Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why is it so hard to be happy?

Last Friday night, as I sat around a warm campfire, surrounded by sparkling snow, and a sky full of bright stars, I wept. I was unhappy. No reason, really. Just unhappy. And my thought was the title of this post. Why is it so hard to be happy?

The next morning it was all ok. I had a good day, and I was happy. A mere eighteen hours later and it seemed the fog had cleared. But why had it settled in the first place?

I could blame it on low blood sugar, on bad planning, on disappointment in things not going as planned. But really I had nothing to be sad about. And yet, sadness often hits me, hard, suddenly, inexplicably.

And not just me.

A woman I greatly admire said to me a few months ago. "Why can't I wake up happy? At my age I feel the moments from waking up to the realization of happiness can be hours apart." I realized she had spoken aloud what I felt too. I don't think it was always so.

Happiness can be elusive. But then it can arrive inexplicably as well.

I don't know why it is so hard to be happy, but, today, I feel that I need to look at happiness like the hummingbird that comes to my window. It comes when it comes and I have to stop and appreciate that moment. Stop and recognize that moment of happiness. I have to learn to not take happiness for granted, to be thankful for it when it appears, and to look forward to its arrival again.

Maybe it isn't that it is hard to be happy. Maybe it is that it is hard to take the time to recognize it, appreciate it, and acknowledge it when it lights upon your shoulder.

And perhaps that is why I have a hummingbird tattooed on my shoulder. She isn't just my totem. She is my reminder that I can be happy.

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