Unexpected Happiness

I had a bad day and then I had a good week. Something happened that I didn’t expect, and it blocked the path I thought I was going to take to my future, so that suddenly I had to find a new path that didn’t look anything at all like what I’d planned, and just as suddenly I realized how many options for new paths I had, how many new directions I hadn’t seen because I was concentrating on what was supposed to happen. All of a sudden, there was all this potential that hadn’t been there before. I have no idea what my life is supposed to look like now, which means it can look like anything I want. And that, not surprisingly, makes me happy

What did happiness look like in your life this week?

53 thoughts on “Unexpected Happiness

  1. Hurrah for new paths! Happiness this week was having a birthday which was exactly the way I like it. A little fuss, but not too much. And chocolate skillet cake for dessert.

    Seeing Oldest Son ice skate out on his own on Special Olympics was a big thrill too.

    22+
  2. Cake. Someone shared birthday cake yesterday that sent me reeling to childhood memories. Today I bought cake mix in an effort to try to make one just like it.

    I watched a lot of study tip related videos and it looks like I’ve made a decision on whether to pursue my masters.

    Still stabbing oars at crocodiles. Turns out dehoarding makes the boat lighter and less susceptible to attacks. Who knew? *Snark* This is now vital to implement necessary changes.

    So I’m optimistic.

    15+
  3. I had a mediocre week – not terribly good or bad, but tedious. I worked at being pleasant any way, and though I didn’t always succeed, it was better than wallowing in discontent. There were some good things too – mostly unexpected ones.

    I think I need to examine the “supposed to” and “should”s in my life. Though I am supposed to make cookies for a party next weekend, and that’s a good “should” 🙂

    14+
  4. This past week’s unexpected warmth allowed me to wear my sandals to work, which made me happy. It’s also awakened the flowering trees – I’ve posted a closeup of a pear blossom and a cherry tree in full bloom. It really makes me happy to see evidence of spring!

    12+
  5. I’m driving cross-country at the moment – today’s my tenth day on the road and I’ve made it to Kingman, Arizona. Happiness for me was hitting 50 degree weather yesterday. Yay for warmth again. And more happiness is waking up this morning knowing that my next destination is only two hours away. Yay for not driving all day!

    15+
  6. I had an ok week but Friday was a difficult day at work – I felt like I was behind all day and still had 70+ unread emails by 5pm. However, DS and I went to see WWE that evening, which was lots of fun. We had floor seats and DS could get high 5s and pictures of the various wrestlers. He’s taking a Philosophy class and we talked about good and evil on the way home. It’s interesting to hear his views. I spent some time yesterday shopping for a birthday box for a little girl who lives in the Arctic. This is the third box I’ve done and I’m glad to have the opportunity to make a child’s birthday a happy day. Dinner with friends last night – great food and conversation. I’m spending part of today catching up on work which will put me in a good frame of mind tomorrow.

    10+
  7. I hung out with friends who actually want to hang out with me yesterday, which was great.

    Oh, and I heard back from that person! Yay!

    16+
  8. Things are mostly flowing on the house – apart from exhaustion holding me back. I love the cream walls, and every extra foot of sunshine as the days go on. There’s a lot to do this week, but the handyman will be there – I’m hoping having company will keep me going.

    15+
  9. Yeah for the new paths.

    Unexpected happiness was Japanese take out dinner with family and granddaughters stayed over. Gray read me stories. Excellent enflection in the right spots. Looking for a good book for children, check out Miss Rumphius, story and pictures by Barbara Cooney. Winner of the American book award. Happiness is cuddling in bed with two darlings. That’s when the stories come out.

    11+
  10. Saying yes to potential is a good thing. Kudos. Very freeing.

