Do you know those people who greet the world positively all the time?
And really no matter the circumstance, they find themselves defaulting into a natural state of joy believing that everything, in the end, will all be okay.
I envy the shit out of those folks.
My mom and husband epitomize this genetic mystery to a tee.
The house could be burning down around my mother and she would trust that there was a way out and a reason why it was happening as the fire fighters were pulling her out of the wreckage. And then, she would bake them goodies and send them Christmas cards for the rest of her life.
My husband does not worry. He really doesn't know how to do it. He's extraordinarily laid back and spends more time in the moment than in the past or the future. And seems to trust that given enough time, it will all work out, because it always has.
And I have to tell you, they're both seemingly very happy people.
I would not categorize myself as a laid back, collected anything.
I am an impulsive, compulsive, neurotic, OCD person who is constantly straddling the past, present and future...and subsequently, I can find myself exhausted, and not particularly joy-filled.
Oh don't get me wrong. It's not all bad. My neurotic nature allows me to accomplish a lot. I've been able to thrive academically, professionally, and physically at the goals I put forward...but that's because once I decide that it will happen, it will.
But most happy people that I know aren't consumed by their achievements or their fancy schmancy resumes. They are engaged fully and holistically in their experiences and the people they share them with.
And that's the place that I want to get to.
The problem is you can't strive to be happy. It's not a 5-year strategic plan. It just is. You either are or you're not. And I suppose the key is to try to figure it out without alienating the people around who are living their happy lives.
I recently asked my mom when she stopped caring about what the world thought of her and if she thought my 40's would be a break out time for owning me in all of the good, non-clingy ways.
She told me that the times she's been the most joy filled in her life are when she's allowed herself to truly be herself and that she had more time to start doing that in her 40's, but that each decade has just gotten sweeter.
And ultimately, that the other key to happiness is to remember that it's always there for the taking...most of the time, unknowingly, we strong arm it with our own complicated stuff instead of simply embracing it even if it doesn't resemble what we thought it would.
Those moms, they always seem to know.