You can keep waiting or you can make it happen: a note on happiness
Last week the kids and I went for a walk for the first time in… well, a really long time. The small umbrella stroller stood in as my walker and we headed out. I don’t know how something so painful could feel so amazing but it did! My leg was aching like crazy after our fifteen minute excursion, but we made it all the way down our little street and back. Success! My little guy rode his car along the sidewalk as fast as he possibly could go, a huge smile across his face. He even let out some squeals as he raced down the sidewalk. Sheer happiness.
My inner celebration was perfectly captured in his obvious excitement to be free of the house and out in the sun moving. I’ve spent so much time these past few years telling myself, “Life will be better once I’m healthy again,” and, “We’ll be able to enjoy life once we’re past all this.” And so I’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And while I wait, the roadblocks just keep coming. My current roadblock: walking.
So I leave church early - while my leg is still working well enough to make it out to the car. We push the family zoo trip out another month. I hang out at the front of the store (or in the car) while my family explores and picks up what we need without me. Or more often, I just stay home. Either way, I sit and I wait. I tell myself it’s just a matter of patience and endurance. But really it’s frustrating and discouraging. When I came up the driveway after our mini walk last week, limping but victorious, I thought, “This is the happiest day of my life!” Now I’m left to wonder: So what am I sitting around waiting for?!
Grabbing hold of happiness
We think we’ll finally be happy once money isn’t so tight or when we get a handle on our routine (which includes an always clean house and a fresh loaf of homemade bread coming out of the oven) or when we finally find a way to cure all our aches and pains. We make lists of goals to be reached that will magically unlock whatever is keeping us from happiness. Doors - that once opened - will free so much happiness into our lives that we’ll finally be able to start living.
Well, I’m learning that happiness doesn’t come from waiting. It comes from reaching. (Take it from someone who’s spent more time waiting than reaching lately.) Because when it really comes down to it, you can keep waiting for life to get better, or you can find something to smile about today.
You can keep waiting for the perfect time for that family vacation (or trip to the zoo :), or you can put it on your calendar, make the plans, and go create memories. I can keep waiting for my leg to get its act together or I can get a pair of crutches and stop sitting on the sidelines. It’s up to me. And it’s up to you. You can keep waiting, or you can make it happen.
Because the truth is: every minute you spend waiting for happiness, it’s happiness that waits for you.
PS: My crutches are ordered and on their way! :) PPS: If you could use some loving guidance in finding happiness in the life you already have, I hope you'll join me (and hundreds of others) in my free challenge, 10 Days of Savoring the Simple Things. Just sign up below and I'll send over everything you need to get started.