    Sometimes when hubby and I look back on decisions we made we wonder how we ever had the gumption to try this or that. Then we remember the gumption came from not following any rules saying we couldn’t or shouldn’t try this or that. The world truly opens up when you say “why not me” instead of “I could never do whatever because it’s out of reach or that’s not the way things work.” Of course, we get a lot of life conditioning that says otherwise, but part of the reason I think the “innocence is bliss” thing rings true is because it really means not giving too much power to the negative messages and just plowing on.

    I hope whatever plan you hatch takes you in a fun direction.

    My fun and happiness this week was finally getting my bathroom painted. It’s been over two months since my reno started and nice to see it done!:)

    13+
    1. I laughed at your comment because after my first date with my husband (blind date – I was still in college), I told my roommate “This guy is going to make some one an excellent husband” and a few dates later when she asked me if I still thought so and I said yes, I found myself thinking “Why not me?”

      28+
    2. I think one of the reasons I tend to be good at making big stuff happen – the kind of things that a lot of people look at and go “Are you insane??” – is because if I have a clear enough vision of what end result I want, and I want it bad enough, then as far as I’m concerned the rest is details, and I’ll find ways to make it happen. I know my vision is a good one, and I trust my own capability to find solutions…mostly. And mostly, that’s been true.

      Of course, there have been some spectacular fails as well, and usually by the end of it I’m wiped out. And the end result is never what I started out envisaging, but I’m okay with that because it usually winds up being better. But yeah, “why not me?” is a good question.

      12+
    1. Boring is wonderful. You know that old curse, Chinese, I think: “Let your life be interesting.” It’s a curse after all. My life had been interesting in some periods, and I wouldn’t want to repeat any of them. Hooray to boring.

      8+
  11. We received terrible news about the health of a long-time friend this week (DH has stepped in as medical power of attorney, so he’s in the weeds on this), so I’m seeking my happiness in the things that I can control: pulling weeds so that the spring flowers will shine, decluttering and tidying our home so that DH comes back from his hospital visits to some calm, making progress on my knitting and only having to frog back to my lifeline once.

    13+
  12. I have been terribly sick all weekend and had to miss most of a conference this weekend, but dose myself up on vertigo meds and gave a talk about books on polyamory and how to create a community library. Yay!

    12+
  13. I’m almost always happy. That’s just me. There have been times when it was not easy, but my default state is happiness. It isn’t a surprise, it’s just the way I am.

    When I was younger, people would remark that I was always smiling. Not so much anymore. But I’m 68 (next week), overweight, diabetic, depending on a pacemaker, and I still think I’m basically happy.

    I think I annoy the blazes out of people as a result. Probably the worst times in my life is when I had to be not-happy because of others’ expectations. That stupid song? I worry, sometimes, but it doesn’t stop me from the happy.

    Because I’m happy.

    14+
  14. I already told this for Thursday’s blog, but I was very happy because I saw the animated Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. It’s remarkable, and a blast.

    10+
  15. I had a birthday. It was quite nice. The funny thing is that every birthday is different: I celebrate with the same people, but the themes seem to change. One year it seemed like everyone who holds me dear brought me cake. It made me so sick of it that I really don’t like cake to this day. This year was a food year. I have eaten more in the last 3 days than I have in a month. I am feeling a bit bloated. But loved 🙂

    12+
  16. The weather cooled down and we had some rain! The fires that have been consuming large parts of Tasmania are mostly under control. All good stuff. The rain was the best – such a beautiful sound when you haven’t heard it for a while.

    And my vegetable garden brings me happiness. Bottling tomatoes, trying to beat the lorikeets to the apples, freezing plums. Now that it’s cooled down a bit, summer is much better.

    16+
    1. Tomatoes. Homegrown tomatoes. Warm from the sun. Just the thought makes my mouth water! And it’s freezing rain right now outside in Louisville, which is pretty much the opposite, but a girl can dream, right?!

      9+
  17. New path is always good. So is old path suddenly finding validation.
    I’ve been making pre-made book covers for a while and posting them on deviantArt. But I didn’t do any promotion for them. A few days ago, I decided to post about my book covers on my website. And unexpectedly, several people said they liked my covers. One even said she might look me up for a cover, when her book is finished. It made me very happy.

