I've been accused, on more than one occasion, by more than one person, of only writing when I'm angsty. Of only writing about hard, yucky feelings. Of not ever writing about happy stuff. It's true. Writing about happy just doesn't seem that interesting to me. When I'm happy I just enjoy it, I don't overanalyze it. Wouldn't that kind of take the happy out of it? It's like dissecting why something is funny (I'll admit I do this sometimes). Philosophizing and strategizing about funny is utterly un-fun. And un-funny. I kind of feel the same way about happy.
I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying that this is how I operate. I can see the folly in this. If you can assess WHY you feel happy, maybe you can sustain it? I see that. I do. And yet, I'd rather just enjoy it. Further, I don't mind all that much being a bit angst-ridden. It's part of life. It provides contrast. It's where insight comes from. I accept it as a necessary part of a contemplative life, of self-awareness.
To be clear, I often write when I'm content but generally I flash back to some difficulty on the road to getting there. This is where I find revelation, enlightenment. A sense of possibility and an appreciation for the journey.
But just so that I can prove my 'critics' wrong, I'm going to attempt to write about the things that make me happy at the moment:
1. I love my independence. I live my life the way I want to, hopefully without being too self-involved. Just the right amount though. I don't feel guilty about having a nice apartment that I love. I don't feel guilty about having a practical but relatively nice (not excessively so) car. I don't feel guilty about pretty shoes, therapy or trips with my children. And yes, I used to. I have found a semblance of peace with my own likes and dislikes. I don't feel like my choices are somehow wrong. Inherently. I love this! It brings me such contentment to exist in this lovely peaceful apartment without clutter or mustiness. And I love having a garage. Ahhhh, the simple things. (I realize the irony of how I iterated my happiness over this point - in the negative, the negation of guilt. Old habits die hard. Give a girl a break on this.)
2. I have such fun with my kids. They are getting older. I'm permissive when it comes to media. We laugh our faces off watching Jackass over and over again. We saw #3 three times at the theater. It's gross. We love it. When Steve-O does the outhouse stunt, the combination of danger, poop, vomit and uncontrollable laughter on the part of the Jackass crew causes us to nearly 1) vomit with them; 2) pee our pants. I love laughing with them. My oldest and I also read the same books sometimes. He recommended The Hunger Games. I read it and we talked about it. He gave away made up plot points, misdirecting me but increasing the urgency with which I inhaled the book. Funny kid. He got me.
3. I am helping to make progress in regards to the protection of athletes. I'm proud that my book instigated this in some way. I'm happy to be part of the community trying to create change on this. I love the strong women I have met in this process. And I am so proud of them all.
4. I have a boyfriend, a wonderfully lovely man who is kind and chivalrous and emotionally expressive. Who makes me coffee in the morning and forgives easily. Who listens to my feelings (when I dare express them) and thinks I'm funny. That's good stuff.
5. I have a great job and I work with great people. Yes it's hard sometimes. There's pressure and politics and pettiness at times. But all in all I work for a company that does good in the world, has a strong corporate conscience, respects consumers and delivers great products that last a lifetime for a great price. That ain't bad.
Ok that's five. I don't want to push it. Five happy thoughts all in one day. Ok one more for good measure - I love salty snacks. I could wax poetic about potato chips, pretzels, fried potatoes of any kind and a delicious margarita with an overly salted rim on a hot summer night. But I won't. I love salt in all forms and I indulge regularly. Yum.
There ... happy Jen in a nutshell. Next post - back to my wheelhouse. Dark and brooding. This is deemed "a don't panic log" after all...