Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happiness Is...

...my husband accompanying me singing a simple arrangement of "Come Thou Fount" at Enrichment Meeting with only a day's notice to prepare even though I haven't sung a solo since college. And doing a good job. And remembering how much solo singing can be terrifying and therapeutic all at the same time.

...baking a loaf of banana bread (using the best recipe ever) for the first time in a year.

...bonding with a friend through a random music video even though she didn't know it at the time.

...making a pot roast dinner just for the heck of it.

...accompanying the most adorable 5th and 6th grade choir in their first concert of the year.

...talking on the phone with a good friend.

...helping my 5 year old learn to read.

...reading scriptures as a family on mom and dad's bed.

...feeling hope in the face of an enormous difficulty.

...teaching a piano student how to read the Circle of 5ths and watching her eyes when she finally understands it; seeing the "click" in a literal sense.

...reading blogs.

...helping my 4 year old write his name.

...reading The Mother In Me and bawling my eyes out. And loving it.

...knowing that although I have 30 emails to respond to and approximately 87 blog posts to read, my friends still love me and will forgive me. They will forgive me because they know I have found myself a groove of "living" that now takes up more time than usual. They will realize that although I love them, my children and husband are happier because I have found myself desiring to serve them in the last few months. I no longer cringe at the thought of housework (maybe still laundry!) or planning meals, and I enjoy helping my children. I see my life a little differently; I try to focus on what I am grateful for and I ignore the parts illicit self-pity. My depression episodes are getting shorter and shorter. The part that amazes me the most reflects upon the fact that "she who loses her life shall find it" and "serving others helps us forget about ourselves" and "somehow happiness is found outside of ourselves."
It's not perfect; I'm not perfect. But just knowing --just knowing --that I enjoy this new-found, old-as-time idea of service toward my family?
That is Real Happiness.

22 comments:

Alison Wonderland said...

And brownies and ice cream€, of course.

I've been too busy to blog much lately and apparently you've posted a lot. Thank you so much for the linky love and the kind words and the... anyway, I've read thrhough all the posts I missed but I'm only commenting here because your not the only bloggy friend I've been ignoring and I've got movies to watch tonight.

Leslie said...

Amen...I'm so happy you're finding your groove. :)

Ann said...

Good for you, Cheryl! Glad you're getting happier! :)

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I adore this post. I'm so excited to hear that you've found a good groove. Keep that up, and don't worry about us...we'll all be here whenever you have chances to blog. (Your real friends love you even without the blog, even though we totally love the blog) So focus on that real happiness, 'cause you're an amazing inspiration to me in the process. :)
PS-thanks for the bonding. Love ya!

Amanda D said...

Great post, Cheryl. Proud of you for really "living" and finding your groove. Send some my way!

Grandma Rozla said...

Cheryl, you are awesome. I love your posts. You have such a way with words and thoughts. The greatest blessing is the tender mercy's sent our way from a loving Heavenly Father! So glad you are receiving them :)
I love you

bythelbs said...

Yay for grooves! And happiness! See, you can do it. You can do it. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

This is a great post... Thanks! And I absolutely love the song "Come thou fount"-- It gives me warm fuzzies every time. And I have NO idea what a circle of 5ths is, but I'm glad some kid gets it. :) Like you, I've felt like I'm getting my mommy mojo back a little bit after a dry spell, and it's very rewarding. surprising, but rewarding.

Becky, I have a cat said...

(((((HUGS)))))

Susan M said...

You are so awesome, Cheryl. Have you heard Sufjan Stevens' version of "Come Thou Fount"? You might like it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1bSlS6OWTs

Sometimes his offkey singing can bug, so maybe you won't. :)

brenbot. said...

I just made banana bread on Tuesday!!

Cheryl said...

Bren-
Was it my recipe?? Probably not. Mine is all fattening and stuff.

Susan-
Actually, I really liked it! It was genuine. I like genuine.

Becky-
Right back atcha, babe!

Steph-
Ooh! Ooh! The Circle of 5ths is a musical diagram showing how all the 12 major keys are connected by intervals of 5, as well as 4 (if you go counterclockwise). I use it so my students can understand how musical notation is connected, how to figure out key signatures, and which order to go in when learning their scales.
Too much info?
That's okay. :)

Bythelbs-
I can do it! I can do it! And there's loads of hope for you. Wait. What the? You are already happy, you know. Notice I didn't say "happiness is doing the dishes the second they get dirty." See?

Roz-
I love you, too. :)

Amanda-
I'm sending it your way...right now...can you feel the vibes...?

Mother-
You are so awesome! I can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

Ann-
Me, too. Me, too!

Leslie-
I am, too! I like my groove.

Alison-
Hey, no worries. Movies are definitely a priority, and I'm not above grouping 4 or 5 posts into one comment. I mean, it's not like I do it ALL the time...okay, yes I do. ;)

Julie said...

Lovely post.

Happiness really is all those things. And it's also seeing a friend find that groove that we're all looking for. Thanks for the inspiration.

Cheryl said...

Julie-
You are the Queen of the Groove, child! When I think of put-together-really-has-their-priorities-where-they-should-be, you are one of the first on the list, you know.

Weatherspoon Family of 6 said...

Great post. It is so true, I always feel better when I serve others. Just a few weeks ago I was ready to tear my hair out... A new mother in the ward just came home from the hospital... I left my messy and dirty house and went and helped her clean and do laundry... when I got home I actually enjoyed catching up!

Cardalls said...

I am happier too when I think if housework (even laundry) and meals as serving my family. Everyone is happier when Mom loves to serve and my wonderful husband loves to come home to us all the time, but it makes it even better when the house is presentable (never perfect) and there is a good smell proving that there is a meal waiting for him! :) You just serve and serve and I'll keep coming back to check on you!

Lizzie said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned this yet: You talk of amazing banana bread, and yet, NO RECIPE?! Share, woman! Spread the happiness!

brenbot. said...

Mine was vegan and I used my bread make and it was awesome.

brenbot. said...

bread maker* duh

Cheryl said...

weatherspoon-
Awesome! Seriously, there's nothing like a good dose of perspective to make us grateful for what we have (especially our health!).

cardalls-
Amen and Amen!

lizzie-
I guess my recipe is just not that important to people, eh? Sigh...oh! You want it? Okay! I'll post it soon; by tomorrow for sure. :)

brenbot-
Yum! I want you to post the recipe because I am so curious to know what goes in vegan banana bread. And spelling typos are okay. I just realized I totally skipped a word in this post, but I figured I'd leave it so people know I'm not the literary genius they all think I am. *snort

Julie said...

Hey, that was really kind of you. Thanks. Thanks from an apparently very good faker.

Love you!

brenbot. said...

Yes I will post the recipe on my blog soon. Too bad I didn't get to taking a picture of the bread. I just ate the last of it. Maybe I will just need to make another loaf.