Sometimes you're the windshield; Sometimes your the bug. Sometimes your the Louisville Slugger; Sometimes your the ball. Sometimes it all comes together; Sometimes you're gonna lose it all.
Over the years, this has become our family song. No matter which lyric fits the moment, it always makes me smile. It always puts things in perspective. Because life is just like that. There are lots of ways to say it. Win some. Lose some.
For some reason, though, I find it easier to accept that I'm the bug when things aren't going my way than it is to accept being the windshield. Or the Louisville Slugger.
Right now, things are good.
There's been a dry spell for a while.
But everything seems to opening up to new possibilities. Lovely Felicitous Providence as Gerard Manley Hopkins says.
Why is it so hard to admit that I feel happy? I can say I feel blessed because I have been greatly blessed. I need look no further than my family for contentment and fulfillment. The greatest blessing in my life.
But happy? That's a little scary. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it. I feel happy. And grateful. But I'm always grateful even when I'm the ball. I can always find the gift in the pain. What I seem to have a harder time doing is saying, yes, in spite of everything - in spite of the absolute horrendous suffering in the world. In spite of the uphill climb. In spite of the uncertainty. In spite of the fact that I keep trying to write the opening of my play and have yet to figure out how to do it. I am in this moment....happy. Not just fulfilled or content. Not just grateful or blessed. Happy.
I know happiness is fleeting but feeling it as I do today makes me realize how I've either denied myself this emotion or I've been without it for a long time. I frequently feel joy. I feel joy every time I connect with a dear friend or see the light bulb go on in the eyes of a student. I feel joy regularly in my memoir class. But happiness?
My son graduates from USC in about three weeks. I am proud of him. But this makes me happy. My daughter is slugging her way through the end of the semester at NYU. I know she is where she is supposed to be. And that makes me happy. Peggy has a new red car after chemo and losing her hair. That makes me happy. And I finally can admit that the theatre makes me happy.
Yes. I'm not tempting fate by admitting it. I'm not going to jinx it by saying it. I'm going to just relish in the moment. As they sing in the musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," Happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you. I went to the grocery store this afternoon and chickens were buy one get one free. That made me happy.