Today I watched the sun rise from a chair moist with dew. It wasn't the loveliest sunrise I've ever seen, nor was the wet seat the most comfortable place to rest, but I found contentment.
At my feet lay the goofiest dog I've ever met and a fat and mean cat glared at us both from the doorway. I'd just awakened and left the barn that we call home, leaving my children sleeping inside. The children and the barn aren't perfect, not by standards set by those who set standards about that sort of thing, but I wouldn't want it any other way. My children are beautiful, they make me proud, and our house might look like a barn on the outside, but it is clearly a home within.
The dog isn't the prettiest dog and has no pedigree. He's a neurotic part black lab, his family roots as diverse as my own. The cat was a stray, found in our backyard, who is too expensive for a cat and not even a very nice one most of the time.
My car is used and a lot of the things we own came to us second-hand. I am a terrible cook, but the cooking and the newness don't seem to matter to any of us.
We're not rich, we don't live exotic lives. Nothing about any of it says 'happiness' according to everything I'd been taught to expect.
And that was what made me so content. I guess I always believed every happy ever after has a handsome prince. I think I always thought comfort came from money, nice things, proving you were better--faster, stronger, more lovely, whatever.
I grew up with the notion that if you find the happy ever after, you live in a house with a white picket fence and a sports car and an suv, both new, in the driveway.
But what I realized? I don't want any of those things. That house? It comes with a mortgage and, once you've been paying on that for a while, taxes and repairs and upkeep...
I hate all of those things. I like my barn.
The cars are expensive--few actually have their cars paid off. My car isn't new--2004, thanks much--but I love it and I don't owe anyone anything on it.
Prince Charming? Well, I have two princes and one wonderful princess. I'm not unhappy without the prince and neither are they...so did I just want him like the fence and the car payment? Something I thought would make me happy, but I already AM?
So looking at the sunrise--which wasn't that pretty, since clouds obscured most of it--sitting in front of the barn filled with second-hand treasures, children who aren't perfect, with a goofy dog and a fat mean cat...
And me, not perfect either (I'm chubby, you see, so therefore should be unhappy, even though I eat what I want and have been fortunate to not do without for quite a while) and not rich or world famous...
Just a writer in Ohio living a very normal life...
Looking at that sunrise, I realized that I've been waiting for things to 'get better' or for us to hit that magical point where everything fell into place.
What I hadn't realized? That we already had it all and I am very happy.
Anyway, the point of this blog isn't to brag. The point is that everyone at some point forgets that happy isn't always what we think it should be. Happy sometimes sneaks up while we're doing other things, while we're planning for tomorrow.
In my case, happy is here right now. Luckily, I realized it and drank tea with the goofy dog and fat cat and watched the sun rise over the hayfield...
And thanked the universe for all that I ever wanted, but never thought to ask for.