What IS My Happy Place?

Been dreaming of this place for a few years now.  It changes, slightly, from time to time but the theme is generally the same:

An old fashioned, country setting with metal wind chimes hanging from the back patio.  Rocking in the porch swing, overlooking the yard, I observe butterflies fluttering alongside the grassy patch.  Maple trees on both sides allow the sun to sparkle through the leaves hanging over the garden of flower bushes.  My Labradors follow the butterflies down a path ’til they come across a gentle brook.  They dive in –  swimming amongst the ducks.

And why is this my happy place?

When I envision butterflies and Labradors dancing in the back yard, it creates a serene peacefulness within me that does not normally come naturally.

I realize I am late with this post.  I haven’t wanted to write – mainly because I haven’t felt peaceful.  or happy.  It’s much easier to write when I am miserable, but I feel there have been enough posts that fit that description.  I have had episodes of miserableness and funkiness teetering with glimmers of hope and renewal for about two years now.  January 2013 gave me that energetic jolt of hope to a new year.  I was ready to take on the world.  The Universe had other plans for me.

In December, I was to look back at my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions and bask in the progress that I created throughout the year.  I had heard how it worked so well for others in manifesting their dreams.  Unfortunately, when I looked back at my list, I was highly disappointed in my progress, primarily with the development of My Happy Place.

Following is a recap of my 2013 Resolution list:

  1. Track progress of growing herbs
  2. Study diabetes, and learn how to cook appropriately
  3. Search for a new career path
  4. Find my happy place
  5. Trust my intuition

Looking at my list, I do see I have performed 1 and 5 to the best of my ability.  I know now that perennial herbs do much better with me than one season plants like tomatoes and peppers.  Trusting my intuition is a work in progress.  I am reassured of all my decisions this year based on gut instinct.  I no longer need to wait for confirmation of an uncertain situation.  I can trust that whatever the uneasiness, it is best for me to move on and find a situation much better suited for my current needs.

Taking care of my mother with memory impairment has invited more challenges than I had anticipated.  Trying to change the diet of someone who requires food every 2-4 hours gets exhausting and expensive.  Going back to college has probably initiated my search for a new career path.  If it weren’t for my expectation of ‘instant results’, I wouldn’t be so hard on myself.

Then, there is #4: Find My Happy Place.  I would assume most people would proclaim the affirmative statement, “Happiness comes from within!”  Though there are times when I would agree, I spent my last few months of 2013 wanting to strangle anyone who voiced such a  aspiration.  I can’t explain my frustration.  I have been meditating.  I have been reading spiritual books.  I have been of service – mostly to my mother, begrudgingly.

Sure, I had patience for the most part, but I found myself throughout the year with a mood that ebbed and flowed.  I tried rationalizing that the Universe had a plan for me, that I was at a standstill in my life, preparing me for a bigger and better outcome.  Seems like just when I would get a glimmer of hope of my life turning around, something happened – or didn’t happen. I have  been through “the funk” quite a bit this year.  Nothing going on, just a vast space of nothing-ness.  Going back to school has been a huge glimmer of hope for me, allowing the energy around me to move, and move, and move some more.  I thought for sure the energy would lead me somewhere great!  yes, I expected that after just one semester.  I got through it – the energy shifted, and now what?  another semester starts, I guess.

I realized in December that although I practice acceptance in most areas of my life, this tiny word had brought on a whole new meaning.  I had not been practicing “acceptance” of where my life was at this present moment.  And I didn’t want to.  I realize that for the most part, I am a free spirit.  I was meant to search out the world – to open my arms to its vast open-ness.  However, in reality, I had an obligation to take care of my mother’s needs at this present time.  I had accepted that a year ago, but somehow it became a life I did not want to be a part of anymore.  Not that my mother was awful by any means, I had just experienced “stuck” feelings and wanted those feelings to end.

Changes of events in late December (2013) and January of this year (2014) have brought on a new perspective.  Oh, there were still feelings of doom and gloom.  But, there was also this realization that I can no longer physically take care of my mother.  Her illness has progressed.  I am not equipped to handle falling (or picking up).  I do not have the skills or special accommodations to assist with lifting a person up out of bed. In addition, her insurance has changed and I am faced with extra costs in which I have no income to provide.  If I seek employment, then I would also have to seek financial care for my mother or risk leaving her alone – and that is not a safe option.

I teetered back and forth with different options, fighting with the insurance rationality.  Meanwhile, my sister’s fear of being able to help with the care-giving confirms that the best care for my mother at this time would be in a nursing home.  That is where she is at today, temporarily, while Medicare is willing to pay.  We are awaiting approval from her insurance for permanent care options.  Just what I need – more waiting.  More practicing patience.

Amongst all this chaos, February began a new outlook on life for me.  I don’t know how it changed, it just did.

Seemed like just a few weeks ago, nothing was going to waken me up from my bitterness.  It was actually feeling good to feel angry.  Feeling angry felt like rebellion, and how often do I get to do that?  I had felt like giving up, not completely, but trying to have a positive outlook on life was not there.  My dreams of growing a garden or a bed of flowers turned into an angry “who am I kidding?  I can’t even grow a proper thorn bush!!”  As I turned up a nose to the idea of gaining happiness within or anywhere else, I began to see postings on Facebook regarding “Happiness is an inside job!!” – I wanted to put my hands through the computer and poke somebody’s eyes out!

Then, one day, I woke up feeling hopeful again.  No work was needed to make it happen.  I just had to go through those ugly feelings and wait for something better to emerge.  No one offered me money, or gave me a dream home.  A new man did not ride up on his royal horse.  There was no cure for my inflammatory condition.   I just changed.  I welcomed it.  I could have wondered if tomorrow would bring on ugly feelings again.  I didn’t have to.  Today is a great day and there is no need to complain about it.  I await for more answers and direction –

dandelion

And today, I am Happy!!

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