What will make you happy?


Sharing an heirloom variety nasturtium flower from my vegetable garden with my granddaughter brought me great joy!

Sharing an heirloom variety nasturtium flower from my vegetable garden with my granddaughter brought me great joy!

My daughter is in town for two weddings. One has occurred, the vows spoken, the first dance danced, and the couple away on their new life. The other is this weekend.

In a quiet moment, I asked my daughter if she was happy. I was sad at the response I got but we talked about what to do to pursue that happiness.

Women have been slaves to the institution of marriage and family for thousands of years. The biggest change that has occurred in the past century is that women can examine their lives and ask themselves, or let someone else ask them, if they are happy.

If the answer is in the negative, women have the power and opportunity to change the course of their lives in pursuit of happiness.

There is nothing selfish or ugly about asking yourself if you are happy. If you are, wonderful! If you are doing exactly what you want to be doing, or are content being where you are, excellent!

But, if you are not sure, if you are feeling discontented, unhappy, or are in an abusive situation, it is time to ask the question and then honestly evaluate the answer.

I will not say that women have a right to be happy. We all know that is a pipe dream. Happiness is a fleeting feeling, one that eludes most of us most of the time. Yet, if we are not happy, women have the right to pursue happiness just like our beloved Founding Fathers expressed in the Declaration of Independence. They were so forward thinking that they didn’t even realize that that document included women and minorities. But it did. Just like the Bible speaking to and of man means mankind, male and female, equally.

Women are masters at martyrdom. We know how to suck it up, do what’s right, and meet needs right and left. We care for others, put the needs of others before our own, and neglect ourselves in droves. We are so good at it that we don’t even realize that we are unhappy.

What makes me happy? College makes me happy. Spending time with my kids helping them find their voices makes me happy. Nature photography and gardening make me happy. Having control over my own life makes me very, very happy. So I focus on those things. They are all challenging, which is a big part of the happiness factor in them. I paid a high price for the right and ability to engage in these activities. It was well worth it.

What makes you happy?

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