Tuesday, October 9, 2012


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!


  1. I really needed to read this post this morning Kat. My husband "officially" retired from full time work last Friday (45 years in the workforce - he was ready!) However he has spent the last 3 days moping around the place "trying" to be happy but clearly finding it difficult coming to terms with this new phase of his life. Your words are exactly what he needs to hear. I'm off to read your post to him now. Thanks so much for this thoughtful, eloquent (and timely!) post. ;)Sharyne

  2. The same temperature that we rejoice in the Spring about does seem freezing in the Fall. I like Fall, but not when the clocks go back...the early evening darkness is hard on me.....but like you say, it;s all what you are looking for.

    Hope the back stops niggling you soon. Lovely photos.

  3. Glad that movie turned you around. The pictures are great and I hate the cold, too, but realize I can't change it and might as well get used to it when it gets here. I was so mad on our trip because most days were very foggy, cloudy and damp. Not what I was looking forward to, but we made the best of it. Hubby would not go to Nantucket though after we could barely see Martha's Vineyard. Maybe next time.

  4. Kat, pain affects mood. You know that of course. Go easier on yourself. When I hurt, and I do have issues with chronic pain, it does tend to affect my mood and affect. When I realize that is happening I make an effort to manage my pain better. I hope you feel better and am glad the movie lifted your spirits. xo, olive

  5. Good. For. You. The sun helps too. And it hasn't been around very much, either ~ Thanks for the link to the movie.

  6. Words of wisdom, Kat! So true, and good for you! Love these images...

  7. I needed this little pep talk! I, too am a very upbeat kind of person and have so much to be thankful for. But we just got to our condo in the mountains and I'm complaining about the COLD! heehee! Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow and I can see the mountains and the autumn color but either way....I'll make the choice to be HAPPY! Happy hugs, Diane

  8. One of my mantras Kat, "happiness is a choice"! Your photos are incredibly wonderful.

  9. Amen, Kat. Beautifully written right from your heart. I hear you. I feel your pain. And I will definitely choose to be happy - despite what the world throws at me. Thank you, sweetie, for the inspiration...and keep your chin up. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  10. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and this general theme has been prevalent, the weather affecting our moods, our feelings, our sense of happiness. Every morning lately, I have been waking up in a gloomy mood, and I have always been a very happy and pleasant morning person, but lately I feel I have nothing but the same old drudgery to look forward to. Nothing of interest to photograph, nothing much to say in a post, irritability that my life revolves around taking care of people and things. And having no self motivation at all. Just another day. Then I read a post today about living in the moment and I remember I had resolved to do just that many months ago (in a fit of optimism I'm sure!). So...I am going to pay much more attention to what is making me so gloomy and attack each feeling until I have eliminated it or learned a way to embrace it (like the crappy weather).

    Thanks for planting the seed in my head that there are a myriad of ways to be happy. I wish that for you, too!


  11. thanks for the breath for clean fresh cool air. we are laboring under volcanic haze!

    Aloha from Waikiki,

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  12. All this is true, but it's also true that happiness has its own logic, and there is nothing more wonderful than the blessing of illogical happiness.

  13. It's probably just time to have a good funk ... do it and get it over with, and move on.

    When you go outside with your camera, remember that there is beauty amidst the dying flowers. Their petals turn to paper, and the colors and textures are delicious. Some of my best rose photos (IMO) are ones that I have taken of dead roses covered with frost.

  14. Very interesting set of photos, Kat. I like them. Very honest! We can't be happy all the time. It's good to be in a funk once a while....
    Talk soon :)

  15. This is a beautiful post! I get in a "funk" when the weather rises over 100 degrees in the Texas summers. So I can relate to the weather issue. My family left yesterday after a week's visit. I was in a foul, lonely mood, but going outside and seeing what is all around us made me feel so much better. Your photos captures natures beauty to a Tee!

    I will put HAPPY on my netflix list!
    Hope your back feels better soon!
    xo Cindy

  16. Sorry to hear you've been a little down...weather is such an influence sometimes...but it sure hasn't hurt your photography! These images are truly beautiful! XO

  17. Oh Kat this was so beautifully written and it is so inspiring to see the beauty you captured in all these photos. The ability for each of us to reach down deep inside and pull ourselves up out of any funk we have simply by focusing in on all the beauty that surrounds us is truly a valuable lesson to remember. Thanks so much for the inspiration this morning! xo ~Lili


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