    11+
    1. Kate, how does the ghostwriting work? Do the publishers give you a detailed outline of what needs to happen in the book or just tell you to write in the style of the previous author/authors and hit X plot points? (I think I remember you saying something about working on a YA dystopian but I could be hallucinating that.)

      I’ve always been curious because there are so many series for elementary-aged kids that are clearly “work for hire” but they all seem to fit and seem to feel the same in their tone and language usage. When I worked at the library part of my job was vetting kids books because none of the other librarians were interested in them.

      8+
    1. I love going to the V+A. Whenever we go to London I spend hours there. Lucky you. Hope to get to London next year.

      Have you been to the jewellery exhibition? Upstairs in a vault. Amazing pieces.

      2+
  18. A sudden left turn is always exciting. I’m glad you’re looking forward to what comes next.

    I went to see Turandot at the Sydney Opera House with one of my best friends, which was spectacular. I came back from my visit with another box of my books and now I have to figure out where I can put them. I may need another bookshelf, but I have more of my books!

    8+
    1. I love Turandot! It would be fantastic to see a production of it.

      And books — I decorate with books. I’m still working on building my library. I don’t want to understand why anyone would give up books.

      5+
  19. Shakespeare said (in Hamlet), “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Basically, attitude is everything.

    Good for you for looking at the theoretical bad, and seeing it as possible good, Jenny. You and Shakespeare.

    Small example from my own recent life. I was planning this trip to CA (a few days in San Diego visiting my parents on my way to a big Pagan convention in San Jose where I get to see my daughter, one of my best writing pals, and my Llewellyn editor, and people actually know my witchcraft books and think I am cool). I’d already booked the first two legs of the trip, but when I went to book the flight home from SJ, it turned out that they’d changed all the flights from when I’d gone last a few years ago, and it was going to be a 3-plane trip from hell. ARGH. Then I realized that if my coming home was already going to be delayed, I could stop off in Dallas and see a good friend for an afternoon and evening, then fly home from there the next day. Lemons, meet lemonade.

    My happy for this week has been prepping for the trip…which really, isn’t that happy, because I twitch a lot before traveling…but also anticipating seeing lots of people I adore who I hardly ever get to see.

    12+
  20. I am happy right now; my cat is curled up on my lap, I am eating the last of the frosted banana bars I made for an event at work, and I bought a new book this afternoon about the world of Middle Earth with artwork by John Howe (one of the artists who worked with Peter Jackson on the LoTR films). I got a little teary eyed when I picked it up as it made me think of my father, who shared my love of Middle Earth. I think he would have enjoyed this book too. But the tears were over soon, I just felt a connection with him as I looked at the book which influenced my decision to buy it.

    7+
  21. I had one of the hardest weeks I can remember, but there were also happys. The biggest was that my mother, who is in the hospital, is very obviously getting better. We think she can come home on Thursday.
    Big Happy #2 is my sister. I called her so many times each day that her whole family must dread the ringing of their phone. She provided advice, solace, comfort and an invaluable sounding board. She bullied the hospital into doing the right thing when they wanted to not admit my mom even though she was too sick to go home.

    Several smaller happys were the waitstaff at my favorite bar/restaurant in my mom’s neighborhood. When I came in after long days at the hospital they provided friendship, distraction, and ways to (mostly) stay on my diet and still feel pampered. They let me stay at my table long after my check justified it and even comped me a piece of pie on the night I needed to cry. And they weren’t offended when I explained why I couldn’t eat the pie.

    I’m happy that I get to come home for a few days and have lunch with a friend on Tuesday.

    And I’m happy that I have this blog. It has been a wonderful distraction. Thank you.

