Tuesday, July 14, 2015

And that's where I begin.

It's Monday. I'm sitting here in my living room, after arriving home late last night from a long, 11-hour drive. The boys are still sleeping, I have a big glass of water next to me, and I'm enjoying the very quiet silence of the morning. This is my favorite time of the day. Whenever I can, I try to get up before everyone to enjoy a small bit of it before the hustle and bustle of the morning begins. And it's funny, I remember my Mom doing the same when I was little- I would wake up to find her having been up for hours, the gym, morning tea, breakfast, already checked off her list.

So I sit. And I think. And the thing on my mind most this morning is happiness. I've been thinking a lot about it- Hank and I actually had a long talk about the idea of joy on the way home yesterday. What makes me (you/us) happy? What makes us feel alive? Are we doing enough of those things?

Henry is in a place right now where he is acutely aware of his own happiness. "I'm not happy right now." "This is making me feel upset- I'm not happy with this." So I ask him, what would make you happy? "I want to play!" "I want to run outside!" And so we do it. It's as simple as that, really.

There have been many times in my life where I haven't felt happy. And although I can also look back and see specific seasons of my life where it wasn't a choice- hormones or chemical imbalances- I believe most of the time it was a choice for me. I chose to do things or be around things that didn't add to the goodness of my life. I would do the same things over and over, all the while saying "why isn't this working?" and expecting things to change. And it wasn't until one day I woke up and said "I'm not happy right now." And asked myself, "What would make you happy?" and did those things, that I understood more of how to get back there when I needed to.

It's a long road, you know, this happiness thing. And I remember reading something somewhere that was about the goal not being happiness, but wholeness. Does this add to your wholeness? Bad or good or terrible or wonderful. Does it add to the big picture of your life, the experience, the feeling? Yes? Well good then. I like that.

So what things make you happy, what things make you whole? What makes you feel alive? As far as happiness, it's my family, always. Being around them and traveling with them- seeing new places and that first excitement of a shared new experience- that's what I live for. Just waking up next to Hank and feeling safe, hearing the boys stirring down the hall- that is everything. And then there are my my soul sisters, the girls who have been there from the beginning. Traveling with them, sitting on a couch with them, just being in their magical, accepting, uplifting presence- they are my happiness. Being outside, hiking and exploring. Exercising and moving my body. Seeing new places with the people I love. A good book. A good meal. Writing.

The other day Henry was complaining about something, I don't remember what, but I told him that it was silly to keep complaining, when he could be spending that energy working to change it. And I thought about my own life, and how many times I could have used that advice. Life isn't so simple when you're really in it, but sometimes when I take a big enough step away, it can feel that way.

It's exciting really, when I think about being 33 and how I'm kind of in the middle of the really sweet spot. Enough behind me where I feel slightly experienced in how to live my own life, but so much ahead that there's a lifetime of goodness to look forward to. Isn't that such a gift? Waking up today and feeling like there's a whole day stretched ahead of you? What will we do? How will we fill it?

I hear stirring in Charlie's room, so I'm typing this quickly. My quiet morning time is coming to an end. How wonderful it feels to just share this river of thoughts in my mind with you, to empty it here to revisit later. Today I will work on my wholeness. I will look at the big picture and pull out tiny pieces of goodness, things that are happy and hopeful, and hold them there for a minute, and say thank you. We're building something here, and those are the parts I most want to grow. So I ask myself, what would make you happy? What would make you feel whole? And that's where I begin.


  1. Your writing is beautiful.

  2. So beautiful, Danielle. Such a wonderful way to start the Monday for me (and obviously for you, too!) Thank you for sharing such an uplifting, quiet moment! x

  3. I love that, working towards wholeness. Beautiful post, Danielle.

  4. I love this, it's so simple how we just push away what we truly want or need and disguise it with emotions or excess words. Sometimes it's just a simple, "I don't like this." and you don't need a reason why. It just is.

    Love your blog, and your writing!


  5. Happiness is something I am ALWAYS trying to dig deep for. There are things that make us happy short-term, but what's hard is staying happy consistently through those tough moments we have in our lives. I've been reading, "Talk like Ted" where the authors give you great advice on how to present something like the infamous TED speakers do- effortlessly and passionately. The author says, rather than asking yourself, "What makes me happy?" ... try asking yourself "What makes your heart sing?" It's another perspective of trying to find that thing deep down inside (passion) and staying true to it.

    So I have a post it on my computer I see every single morning that says, "WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART SING?" and I try to take a few quiet moments each day to answer myself :)

  6. This couldn't be more aligned to what we try to share each week over at Thriving Wives. Just taking the small minutes of the day to be thankful and always strive to find the happiness in life. Isn't it funny how when you take the complaining and negativity out of life it is the simple pleasures (waking up next to the one you love and hearing your babies come alive with the morning sun) that bring you the most joy. We try to remember that when stressing over the small stuff, heck, we even have a post about it coming up on Friday. Thank you for sharing, it was wonderful to read someone with a similar point of view!

    Strive to Thrive,

  7. I am working so hard on living in the moment and finding joy in the small things at the moment. Sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down with worry and forget that fun is what it's all about. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Shew. I never skip a post by you and I'm sooo behind on my bloglovin posts (like 300 to go through and read!) and so glad I stuck to my norm and started reading yours from the oldest! I needed this post so much! Dealing with a toxic friend and I had this very descriptive comment typed out about the situation - but basically its what I'm feeling and how she doesn't make me happy any more (nor does she make her own self happy - but that cannot continue to drag me down, can it!) and so - thank you for letting me get to that realization!!!