You know how people talk about their “happy place”? Like the beach is my happy place or curled up in my bed with a book and a cup of tea is my happy place.
Well, I have come to the conclusion I don’t have a “happy place.”
I have a happy recipe.
See, I can be happy anywhere. I love our family week at the beach. The sand between my toes, the kids frolicking in the waves. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. But I also love the weekends when we have nothing to do but camp out in our living room watching movies and eating popcorn.
I love wandering around a corn maze in the fall with my family.
Just as much as I love solo morning runs on the trails in the summer.
I get a little eye-rolly when people share those introvert and extrovert articles on Facebook because I feel like a wee bit of both. I need my alone time, I get overwhelmed in large crowds and feel utterly saturated after being surrounded by people all day.
However, I also need those days. After a day or two of being alone and having time to myself, I crave connection. I want to go out with a group of friends, have people over for dinner or even just walk around the mall.
It has to be a balance for me.
I feel the same way about the whole morning/night person argument. I love staying up late, but I also have to get up early. So it’s a balance. I stay up late when I can and wake up early when I have to. Why do I have to pick one or the other? I never understood that.
Anyway, right now it’s 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. I just got back from picking up the 12-Year-Old for an overnight Laser Tag party. Last night the Husband and I stayed up late watching Stanger Things (I mean how could we not?!) so, yea, I’m exhausted, and it’s my first day off after a busy week.
I’m not going to lie, it sucked having to get up early on a Saturday morning to drive thirty minutes across town to get him, but all I kept thinking about was how happy I was.
I know. I know. Cheesy happy-person-shit, I get it. I should be miserable I have kids that need to be chaffered. I should hate my life because I need to wake up early on a day I don’t have to. Life sucks, blah blah blah.
Here’s the thing, I think that’s how I may have reacted just a few months ago. I was pretty miserable. Remember when I wrote, “When Everything is Great But Isn’t“? Back then I was in a completely different headspace, and it got me thinking about why? Why do I fluctuate between these two states? I’m not just a naturally happy person. Sometimes I struggle with depression and sadness and feelings of complete, utter aloneness. Like the introvert/extrovert and morning/night person struggle, I live someplace in between, balancing the two and figuring out what works for me as I go along.
I think most people are like this, don’t you? We think we need to place ourselves in some bucket to relate to others, but I just don’t think it’s that simple. Especially in the happiness department.
At 41 I may have finally perfected my unique happiness recipe and it looks a little something like this.
- 1 part family time bonding and experiencing things together
- 1 part connection time with the husband
- 1 fulfilling job where I feel challenged, creative and appreciated
- Daily alone time to recharge
- A handful of social time with friends
When these things are in balance, I am in balance.
When I look back at times I’ve struggled with “a funk”, as I used to like to say, one of these things was always missing — The Husband and I weren’t on the same page, or my job sucked, or I wasn’t able to connect with friends. The recipe was incomplete.
I don’t think I found the ultimate recipe for happiness for everyone. This is my personal ingredient list, and it’s taken me quite some time to perfect the recipe.
I also don’t think now that I have perfected it I’ll just be happy. Recipes take work. I may run out of an ingredient next month, or one may go bad, who knows?
All I do know, is right now I’m happy, and I’m going to enjoy it while I can.