“Why can’t I act right outside of a baseball game?” –Peppermint Patty
This time last year, Dustin and I were trying to decide if we would accept the offer for the Houston transfer. We had Thanksgiving lunch at the DuBose’s in Clinton, then set out on our drive to Houston. This was our trip to scope out the area… to decide if we liked what we saw enough to say yes to the deal.
I was not fun to be around. The further we drove away from Mississippi, the harder it became for me to even breathe. It all felt overwhelming and suffocating to me. I was snappy and argumentative to say the least.
We arrived in Houston. Something happened. We had a good time. I smiled a couple of times. We went ice skating. We showed the girls the place where mom and dad had one of their first dates. I was secretly thinking to myself, “Okay, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.”
Then we drove back to Mississippi and all of my emotions and sadness over leaving returned. When we walked back into our home in Dinsmor, and my Christmas tree was there waiting for me, and my house was clean and orderly, and comforting, and inviting, and welcoming, I again put on my frowny face and made it clear I didn’t want to leave.
We clearly ended up making the decision to move to Texas. And although I wasn’t thrilled about it, I really did find such joy in it. There are things I still don’t like here. I still miss the “look” of a Mississippi home, and a yard that is larger than a shoe box. I still miss the Natchez Trace and ALL the people I love. But I found some truly remarkable things here. I found more time to know my children… great school… great church… get to see my brother and his family often, etc.
But just as I waivered so easily this time last year at Thanksgiving when I walked back into my house after a long car ride home from TX, I waivered again this weekend. My parents came to town, and my dad just HAD to go and throw out that if we had just stayed in Florida, they were going to move there to retire. That’s all it took for me to think we made the wrong decisions. I immediately started plotting and planning a future (very near future) life living ideally on the white sandy beaches of Siesta Key in Sarasota. Because everyone knows that true happiness comes from a hammock on the beach, right?
This morning I have been thinking a lot about happiness. What it is, and what it looks like. So in honor of this Thanksgiving holiday…
… HAPPINESS TO ME IS:
being able to find contentment in every situation, laughter, books, eating good food, family, church, sweet teachers, my dog, solitude, music, writing, road trips, coffee, babies, Christmas movies, making hot chocolate for my girls, seeing my husband smile when he’s trying not to, finding stories that Emerson has written and hidden under her bed, hearing my children say they love their life, facebook, decorating and rearranging, shopping, raising the windows on a cool day, turning on the fireplace on a cold day, flip flops, summer vacations.
The list really could go on an on. I won’t bore you any longer. My point is, is that what have I got to complain about? I’ve got all on my list of what happiness is. I’m just like Peppermint Patty most days. I can’t act right out of my own environment. I can’t see past the end of my own selfish desires for what I THINK would be the ideal life. I’ve got a pretty sweet life and am so glad that God keeps reminding me. I just need to start tuning my dad out 🙂