Thursday, February 25, 2016

Headed to Happy

There is a guy at work that I sometimes see at the coffee bar. I give him the normal casual “Hello” or “How are you?” when our paths collide. The thing that I notice about him is that he always answers the second greeting the same way – “GREAT!” and honestly it sort of gets on my nerves. How can he be GREAT every day? I asked him once when he answered, “How is it that you always answer great?” to which he replied, “Because I am great every day, aren’t you?” I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, slowly turned my head, and replied, “No. I’m not always great. Some days I’m just good.” I think a lot about him when I am mulling over my days, taking the pulse on the good life, thinking about the day to day workaday world we live in. I guess I tend toward realism and pragmatism far too much. But, I’m okay with that.

I don’t mean to sound negative, or depressed, or down. I’m not really currently considering myself any of those. It’s just that I don’t think I’ll ever achieve “GREAT!” at the coffee bar at work! ;-) I will admit I have been thinking a lot lately about it all. I’ll also admit one year ago, you could not have made me believe that we would be living in an apartment right now, having sold our beautiful David Weekley home in Murphy, and that we would still be three or four months away from being back in a house of our own. I like to think most days that we are making the right move. Some days it is easier to believe that than others.

For all practical purposes, we are in a tough spot right now, or should I say an uncomfortable spot. {I know this isn't tough. It's just the brat in me getting weary.} The house was initially supposed to be finished “January or February” and folks, let’s face it. There are just a handful of days left in February, and today our house does not even have brick on the exterior, or drywall on the studs. It’s just a shell of what is to come – a glimpse of what it will be. And sometimes to see my dream, I have to squint just so, dig deep into my mind, and conjure up my Pinterest boards to even have a vision of what will be the final product. We aren’t getting into the house anytime soon, and we are sentenced to more days in the apartment. It’s frustrating. It’s isolating. It’s stressful. It’s annoying. It’s an inconvenience. It’s costing us money. It’s preventing us from having any company. It’s freaking out my dog. The end result – our dream – seems so far away.

We had a chance to FaceTime with Philip last night. About halfway through he said, “Y’all are just SO DOWN.” {Yes, yes we are. Right now we are.} It was really an adjustment for him, I think, to see us so down. See, not only is the building going slow, but there are mistakes. Yesterday we were to finally have a meeting with the General Manager, in the hopes of resolution and forward progress, and she came down with bronchitis and had to postpone the meeting. I had carried with me for a few days such high hopes of finally getting some things resolved and having the opportunity to keep the house progressing. When the meeting fell through, I just didn’t have anything left in me to summon up good, much less “GREAT!” I felt a little bad for our son, but at the same time I thought, “It’s okay for him to know that the struggle is real sometimes for all of us.” And I won’t apologize for being human and working my way through an ordeal.

But, I know I need to suck it up a little and keep my chin up. We have too many days left in the apartment to be so down every day. {I think we have more than 90 days left, but less than 120. I should stop counting.} I was reminded yesterday of this layout I completed a few weeks back. Sometimes our scrapping can be oh, so timely. Awhile back my friend Janet had shared 50 Moments - Scrapbook The Pages That Matter Most, a book by Lisa Bearnson. I was intrigued and promptly bought the book, with wonderful intentions. The boys graduating high school and my nest emptying pushed that book onto a shelf and the project to the back burner. I just didn’t get around to working on any of the story prompts until another friend Maria initiated a group challenge with my Peeps during 2016. Maria’s first prompt that she selected, serendipitously, was HAPPY. 

Oh, goodness. It immediately brought to mind a road trip from McAllen to Colorado that I took in 2002. On that trip, I drove through a town in Texas named Happy, and I remember really pondering - still to this day even 13 years later - the road sign that stated Happy was 6 miles away. I coined the phrase in my head “6 miles from Happy” and reflected - then and continually - on how many people can live so much of their lives just outside the boundaries of Happy. {Can you see where I’m headed here? Need that road map?} ;-) Well, when Maria shared that particular 50 Moments Happy prompt, I knew it was time to document this story. I just didn’t admit as I scrapped the story last month that I would need to force myself so completely to live inside it. The layout includes a quote that I really can’t shake off of my heart today, 

“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings. It’s something we make inside ourselves.” 
                      – Corrie Ten Boom
So many times we live waiting on the IF/WHEN scenario. I’ll be happy when….I’ll be successful when…I’ll be better when…And it goes on and on, in a circuitous infinite loop. I learned this lesson back in my 30’s. Taught it to my sons. Coined a phrase. “Choose joy. Because it is a choice.” All the times I retorted “Choose joy" to my sons are all coming back now to haunt me. OR, that phrase is coming back to renew me, to remind me, to refresh me. To give me hope. To help me hang on. I don’t want to live 6 miles from Happy. I want to live right smackdab in the big fat middle of Happy. No matter wherever Happy may be.

Yes, my life’s walls might temporarily be on hold. There may not be many picture perfect shots right now. The apartment lighting might be terrible. The neighbors might be loud and annoying. This is my {albeit temporary} Happy. I need to live out the truth that happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings. It’s something we make inside ourselves. In the spirit of looking at things from a better perspective, of having hope, of hanging on, here's a photo of where the house is today. 

"Of this be sure: you do not find the happy life, you make it."
- Thomas S. Monson

Here's to making our happy. 

I’m sorry I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. I have continued scrapping. I just have been wallowing in my situation and avoiding writing. I’m going to aim to do better. Hang on. This year might be a bit bumpy, but we can still enjoy the ride. And remember I'm not aiming for "Great!" My course is headed to Happy.

Today is a Great Day to be Happy ~ 50 Moments ~ January 2016
Paper: Basic Simple Stories
Title: Silhouette Cut File


  1. Hey friend, I am so sorry this journey has been such a struggle. My experience when we built this house was similar. But, look how darling your house is! Here is to the day you get settled in there and these days become a distant memory.

    Love your layout, it's a message that is good to have recorded.

    p.s. I am soooo with you on the "great".

  2. Great and coffee should never be in the same sentence. LOL! This too shall pass is the thought that comes to mind. Before long you will be in your amazing house and all this will be a memory and a funny story to tell.