Charlotte and I recently returned from our yearly week-long vacation on her Grandma's farm in Ontario. The week we spend there is always fun filled and relaxing, but this time was different, it was different because I was determined to get all of the juice out of my days, to pour myself into every delightful moment spent with my rapidly growing child.
We had a wonderful time, we did farm chores, watering horses, cows and feeding the barn cat, Sophie, we went on wildflower hunts, discovered wild garlic, rode around the expansive farm on Grandma's Gator played everyday with Charlotte's new bestie, her cousin Alexa, everyday.
Then the best and most anticipated event of the trip happened:
Charlotte's first sleepover! When we were planning the trip I mentioned to Charlotte's grandma, Marcia that she would really love to have a sleepover with Alexa, so we started plotting, then the day finally came, Charlotte and I woke up ecstatic that morning, me, because I was excited to experience this with Charlotte, Charlotte because, well, it was exciting, the girls swam in the pool with me and Aunt Amanda, watched Chicken Run and the two three- yearolds even ate some of their dinner. After dinner, Charlotte's Grandpa Robin went outside and got a campfire going, I may have suggested that Charlotte would love that too, and we went outside to sit around the fire, roasting marshmallows and making smores, Charlotte managed to get smore all over herself, right after her bath, mind you, I may have eaten more smores than a grown woman should, the night was perfect, it was warm, the farm was peaceful, the sun setting, I was with my favorite people, eating smores, then Amanda snapped this photo of me, and posted it on Facebook, afterwards theere was an outcry of jot from all of my digi friends, it was so good to see me happy! These comments made me step back for a moment, I took stock of the last three years and, yes thus is probably the first picture of me since the stroke where I am experiencing blissful joy, before and after, before the stroke, I wa on the samr quest everyone else seems to be on, the search for ultimate happiness;
Now, let me be clear, I am not a spiritual or happiness guru, but here's what I think about happiness: the search for this slippery emotiuon is really hard, because we think we will find happiness in possessions, people and how attractive we are, I think happiness lies in living and loving your life, regardless of the circumstances. Sure, I ealk kind sloww and trip over my words sometimes, and, yes I have an arm that has decided to go on a permanent vacation, but I'm here and as long as there is breath in my body I am going to live the shit out of this life, so when I'm at the end of it, I die with a smile on my face.
Stop chasing happiness, people, it's right in front of you.