30 day blog challenge. Day 5.
Happy is tough.
I am 21 months post partum.
I am still trying to catch up to a car accident, a break up, a whirl wind love story, a marriage, a baby, another baby and then a hormone saturated implosion (explosion). Oh, and a few job changes, bouts with anemia, early stages of liver failure, a move, a new house…
When you deal with chronic illness and pain daily you beg and borrow, steal and trade, your time and energy. If I do this then I cannot do that. If I don’t do this I can do that. Since 2011 it isn’t only my bank account that is drowning in debt and interest payments.
So, sometimes it is hard to find the happy. The legit to the tip of your toes joy. I laugh a lot. Nervous laughter. Anxious laughter. Lighthearted laughter. But the laughter has shared custody with the fatigue and fight, disappointment and frustration.
Ok, the 10 things that make me happy.
Even though I am still in a daily battle to stay on the manageable side of post partum, I could probably come up with a hundred more lists of 10 things that make me happy. I believe in gratitude and I am grateful every day for getting to experience what I get to experience, even when things aren’t quite Tickety boo.
1. Either of my kids snuggled close, arms wrapped around me, in the middle of the night, sound asleep. I can kiss my boy on the forehead and even in his sleep he will smile a smile filled with so much love and joy I can feel its warmth radiate and encircle me. Similarly, seeing my kids cuddled up with their dad, sound asleep, when I leave for work each morning. It breaks my heart to leave them, but seeing a huggle puddle makes the pain more tolerable.
2. Finding time to practice the piano. Hearing my kids playing with the piano. Hearing my husband practicing. Seeing and hearing our improvement week after week.
3. Listening to my husband’s podcast and feeling like I get to be a part of this extraordinary life my husband leads and explores after I fall asleep each night and the one he lives each day filled with kid chaos and love while I am at work.
4. Getting sh*t done. Work stuff. Home stuff. Life stuff. Stuff stuff. Living. Accomplishing. Moving forward. Moving others forward. I love tackling “this has always been a problem” problems at work. I love having enough energy when I get home from work to cross off a few home things.
5. Family dinners. Stories. Laughter. Food. Time
6. Quiet. My brain is so busy all of the time and there is so much noise, always. Noisy office. Noisy house. Noisy commute. Because I often go to bed when the kids do, I rarely get to experience down time, or quiet, but when I do, my heart is ok.
7. Nursing either of my kids. Even on my bad days I am still doing something awesome for someone else. Sometimes self preservation with illness is read by others as narcissism. If you have heard often enough that you only think of yourself you begin to feel like you don’t bring enough good to others.
When the kids curl up on my lap, wrap their arms around my waist, and let my milk nourish and comfort them, I am bringing good. I am putting my children first. Tandem nursing is exhausting, but managing to nurse another day makes me feel good. It makes me feel happy.
8. Watching my husband and/or kids dance.
9. Getting to spit ball creative ideas with my husband. I exist in devil’s advocate mode, but when it comes to project development I think it provides for strong, well received, relevant exchanges. I love crating. Challenging norms. Building an artistic expression from a seed of an idea. I don’t often get to play in a creative realm, especially now, but I feel extraordinarily happy when I do.
10. Laughing at work. I don’t get to see the sun. I am either alone in the office or surrounded by hundreds. An abundance of laughter with colleagues takes all of that and turns it into a buddle of happy for my heart.