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2017-09-27 / Loose Ends

A happy life

Finding the bright side
Susan Nienow

I have read this “happy life” tip several times in the last few years, and I do believe it: Happiness is a choice. It’s not always an easy choice. For example, just yesterday I was weeding in the back bed, playing beat the clock to finish before dinner.

No contest. I didn’t finish before dinner, but I did cut down most of the Maximillian sunflower stalks so I can see the last of the pink hibiscus blooms. Rather than bemoan the fact that I didn’t finish, I decided to be happy that I will be enjoying those pink blooms the last week of September.

Today I went back to check on the remaining stalks and noticed that there weren’t any hibiscus blooms in sight. They are done. Am I still happy? I’m working on it. None of the pieces I read about this happiness thing mentioned how many times a day I would have to make this choice.

I do get quite a bit of mileage out of Murphy’s Law. That started many decades ago when I decided that the baby I was carrying would wear blue because I knew less about raising boys than girls. Murphy was right – it was a boy. Then I figured my second would be a girl because we had a lot of baby clothes with sailboats and baseball bats on them. Yep, it was a girl.

Murphy has been predicting a lot of things in my life since then. It helps lighten the mood when things go wrong. Like the day my car quit in the middle of an intersection at the other end of the county. Fortunately, it had enough momentum to finish the turn and ease off onto the side of the road.

Also fortunate is the fact that we have been paying for roadside assistance for years and I finally got to use it. After I called, I got out of the car and stood around for a few minutes, not really knowing the protocol for this situation. Since it was a very public intersection, I didn’t feel uneasy, just awkward. Everyone stares, you know.

Then a police car pulled over and a very nice officer asked if needed help. While it made me feel good that they were on the job, I was only a block from the police department. I decided to bask in the increased attention from the other drivers now that there was a police car on the scene. A happy ending. I had to work harder on that decision when we got the bill for the car repair.

I have learned that not everything has to make me happy. That would be impossible. But when there is bad news, I work at turning it into something positive. Our two tomato plants have made it through the summer and have yielded four and a half tomatoes. The half is a small one still on the vine but turning red. I’m happy because I am not responsible for feeding anyone with our vegetable production.

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