A few weeks ago, during the dark time, I had a sudden out-of-the-blue memory that I’d signed up for The Happy Book Mail-around. The thought that followed was “Oh dear God –  don’t let it arrive on my doorstep right now! If it does, I may not be able to stop myself from tearing it into shreds and burying the pieces soaked with my bitter tears in the back yard.”

Yeah, you could say I was having a hard time being happy. The world looked pretty dark and despite my efforts to be cheerful and stable for the sake of my husband and kids, I wasn’t doing much to push the clouds back from my own mind. I spent many hours crying in my van or in bed at night. I wanted to be happy, but I just couldn’t see the point.

Thankfully, the book did not arrive during that time. I’m also very relieved to say that “happy” seems so much more possible these days. Marcel is doing much better, and we’re all learning some valuable life lessons in all of this.

Today, in my efforts to reclaim happy, I give you this gratitude list:

  • Spring! How can I not be at least a little bit happy with all this cheery green surrounding me?
  • A refreshing visit to my brother and sister-in-love’s home in Calgary last weekend. They offered just the kind of uncomplicated love we all needed.
  • Soccer. I know at least one person who thinks I’m crazy, but I actually LIKE sitting on the sidelines watching my daughters play soccer.
  • Amazing employees. I had one-on-one meetings with my in-house staff yesterday and was reminded of what incredible, capable, and gifted people they all are.
  • Suppers that appear on the table without my effort. Marcel is home and he’s been cooking and hey – what’s not to like about that?!
  • My little studio/sanctuary in the basement. I’ve been finding little snippets of time to hide in it this week and OH how refreshing that is!
  • Friendship. It’s true, when things get rough, true friends show up, and WOW can I just say – I have some incredible friends! Both in-person and online!
  • One specific friend who offered to throw me a birthday/bra-burning party in a couple of weeks. How sweet is that?! (Yes, it’s my birthday on May 20! I’m giving you lots of advance warning in case you want to lavish me with gifts. Teehee.)
  • Books. I’ve read some great ones lately and they lend me so much comfort, sanctuary, wisdom, and strength.
  • Yoga. I’ve managed to drag myself out of bed and do yoga almost every morning this week!
  • My daughters. They have been demonstrating such incredible strength and resilience lately and I am so proud of them. Plus they’re funny to boot.
  • My husband. After all that he’s been through, he’s starting to worry about me and he sends me out of the house for bookstore dates with myself or to my studio for dates with my paintbrush. And OH MY GOSH he gives good hugs.
  • Bengal spice tea. Mmmm.
  • Some funky red shoes I bought at Value Village for $7!

  • Oh… and one more late-breaking addition to my list. As I was going through my expense account for my Chicago trip, I discovered that I’d been in Walgreens, getting served by JESUS and I didn’t even know it!

Well, that was definitely a good exercise, because I’m feeling happier already! You? What’s on your gratitude list?

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