I just turned 47 last week.
Every time I look at those words, I think, “Wait! That doesn’t look right!”
It is hard to imagine that I am almost 50 because all those just a bit younger than me I still think of as “in their late twenties”.
Perhaps it is also because my mother still treats me like a child.
Ok, so maybe I act like one, but getting older does not mean you have to start “dying”.
She actually told me I should start dressing and acting my age.
“NEVER!” I say.
I even posted a photo with messy hair~ rebellion still lingering perhaps?
My husband and I are in a transition period of life, at least that is what he is thinking.
Personally I used to thrive on change and transition. We have been married nine years and are moving from our five bedroom city-ish home here in the Tiny Kingdom of Mt. Brook to a more rural, almost retirement-like destination.
It has been a hard one because honestly, this is the longest I have EVER lived in one place since I graduated from college. I lived in Montgomery for eight years but moved four times during those years, with a husband, two babies and a dog.
It was not until my divorce after another move (for my former husband’s career) to the Gulf Coast and two houses there that I moved to this home. I actually vowed I would never move again.
I have been here almost ten years. My daughter grew up here from second grade. She will be a senior. Yes, we are moving her for her senior year. Call me crazy but a “downshift to the country life” is just what she needs. You can’t express entitlement with mosquitos and bass! It is not her fault, it runs through the water~ some of the best in the country, U.S. that is.
When I was her age, I was really in the country- a self-proclaimed redneck. I loved everything about a small town, dirt roads, Hank Williams.
We aren’t going that far back into the woods, Tuscaloosa is a melting pot of small town people, professors, artists from the city, writers, photographers who have been there since I was a baby, students, grandparents, doctors, nurses, all living together in a slower paced existence.
There is a hint of that here where I live in The Tiny Kingdom, but the authenticity of it all is something this mound-like suburb can’t quite duplicate. Anyone who moved here from a small town knows it in their gut. The city folks who don’t understand why we are so “comfortable in our skin” probably never will, at least until they decide to embrace their mess. In the country, everyone already knows our messes and point them out at a younger age. Maybe that is what makes country folks so grounded. .
I sorta like that I got to taste the life here. I moved here for the schools and to be with my best friend who was dying of a brain tumor. She taught me there was more to life than pretense.
It cracks me up when people tell my husband, “You just don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about you! I am so jealous! You just don’t know what it’s like.”
Compliment or insult, we take it that we are obviously living life on our own terms.
THAT is why I have explored this notion of HAPPYMESS.
There is so much mess in every life. There are NO perfect families, no perfect wives, no perfect husbands, no perfect people. So why do we think we can pretend we are?
Who are we? Does anyone dare anymore to really discover that?
Or should we ask, “Who were we? And how did we become this way?”
“Who is defining me? Who do I want to be?”
Hard questions for LIFE.
Think of Martha Stewart. We all hate her because her crafts are so freaking perfect. We love to hate how mean and how verbal she is about her perfection. We probably cheered when her daughters turned their backs on her. But what did she do? She embraced her mistakes and turned out more laid back about her shortcomings and stronger than ever before! She is more celebrity after her MESS than she was before. And mostly because now we can relate to her!
I have a challenge for all of those who can hang with me.
Dig deeply into your messes and unearth the AUTHENTIC HAPPYMESS that lies just beneath the surface.
Why do we think if we don’t address it that it will go away? I know plenty of people who went through challenging things, who stuck together when others were saying, “How can you take that? Everyone knows.” I commend them for embracing and working through that mess, whatever that means to them.
Every person has a right and a yearning to be happy. We have been trying to be happy since our early days dreaming of birthday parties and holiday gifts and prince charming sweeping us away on our wedding days.
But LIFE has messes.
God has made every person with a unique set of fingerprints. Every person has a purpose. We find that our MESSES are the best places to find our MESSAGE to the world. We can help others through things that have hurt us.
As we will be moving to our new home in less than three weeks there will probably be lapses in the happYmess Series
and more on the HOW DO I DOWNSHIFT FROM A MESS to a happYmess homeLIFE.
I hope you will bookmark or follow along as I provide tools for unearthing YOUR happYmess.
It all begins in the morning for me with
1) a journal
2) a devotional to get me thinking on the right track and
3) a gratitude journal and some good music
4) and the action of free writing for fifteen minutes without lifting my pen.
You will be amazed at how much clutter you wake up with.
If you will let all of the clutter fill three pages of a regular sized notebook page without lifting the pen, just jotting unbridled thoughts until you hit the end of page three you will find not only clutter at first but formations of ideas that are sitting just beneath the surface, perhaps dreams you have pushed out of the way, ideas for things you can do for others.
Set your mind free!
Then as you start your day you will find that by the time you hit the ground running your mind is already on step 2~ problem solving.
Instead of remembering at the red light what you need to do, you have it out there and are brainstorming (usually on auto-pilot) stage two.
You will probably also find yourself venting to your friends LESS because you have already “gotten it out” and some of the things you built up to be so huge, no longer are.
TRY IT, this week!
Stand out there in your bathing suit girlfriend and toss the truth to the wind!
Let your soul set free and embrace your happYmess!
May God Bless your happYmess!