Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Happy. Joy Joy.

MPJ is hosting a group writing project, inspired by my first one held earlier this month, and so I must participate. Besides, it's a nice topic: write about your happy place.

Two years ago my happy places had many of the same elements: libations that either contained grapes and alcohol or java and caffeine. It probably meant dropping a nice chunk of change. Consuming and wasting, eating and drinking without cares, without worries, without responsibility.

That was then.

My happy place is much different now, and I don't feel it often anymore. Not since becoming a mother.

Please don't misconstrue my words: I am happy much of the time, but always with a heaviness of stress or anxiety or worries or doubts.

Motherhood has been very hard for me; harder than I thought it would be. And, so my happy place is a feeling; I associate it with feeling no pain, no worries, no hardship, no struggling, no setbacks, no heartbreak.

Just bliss, fleeting as that moment may be. In fact, it lasts only seconds, at least when I've experienced it.

I'm sure I experienced it before being a mom, but I didn't know then to relish it like I do now.

The last time I felt this bliss was about a month ago. My in-laws invited us over for dinner. They live only 10 minutes away, but we do not see them more than once a month. The time of day was perfect for our schedule so there was no rushing around, and unlike most of our family events, it was just us. No other relatives to vie for the last piece of bread.

There was a ton of great, home-cooked food and plenty of it. There was wine -- and coffee -- and iced cold water in between. There was lovely cinnamon bread, and dessert. There was someone to bring me my food, someone to clean the dishes afterward and adult conversation in between. I still had to lean down to pick up food that had been dropped; but it wasn't dropped on purpose like it usually is at home.

The dinner was wonderful and toward the end, as my belly felt full and my tension relaxed, I felt a moment of bliss.

I felt, for one of the very few times since becoming a mom, truly nurtured and taken care of. That dinner, in all of its forms, took so many of my worries away. Nothing else mattered, but us. The house that needed cleaned, the now dusty-looking for sale sign sitting unmoved, the cluttered counters, the insurmountable piles of clutter in the storage room ... it was all sent out in one big breath to the universe.

So, that's my happy place. It can happen when I least expect it, though it is extremely rare. It can happen anywhere, and most of the time I don't know it will happen until I'm in the moment, and suddenly catch myself smiling for no reason, for every reason.

Sure, the euphoric state of bliss is fleeting.

I'm fine with that as long as it returns to me again and again.


Anonymous said...

I'm just going to have to come there. I'm just going to have to move in next door. I'm just going to have to keep the girls at my house whenever you ask and a lot of the time you don't. I'm just going to have to move into the fleeting state of bliss and ring your doorbell.

Trust that I would.

bella said...

Since we're coming, arriving at your door, can I come to? Not to rescue, but to let you know you are not alone, not in this alone.

I love how your happy place is something that comes and finds you. It takes the desperate seeking, striving part away. May it come to you again and again, more and more, until it is everywhere you go.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Oh, this is fun! I too find those fleeting moments where I feel relaxed and taken care of few and far between these days. Does it get better as the kids get older, I wonder? Or are they always so tied to our hearts that even when they are grown, we have trouble letting go of some of that background anxiety?

Shannon said...

Do you think this was a happy moment for you just because it was something different, opposite or new than your life had become? I find that's true with me, give me something new and I'm happy for a little while....
Oh, no...I just described my fussy son.

Sunshine Morningstar said...

What a lovely post.
I experience those moments of joy as well. They often find me during the Christmas season. I often feel deliriously happy if there's a sparkly Christmas tree nearby.