Sunday, February 23, 2014

Happy Place

Happiness: Carters New Teeth

"The constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. 
You have to catch it yourself."
Benjamin Franklin

For nearly a year, I've heard folks tell me to find my happy place, a foreign concept for me. As an adult married early in his life, my focus simply has been on keeping my family healthy and intact, providing, surviving jobs that ill suited my personality, and fostering some semblance of stability for my inherited prefabricated family. 

Annie: Fourth Generation Annie
Yes, I was grateful that I could provide and care for my family. As far as personal joy it was always postponed and quite frankly gave it very little thought. Like other men, I chased dollars and cents in a number of jobs which totally thwarted my personality and crushed at times my remaining self esteem or thwarted and numbed my creativity.

As I approached my fifties, a different stirring began in my life, a quite revolution within started, battles between doubt and servitude, between practicality and pragmatism surfaced. The internal name calling began with terms such as selfish and bad. A Nascar type regulator took hold of my life. Each time I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone it held me back.

Three years without work and nine months of exile far from my family and friends changed me. Nearly four solid years of writing and walking and eventually hiking in the mountains of Tucson changed me.

What I am talking about is not a midlife crisis but rather a midlife discovery. The life I've been leading has been to please others. To some extent it has not pleased even those that I've wanted to please the most within my family. While they have found their happy place with various degrees, I've fought it with my "pragmatism". Had it not been for my two new found mistresses, photography and nature I would have not enjoyed any semblance of happy as I was bogged down by my fears of financial ruin.

Brennan: Happiness is A Good Nap
Nearly eight months ago, however another form of happy touched my life. It was quite unexpected for me because it revolved around new family and the birth of my daughter's triplets. While I was away in Tucson, she enjoyed a happy pregnancy and the news of a triplet pregnancy. She went from being told she wouldn't have any children to preparing for three.

Although I had given up on the hopes of finding a job again in Dallas and loved Tucson, I made more effort to try to be there for at least the birth of the triplets. In the process, a week after their birth, I found a job back in Dallas.

Now and forever going forward along with all my dreams of finding happy in my creativity and within myself, these three grandchildren will always be part of my happy. That's why today, I choose to share a different form of "happy" with all of you. Don't give up on your "happy place". It's not limited to just one event or thing.

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