today i thought i'd just post about being happy. happiness can be so elusive, but once you grasp it, do everything in your power to hold onto it.
for almost 7 years i was stuck in a job that made me feel like i didn't matter. my ideas weren't listened to, my concerns weren't taken seriously and the whole morale of the place was low: backstabbing, gossiping and unneeded, uneven competition fueled by the boss himself. i was in a very bad place. very, very bad. one friday, nine months ago, my husband (he had worked there for about 5 years and wasn't happy either) and i showed up to be told we no longer had jobs there. at the time, it was devastating. in hindsight, i thank the Lord for that day.
since then, we have moved back home to beautiful, sunny california. oregon is beautiful, too, but i've learned i am solar powered. i need sunshine to thrive and grow. i am a delicate flower. (hehe, not really, i'm kind of a tom-boy, honestly.) we are close to our families again and really learning about some of them for the first time. we left california 3 months after we got married, so we didn't really get to know each other's families all that well. we are enjoying spending time with them and we came home to a wonderful new sister-in-law!
in the last nine months, my husband has found a job doing web design and i have had a chance to just breathe and explore myself and what makes me happy. turns out, i like being a housewife, who knew? i like keeping the house in order, geting the laundry done, running errands, planning dinner and making my hubby's lunch every night for him to take the next day. getting these things out of the way during the week gives us that much more quality time together on the weekends, and we're eating so much healthier. i think it's a shame more families can't operate like this. unfortunately, we won't be able to forever. i'm currently on unemployment and looking for a job, but it just hasn't happened yet. it will, i have faith. i think God is just giving me a breather after being so miserable for so long. i've needed it. i've needed the time to see the beauty in the world again. it really is a beautiful place, i had almost forgotten. and sure, you're gonna come across an asshole or two throughout your day, but when you're happy in your core, it doesn't affect you in a big way. as my mom says, "shake it off and step up!"
i've taken up gardening, which it seems i'm pretty good at. i love getting my hands dirty out there, pulling weeds, fertilizing, watering, pruning. and when you get that first piece of fruit or vegetable out of your very own garden, it's like a little miracle. i've often heard people say the food you grow is better than anything you can buy in the store, yep, it's true. it can be a puny little potato, but i swear you can taste the love and hard work in it.
another of my loves is volunteering. when i was in my 20s, i volunteered as a literacy tutor for a girl right out of high school. in the time i tutored her, she got her driver's license and a job! before her tutoring, she couldn't read the applications to fill them out. it was so rewarding. i was so proud of her dedication. she had made it all the way through high school barely able to read and all it took was a little one on one with her. she wasn't lazy or stupid, she just needed someone to believe in her.
in oregon, i was lucky enough to find the audubon society and get involved volunteering in their wildlife care center. talk about rewarding! i love animals. all kinds of animals. and being able to help rehabilitate them or raise them from nestlings or fledglings and send them back out into the wild to thrive and live a full life, there's just nothing better. and i got to work with raptors, big birds of prey: owls, hawks, osprey, we even had a bald eagle in there while i was there! the first thing i did when we moved back to california was to find another wildlife care center to volunteer with. found one! now i get to rehab water birds: pelicans, murres, sea gulls, herons and cute little mammals like possums, squirrels and raccoons. it's amazing. if i won the lottery that's all i would do, volunteer. 5 different places a week. i can't imagine anything better.
today, as you go about your daily routine, try to look at things a little lighter and brighter. it's cliche, but stop and smell the roses, literally. look up in the sky and watch the birds flying by. and if you see a bunch of bird poop on the ground under a tree, that means there's a nest up there. take a minute to listen for the babies and maybe get a peak at one of their cute little beaks poking up waiting for mom to come back with lunch. really try to take into account all the beautiful things around you. trust me, it'll make that guy that cut you off on the freeway seem insignificant.
what makes you happy? leave it in the comments.
i hope you have a wonderful, happy day. you deserve it!