    10+
  22. Yesterday, I drove 3 hours to Cleveland to compete in a tournament and did very poorly. No pizza for me. Today, I slept all day, and then found out that my wife, who’s been up north taking care of her sick mother since the day after Thanksgiving is hatching a plan to be home in two weeks. Very good news!

    Now, I’m sitting here reading Argh with a cat in my lap.

    9+
  23. After a 4-month delay, they finally scheduled interviews for a job that (a) I am qualified for, (b) pays well, and (c) is less than a mile from my house. My interview went well (I don’t think I could have done better), so that made me happy. I count no chickens before they are hatched, but I am hopeful.

    The longer days are what really makes me happy though!

    12+
  24. I was in Norway (suburb of Oslo) last week for work. It was COLD (yeah, I know, big surprise) and it snowed every day. However, it was beautiful snow, and the trees were covered in fluffiness — it looked like a fairyland. Plus, the Scandinavians just know how to make this warming and welcoming (think “hygge”). Even with snow, there were candles in lanterns outside the restaurants, and inside lights were warm instead of industrial blue-tinged, lots of wood on walls and floors (Oslo airport even has wood flooring, which makes it intimate and QUIET). I found a great little yarn shop there and got the needles I was looking for (last set!).

    If you are a knitter and haven’t yet discovered the Youtube channel of Arne and Carlos, two delightful Norwegian guys who do all sorts of cool stuff, including being fabulous knitters, you should have a look. Also: discovered the Norwegian series called “Norsemen”, which was filmed in English and in Norwegian in parallel (!!) and is just a hoot, in spite of the, well, somewhat gory scenes. (They’re living in the year 790 AD and they are pillaging vikings, so what else?) Lots of funny jokes, like someone looking at a cloak or something and saying, oh, well, that’s just so, well, 770s…

    Ended on a down note because of my SIL’s funeral, but everyone, including her sons, were okay at the end.

    5+
    1. Two things I forgot:

      1. Here’s the blog for Arne and Carlos https://arnecarlos.com/blog/ (if you scroll down a screen or two, you’ll see a photo of them with the trees in the background all covered in fluffy snow like I described above)

      2. Norsemen is on Netflix for anyone who’s interested. VERY dry humor. All Norwegian actors but their English is very good.

      4+
  25. Two things I forgot:

    1. Here’s the blog for Arne and Carlos https://arnecarlos.com/blog/ (if you scroll down a screen or two, you’ll see a photo of them with the trees in the background all covered in fluffy snow like I described above)

    2. Norsemen is on Netflix for anyone who’s interested. VERY dry humor. All Norwegian actors but their English is very good.

    1+
  26. I had some expected happiness (dinner with DH & a friend Friday, the Edwardian Ball on Saturday) and some unexpected happiness (thoroughly enjoying the noise and general lunacy of the Edwardian Ball, including a band called Marquis & The Rhythm Howlers; also a pair of doves camped on my arbor for hours yesterday, I swear it looked like they were discussing building a nest there). The weekend was also productive in the publishing sense (two latest novellas published as e-books, updated e-books of two latest novels, and got the paperback assembly done for those novels, proof copies en route), which makes me happy.

    Plus it is sunny today, and my two paralegal colleagues and I are going out to lunch to celebrate my imminent layoff. It’s a relief to finally have that made official.

    4+
  27. Trite, but true to my experience:

    Nearly everything I value most in my life has come from having to take an unexpected step from the clear path I was cruising down. Somehow, when the path has seemed the straightest and I was feeling most sure I knew what the future looked like, that’s been when the universe has thrown up a road block for me. And at the time, every time it was scary. And at the time, every time – even when I was putting on my bravest-face-best-outlook for the situation – I would have preferred to just stick to the road I knew and was expecting in the first few stages of dealing with it. But when I look back, I point to those “roadblocks” now and think Thank God. It was always a stepping stone to something better.

    I’m of the belief that in the story of your life, you’ve just hit another turning point on the way to your happily ever after.

    1+

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