Last night, as I finished reading my latest book (“Winter Storms” by Elin Hilderbrand) and placed it on the nightstand, I had a moment.
With Mike on my right, and Georgie snoring at my feet, and my body snuggled up for a good night of sleep, I thought to myself, “I am so happy.”
A few days ago, I read an article in Glamour’s “Women of the Year” issue about women and happiness (“My Dirty Little Secret: I’m Happy“) that touched on an important point for us girls. As women, we are often inclined to feel guilty when things are going well for us. We’d rather not accept or verbally affirm when we are truly happy. At least not out loud. And why is that? According to the article, there are a few reasons. First, it’s human nature: happiness makes us feel vulnerable, which goes against our basic survivalist instincts. Second, women especially doubt their happiness; when something good happens, our first thought is to chalk it up to a lucky streak, or assure ourselves that “it won’t last.” Sort of a self-protection tactic. And lastly (mainly, for me), negativity brings us together. It’s so much easier to complain talk about things that are going wrong when we’re hanging with our girlfriends, and commiserate over shared annoyances. In short: no one wants to hear how happy you are.
And that kind of sucks.
Well, I felt compelled to write today because the truth is: I am happy. At this point in my life, I am so happy.
They say that happiness isn’t getting what you want; it’s realizing that you already have it. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to publicly share a few of the things that I’m so, so grateful for, and I encourage YOU to do the same. For starters…
-I’m thankful for Georgie. When we brought home our little ball of fluff almost 6 months, I had no idea how much he would change my life. He makes my days brighter (not to mention everyone else that he meets), he makes Mike and I laugh, and he has giving me an idea of what it’s like to be a mother.
-I’m thankful for my relationship. Mike and celebrated our three-year anniversary a couple months ago, and I couldn’t be happier. Not all relationships are easy, and we certainly have our moments, but at the end of the day, I still am so excited to see him and spend time together. Mike, you make every day an adventure, and my life is so much better with you in it.
-I’m thankful for my job. For the first time in years I’ve found a job where I’m doing work I believe in, I’m good at, and I get to work with some of the smartest people I know. You can’t ask for much more than that.
-I’m thankful for where I live. It’s easy to take San Diego for granted, now that I’ve been living here for over 5 years (!), but the reality is I’m so lucky to be able to live here. This is reaffirmed any time we host visitors, which is another thing — I’m thankful to live in a place where people are so willing to come visit!
-I’m thankful that I live in a place where I have the freedom to write this blog post. I’m thankful for public outlets of expression.
-I’m thankful for my family. Despite the fact I live (physically) quite far from them, there’s never been a time where I haven’t felt supported, loved and emotionally close to my parents and brothers. I’m thankful to my parents for instilling family values in us when we were young that perpetuated these close relationships.
-I’m thankful for my San Diego family. Distance from home is never easy, but having a slice of “home” here certainly helps.
-I’m thankful that I’ve been able to dive back in to do something I love and get back on stage. And I’m thankful to have a support system that allows me to do it.
-I’m thankful for the adorable pumpkin mug I’m drinking out of as a write this (had to throw in at least one physical item… Thanks mom! 😉 )
-I’m thankful for anyone who is reading this post today, and has stuck by over the past several months while things have slowed down around here. Life has gotten pretty busy lately (see above…), and I’m thankful to the people who support my ramblings on this space.
There are countless other things, big and small, that I’m thankful for, but I think that covers the big ones. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, spent with people you love, and I encourage you to reflect and share…
What are YOU thankful for? Use the hashtag #happygirlgratitude to share!