hear it tomorrow? I want to go to the office of the School of Life and rifle through the boxes of their lost and found to look for the things my memory has forgotten I’ve lost. I imagine boxes labeled with things like Christmas morning memories, family vacations gone wrong or ordinary moments that made you smile. That’s the box I want to find, the smiles I can’t remember that snuck up on me when I least expected them. When I find that elusive lost and found I’ll tell you where it is.
Anyway, during Thanksgiving weekend as my list of grievances began to grow, I knew I needed to find my mantra. I like to keep my mantras simple – something I will remember in the middle of the night when I wake up with a worry in my heart. Typically, I say the word happy over and over again. I figure that covers a whole host of areas. If I’m happy it means the people around me are happy and healthy. But I know I have the happy, I just have trouble finding it sometimes. So my mantra became find the happy. Before I go to bed, I remind myself to find the happy. When I wake up at 2:52 am, I remind myself to find the happy. When the alarm rings through the house at 0’dark thirty, I try my hardest to find the happy. It’s most useful when my mind slips into that yucky I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-me spot. I just keep reminding myself find the happy, find the happy, find the happy. I’m kind of like Dorothy as she clicks her heels. But suddenly I’m focusing on the glittery joy of the season and the little squeals that are coming from my family room.
Here’s my message to you…find your happy. No matter what your situation, even if your troubles feel trivial in the grand scheme of this sometimes crazy world. And I hope your happy is filled with cookies for Santa, sparkly ornaments and boxes filled with your dreams.