Sunday, January 11, 2015

Choosing happiness


I am not, by nature, a glass half full girl.  I don't know why.  I wish I were.

They say (not sure who "they" are) happiness and a positive attitude is a choice.  At times, I think it is. Other times, it's not that easy.  I pretend it is, because what can you do?  Mope forever??

Don't get me wrong.  I know I'm kind, thoughtful, loyal. I'm just not always positive.  I can't say I'm always negative either.  Is there some kind of neutral middle-ground??

I have to work hard at happiness.   I've come to understand this not as a character flaw but as simply who I am.

There are different labels for this:  situational depression, ADD, ISFP, introverted.  It's gotten worse - this desire to be alone, this monochromatic perspective - as menopause creeps in.

It's a struggle, at times, to jump out of bed and say today's a great day.  Instead, I guess I pull the covers over my head and have to rally myself out of bed.

Eventually the day looks bright. It just takes some doing to get there.  It's a process.

In the end, by writing this stuff and sharing it, by working through that process of feeling nothing to feeling something to finally being grateful (does that = happy?), by just getting outside or calling a friend or hugging Luther, I know I'll get to that better place.

I write this disclaimer because so much of what I write about is seen through my cracked rose colored glasses. At times, I must sound hopeless or really just such a crab to live with.  I want you to know I'm well aware of this point of view.  This slant on how I'm living this life.

"This life" -- the life I lead now as wife/caregiver vs. before.  Before, when I didn't think much about leading life to the fullest, making every day a good day, when I felt the pressure of being happy... when the weight of someone else's happiness, comfort and frankly, just the day to day of being fed or cleaned up didn't rely so much on my shoulders.

It makes me feel cranky and selfish because... I'm not Luther.  I'm not terminally ill.  I can move my arms and legs and I can feed myself.  I don't have to worry about going to the bathroom or brushing my teeth or coughing/choking after eating.  My comfort level doesn't depend solely on others.  Right now, as I type this, he's downstairs by himself.  He can't scratch an itch, wipe his nose, get up and get a pop if he wants it.  (I'm going to go check on him now)

This life, our life, it's not easy.  It's sad sometimes. Heartbreaking, cry your eyes out sad.  It makes me tired a lot.  It sucks.

And yet, this life I lead now is a gift.  I don't think much about whether God brought me Luther, if this was meant to be, was it fate or serendipity or some higher power.  I can't imagine God intended for Luther to have ALS.  I think more in terms of the opportunities God gives us, the circumstances we face and how we choose to use faith.

This life I have with Luther is amazing and special and I'm taking this opportunity to learn how to choose happiness.

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