Christmas is over… so find your happy place.

So, the festivities continue… I am lucky enough to have four Christmases every year. My in-law’s farm, our family of seven, my parent’s house, and my ex-in-law’s. When the kids were little, they were in such gift-shock by the fourth Christmas, they couldn’t appreciate anything they got. Now that they are older, it’s more fun. We are on our way to my parents’ house for “third Christmas” today.

But my mind is already on next week. Looking for an agent (more on that later), doing my job (more on that too), and family appointments, etc. I have to stop myself to be present, aware, living my joy.

One of my big goals for this year is to live in the moment. Be happy, right NOW… and the next moment… and the next… I have been thinking all my life that one day I will be happy and appreciate my life. I will start to enjoy living. I thought, I will get married and live happily ever after… then it was, one day I’m going to have children and be happy, or one day I’ll retire and we’ll be free of stress and happy, we’ll be old and gray together.

Honestly, getting married made me happy, but it was temporary. My children give me great pleasure, but especially now that four out of five of them are teenagers, it often does not make me happy. I have a lot of stress, being an author, an agent and a portrait artist. I have to figure out how to be happy and stressed, at the same time. “Happy” is a state of mind, not a feeling. It’s an outlook-a way of positively seeing the world and your circumstances.

Yes, we will retire one day, and time flies over the good and bad, so it will seem like tomorrow. I know I will be happy, because I am learning how to be positive again. Those people you know who are always happy? They wake up and decide to be that way, everyday, so often that they probably don’t even think about it anymore. But originally, it may have taken practice, it may be hard for them some days to be happy in the face of their lives.

I don’t want to be old and happy, though. I’m not ready to be old; I mean, I could die any day, and I’m not ready. I want to have “spent” my life, really used it up. Enjoyed it, loved it, regret nothing.

I want to be so old that I get tired of life before I’m gone. I believe in an afterlife, and I know where I’m going, but isn’t it in our nature to doubt sometimes? At any rate, I want to spend the rest of my life being happy about living it. Whether I’m gone half an hour from now, or fifty years in the future, I want happiness and I am the only person who can give it to myself.

So, my wish for you all, is to find your happy places, and build your real life around them. Actually LIVE your life. Have a ggrrreeeaaaaattt day!!

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