Friday, March 28, 2008

No Refunds

"Why do we have to believe something must change in a favorable direction in order for us to be joyful? Why do we often make happiness a reward, the bonus we allow ourselves to feel after we get what we want or as the result of doing something we believe is good?"
~Barry Neil Kaufman, Sonrise

That's a quote I've had in my book for going on 30 years. I come back to it every now and then when I need to be reminded that my life is what I make it. I can choose happiness. I'm not Pollyanna enough to be unrealistic - sure, there are hard times. There are things that knock the wind out of me, things that leave me crawling on bloodied knees in the breakdown lane of this highway, sobbing for anyone or anything to give me some relief. However, by and large, it's my choice.

Accept the unchangeable, and then accept that everything changes. The only constant is inconstancy. Rilke said, "Let everything happen to you; beauty and terror. No feeling is final; just keep going."

These are some of the thoughts that have helped me through this past year. These are thoughts I've leaned on often in my life, not so much as crutches, but as a sturdy oak after a long hike - the tree that's there when I need some shade and a bit of rest after some long wandering. I've come to realize that I'm just as happy on the hike as I am resting in the shade of the oak. Happiness isn't the reward - the journey is. This is what we're given. This is the gift - no exchanges, no returns.

Happy Friday, y'all!

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