The sun is setting in a pink sky, the May breeze is turning slightly cool, and I’m sitting on my front steps gazing at the abandoned field just beyond my front lawn and reveling in this surprising truth that unveiled itself moments ago.
Why ‘scandalously’, you ask? Well, because it’s kind of a scandal to be happy in this day and age, isn’t it? What with all the crises surrounding us: wars, bombings, famines, rising seas? What with all the pressures on each of us to do and be something great or at least noteworthy and the perpetual realization that not everyone can come out on top of the heap? What with everything there is to worry about, in our lives and our children’s lives? What with that startling discovery of adulthood immortalized by the Rolling Stones, that “you can’t always get what you want”? Life is full of disappointments and trials and mini-disasters and some big ones. And, honestly, it’s not very cool to be happy. Not very trendy. Not very artistic.
But tonight, at least, I can’t help myself. I’ve been through my share of trauma in the past few years. My share of disappointment. And despair. And fear. Maybe that’s another reason this feeling rising in my chest feels scandalous. How can I be happy after all of that? How can I be here, tonight, joyfully keeping watch over the sunset as my husband, after a long day’s work, dozes on the couch? How did I get back to this place where ecstasy is as close as my front stoop?
I don’t know, honestly. All I know is, I’m grateful. Scandal be damned.
20 responses to “Scandalously Happy”
I’ve been doing a lot of research on joy for my next book, and girl, you just found it all on your own. Of that I’m certain. Congrats!
Research on joy? That sounds like a blast! I’ll be checking in to see what you find. 🙂
So glad you found joy! Hang on to it and savor the feeling.
Yes, I’m definitely savoring. Thanks for stopping by!
It’s funny how all the negative energy around us tries to zap our feeling of contentedness. And yet, in the end, we find a way to prevail. Perhaps its reveling in the simple pleasures instead of chasing after the grand ones that we find that sense of inner peace and happiness. Whatever it is, as you say, I am also grateful whenever I am graced by its presence 😉
It’s so easy to want to be somewhere else, doing something else. I love those moments when I can just sit back and say, “THIS is what I’ve been looking for.”
I’m so happy that you’ve found that joy on your front step. Savor it, and never feel guilty about it!
Hi, Kate! Thanks for your kind words.
This helped me today, Sharon, thank you. Lost a friend and our dog in the last week, and learned that my son’s bone-on-bone shoulder is not a candidate for surgery. So he stays on morphine and Valium 3x a day.
You are right. Joy is right here!
Oh, I am so glad it helped you. I know sometimes I’m afraid of expressing my joy because others around me might be hurting and it might make them feel worse. It does sometimes have that effect, but not always, I don’t think. At least this time it doesn’t seem to have done so with you. And I’m glad. It sounds like you’re going through a very difficult period, and you deserve every bit of joy you can find in it. I hope, too, that a solution will be found for your son’s pain.
Oh please, PLEASE don’t fret about it, Sharon ! Just let it soak in, and you’ll be able to know in your heart that you WILL recapture it. Dunno when, but just accepting means it will come back to you … And besides, expressing joy unfocussed is a truly wonderful thing; I believe it cannot but help someone …
Dear M-R–thank you!
How do you take a snapshot of happiness? You just did. Life is a struggle. Feeling happy is a victory. You win. Cheers!
Attitude is everything! Lovely post.
A well written reflection on the scandal of happiness.
I believe happiness is not so much something we should pursue as it is something given to us “from above,” something for which to be thankful. As we cultivate gratitude for the life we’ve received, more happiness ensues.
And yes, it is scandalous!
I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with pursuing happiness, as long as we’re pursuing it for everyone and not just ourselves. But it does seem that, when it arrives, it is much more a gift than an achievement.
What a thought provoking post and intriguing bit of writing, both captured in your sentence: “How did I get back to this place where ecstasy is as close as my front stoop?” My beloved Aunt Beulah modeled joy in the moment for me her entire life. I chose to ignore her example far too often, but the older I get the more I utilize her wisdom. I’m glad you found me and led me to your blog.
Thanks so much for reading! I’m glad I found you, too. 🙂
Hey, there is no sin in grabbing the “brass ring” – we are all reaching…
I love this post! I’m reading “Awakening Joy,” but I’m finding that I don’t really need the book that much. I have a lot of joy as well…despite trauma, setbacks, etc. A friend of mine took the course, so I am looking at the materials from it and thinking there needs to be a course like this for creative types and for people who have already awoken their joy and want to spread it. https://www.awakeningjoy.info/bookAwakeningJoy.html