This, of course, was the best part of the day – hiking with the puppies on the Upper and Awesome trails at Bannock Point for almost two hours – taking my time, taking lots of photos and soaking up the heat and the sun. As I walked I marvelled at the fact that not too long ago this was all under snow.
I told Simon a few days ago that I’m a lizard – the sun just does wonders for me. I don’t think it’s possible for me not to feel good when the sun is hot on my skin.
I also got things done today – laundry and cleaning (endless cleaning!) and gardening, which in our case means weeding.
I am still contemplating the mystery of happiness. On a personal level I know that I have set myself up for some form of unhappiness (or at least restlessness) in that I have sent manuscripts to an agent and a publisher, both of whom have expressed some interest. I have also sent proposals or articles to a variety of other publications. So what happens now is that I wait. It seems that my fate is in someone else’s hands. And this is a problem.
Sure, these people decide whether or not they will publish but should my happiness in any form at all be dependent on others? Of course not!
I know about the quick jolt of triumph and glee that comes with a momentary success, recognition or achievement and there’s nothing wrong with these things. In fact, I celebrate them. However, for a constant flow of contentment and joy, I can’t depend on anyone but myself – it has to be manufactured from within.
The good news is that all I have to do now to be happy and content is to develop a happy and content attitude. For years this has been my normal state so it shouldn’t be too difficult to attain. What is different is my circumstances. While I used to gain my contentment, to a large degree, from work, now I have to develop different strategies and they must not rely on others.
So how do I do this?
Work? Yes – but work that I like and that I think is good. I need to be disciplined about writing every day and doing so until it feels good. I can do that. And yes, that’s going to take discipline. Hiking? That’s my joy. Love? Still the thing that makes the world spin and I’ve got tons of that – lucky me.
And all the other things: the garden, the house, the chores. I do have to get back to financial security and having extra for the odd bit of fun and for travel – that’s also important to me. And the wheels for that are also in motion.
Everyone’s happiness needs are different. When I take the time to write down mine, they seem so mundane – so trivial. And yet I know in my heart that I have a contribution to make. I have so much life left. I know that there are enormous things waiting for me – challenges and risks and pinnacles of something – I don’t know what yet. But as with everything, the journey begins with one step. I don’t have a specific goal. That’s a big part of what has changed for me. But I do have one. I’m going to make this world just a tiny bit better – in some way, some how – and in order to do that I have to be the best me I can be. That’s where the work begins.
You have to be in order to do and then to have. There’s a new piece of me emerging. When I fully get a handle on it, I’ll do what’s right and what inspires me – and then – well then I’ll have everything I want, including happiness. But right now, I am letting go of all expectations from others – publishers, agents – the whole lot. From here on in, I do it for me.
Sounds easy. It’s not. But I do believe I’m up for the challenge.