I've been feeling really happy lately. And busy. Really busy. I finished a book, finished revisions on a book, and started a third. I have a new foster dog, and the temperature is winding down (Thank goodness!!) Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year.
I've been thinking a lot about what makes me happy. Once upon a time, I would have included "things" in my list. These days, I've realized things are not as important as I once thought.
A year ago, on a Monday like today, I saw my mother alive for the last time. It's hard to believe a year has passed. It's really hard to believe I had to go through her "things", her "stuff" and realize all the possessions she thought were so important, so valuable, actually weren't. I think of my mom at odd moments, and will visit the cemetery on the 27th, the anniversary of her passing. But I remember the black crane that attended her service and flew off at the end of it. Knowing that some cultures consider cranes symbolic of a soul rising to the next level of existence, gives me great peace.
Volunteering and rescuing dogs makes me happy. Drinking coffee on the back porch in the morning with my husband also gives me joy. Being with my dogs, starting a new book, listening to a new album by one of my favorite artists, all make me content. Even exercising makes me feel good. I'm looking forward to cooler weather, to fires in the fireplace, soups and stews and homemade bread. Snow. I love snow.
At 53, I think this is the best part of my life in many aspects. Sure, I don't have as much money as I once did. I don't get a new car every couple of years, or expensive boots and shoes. But none of those things matter. My family, my friends, dog rescue, music, and my writing matter.
As I struggle to come to terms with mortality - brought into sharp focus with my mother's passing, taking care of my elderly father, keeping an eye on my husband's health - I realize more and more how everyone is responsible for finding their own happiness within. And right now, I am at peace with that.