The Pursuit of Happiness

March 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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It’s literally written into one of the most important documents in history — we, Americans, all have a right to pursue a happy life. So we spend each day trying to live, chasing the dream or trying to figure out how to reach it or just trying to figure out what it is.  What is it that makes us happy?  It changes, as we all change, as time changes, as circumstances change.  We may reach some level of contentment and even satisfaction, but are we ever truly happy?

Some of us are, some of us are not. Life is unequal, even if we do all have this equal right.  To be happy takes a perfect combination of reasonable desires and expectations, hard work and a stroke of luck, it seems.  Being happy can be a fleeting moment, as all emotions are, but it always seems that good emotions are the ones that last for the shortest amount of time — you really have to recognize those moments and live in them.

Because the pursuit of happiness is just that — a pursuit.  We will forever chase this feeling, attempt to capture it in a bottle to hold onto forever.  We will remember the great times, and some of us will be lucky enough to be able to identify the happiest days of our lives.  The real lucky ones will be able to tell when they are living their best days.  The optimistic ones will say that today is great, but tomorrow will be even better.

Sometimes, you will get lost along the way on your pursuit, unsure of what it is that will make you happy.  Sometimes, you will have to let go of things to make room for better things.  Sometimes you will feel low, and you will need to feel low just so you can have that happiness high again, and have it mean something.

Happiness. What is happiness?  In bits and pieces, it’s smiles, it’s warmth, it’s hugs and kisses, it’s laughter, it’s falling in love, it’s accomplishing something.  These are all happy moments, but to be in a permanent state of happiness? Well, that is what the pursuit is all about.

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On Recognizing Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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It seems that the world is full of lovers on Valentine’s Day.  Everywhere you go you see men carrying flowers home to loved ones, lines out the door at cupcake shops and photos of gifts from significant others on Facebook and Instagram.  Added to the mix are those who hate Valentine’s Day for various reasons. No matter what your position is, unless you hide from society for the day, you will be confronted with it in some way on February 14.

Many will argue that it is a Hallmark holiday designed as a cash cow, and in many ways it is treated as such.   And many single folks will talk about how much they hate this fake holiday.  But truth be told, there is a long history to this holiday much like other major holidays we celebrate. I think the most interesting is the legend of St. Valentine, who was martyred for performing clandestine weddings for soldiers forbidden to wed.  Accordingly February 14th has been celebrated as a time to express romantic love since the 15th century.  So the history of this “fake” holiday runs just as deep as many holidays we observe as a nation.

As with any holiday, it is open to interpretation and observance can certainly vary, and perhaps if I was single, I’d think differently, but I feel like Valentine’s Day is a chance to tell the people who matter most to you how you really feel. So often we go through the day to day without expressing our admiration for each other, it is nice to have a day to recognize it. For me, it’s not about the fancy dinners.  It’s about knowing that tonight I will be with the ones I love the most — my husband and my dog.

To all of my friends and family, I love you everyday, and I’m sorry if I haven’t said it enough.  But today, I will say it loud and clear.  It is because you care about me, make me laugh, hold me when I’m sad, hug me when I’m scared, make me smile when I am clearly pissed, it is because of all these things that I love you today and everyday.

Happily Ever After

October 9, 2012 at 7:25 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 4 Comments
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First of all, huge sigh of relief.  I made it!  I succeeded in getting married!  As my last post may have suggested, this was no easy feat for me.  Tons and tons of stress in planning this day, this life, all leading up to this point.  And the truth is, the stress did not end for me until I was just about to walk down the aisle.  I stressed about things that were really important to me for the day, but in the grand scheme of things, wouldn’t matter.  I was mad at myself for what I was stressing me out, but it’s because I wanted everything to be perfect, like any bride does.  And it was, but not without drama.

The day before the wedding, my (now) husband got into a car accident.  Nothing major, and it wasn’t his fault, but it was clearly not what we needed.  The day before, we had a few last minute cancellations after we had already paid the venue — at automatic loss of hundreds of dollars.  As much as we thought we might become numb to the situation, we really didn’t.  And what really stressed me out was what every bride worries about — the things you cannot control: the weather.  I was unable to have the outdoor ceremony I had dreamed of, but got a window of time to take photos on the beach, by the water, so I was happy.

I really worried that I was going to get sick on my wedding day.  Most of my friends know that I throw up often usually when I’m drinking, but as I was lining up to walk down the aisle, a sudden sense of calmness came over me, and I think I know what it was.  Finally someone was directing me.  Finally I was not responsible for anything except being a good host and having a good time.  Being told when to walk, what to say, when to say it, was comforting to me after making so many decisions blindly on my own.

And going through the night was surreal.  It was crazy to watch every one of my plans come together nearly exactly how I pictured them.  I did my best to listen to the advice from former brides, to take time to take it all in, and I really did.  I didn’t drink too much and because of it, I remember each choreographed  moment and each surprise moment.  It was not a blur like I had been told.  I know a lot happened that I don’t even know about yet, and I look forward to hearing all of those stories.  But here are the moments I will remember:

I will remember looking into my husband’s eyes during the ceremony as they filled with tears.  I’ll remember the person who I saw most during the ceremony.  I’ll remember hearing the words I had read over and over again on the script.  I will remember taking shots of tequila instead of wine when we did the Jewish blessing.  I will remember the first dance, being introduced as man and wife, my best man and maid of honor’s beautiful speeches, my father’s speech and our dance.  I’ll remember my impromptu solo dance to Tom Petty’s Free Falling.  I’ll remember the most hilariously awful hora I have ever seen in my life.  I’ll remember the blow up penguin being tossed around the dance floor.  I’ll remember the wobble at the end of the night with my bridesmaids and bachelorette crew.  And most of all, I’ll remember the love that I felt in the room as my friends and family celebrated the next step in my life.

There will be more to come as I digest the fact that I’m really married.  But for now, I am off to my honeymoon and, for the first time in the history of Pushing Thirtyy, I will not blog while I travel.  I will miss this space for a couple of weeks, but am looking forward to coming back refreshed with stories from a far away land, and wedding pictures!

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