The weather has taken a turn for the worse here in Maryland. It's been rainy and downright cold here the past few days. And I don't know whether it's the fact that my back has been hurting, the fact that I can't seem to get a good night's sleep, or the fact that I truly dislike cold weather that is making me grumpy, but I have been.
I haven't felt like doing anything, replying to emails or comments, or even cooking...I've been in a funk as my mother used to say when we had bad weather for a few days in a row. I did appreciate all of your comments and emails about my back, truly I did, and I thank you, but I just haven't been up to the task of being cheerful I'm afraid.
The other night in between grumbling about how we had to turn on the heat. lamenting the fact that we had finished the last Mad Men Episode, and a 5 minute rant about having to wear a coat when we went out to eat, I did manage to convince myself that maybe a movie would do me good.
So after dinner, Mr. Tide and I decided to look on Netflix to see what we could find. And as if it was sent from above, there it was, a title that jumped out at me for any number of reasons...it was simply called "Happy."
I normally consider myself an upbeat person. Oh sure I complain about stuff like everyone else does, but for the most part I distance myself from people who complain for the sake of complaining and I try very hard not to be a complainer. But there just seems to be something about the shortening of daylight, the cooler temps, and the thought that maybe I didn't get everything out of summer that I had promised myself I would that makes me bristle a little this time of year.
But along with my crankiness, I knew that any movie called Happy, which just happened to pop up right there in the middle of my pity party, must be meant to be...so off we went to watch it.
Remember when you were young and you were dreading something, like a speech you had to give in class, or even a party you were invited to?! Well, my mother used to always say, "Go, you'll have more fun than you think you will," and she was always right.
As we grow older I think it's easy to focus on the things that don't matter, and we sometimes forget that happiness doesn't come from a store, from someone else's blog, from a magazine, but from within.
Now, I'm the first to admit that I do garner great joy from other people's blogs, photography websites, etc., but it's because I decide to be happy when I read about another person's success, or when I see an amazing photo that motivates me to try harder, reach further with my own images.
So it wasn't long into the movie that I realized that the weather isn't to blame for my unhappiness, the cold can't deprive me of joy, anymore than 100 degree heat can provide it for me. Nope, I have to make my own happiness, focus on the things that really do matter, and create joy in my life.
I have to put aside aches and pains, grin and bear the tough times, and not become a Pollyanna, but someone who is the master of her own destiny. And it was funny to me that I needed a movie like Happy to remind me of things I already know.
So this afternoon I forced myself to go outside and snap a few pictures.
If you had asked me to do this a few days ago when I was in full on funk mode, I would have told you that everything is dying, what could I possibly photograph?! That taking my camera outside would only drive home the fact that my roses are all dying and preparing for winter, that it's getting too cold to go out in the kayaks to enjoy the beauty of our waterways, and that putting on anything other than flip flops might push me to tears, or the need to search real estate ads in St. John.
But not today. Today, I decided to find the beauty amongst the break down. To search for the happiness in the things that exist, not what has existed, and not what might exist in the future...the past is gone, and the future is yet to come. So being here and now is what I have, and I should learn to be thankful for it right now...this very minute.
Now, that's not to say that you can't hold on to the memories, or that you can't dream and plan for the future, but the fact is that where you are right now is where you are supposed to be. So the only question that remains is what are you going to do with it...before it slips away?!
For me, it meant choosing happiness, choosing to enjoy the flavor of those last few peppers, to drink in the 50 degree temps that come springtime will be referred to as warm and balmy...a treat in fact.
I guess we all need to be reminded that Happiness is a choice, not a right, not something that can be bought or sold, or even inherited or bequeathed.
It's strange to me that when we have so much at our disposal we often simply want more. A better house, better weather, better whatever, but what we truly want is to be content, fulfilled, happy.
I hope you each find your own "happy" this week! And I highly recommend that if you have Netflix you watch the movie Happy, it's in their instant watch section!