Is Life About Being Happy?

by Chrysula on July 24, 2012 in dreaming,work life balance

I have been on and off the road all month, for lots of wonderful opportunities and experiences. I am grateful for each of them. But right this minute, I’m tired, and I miss my family. I had a conference in Washington DC over the weekend and first part of this week — and brought them with me. I have loved every minute of it and will share more of what I’ve been learning later in the week.

However at one point in the weekend’s events, a wave of need for my kids hit me. I took off early to spend the rest of the afternoon with them. Their Dad had taken them to the National Gallery earlier. He’s an art guy and museums are his happy place. The children sense his love and wonder for art. It may not move them the way it impacts him, but they are learning and appreciating.

When they picked me up, I took a few minutes to introduce them to a handful of my friends and colleagues from the conference. I shared a snippet of what we’d been discussing on global poverty and showed them a map with colored dots each attendee had placed to show where they had come from. There were dots on almost every American state and dozens of other countries.

Afterwards I remarked to my husband that we’d both been able to share with our children, a slice of what we do and why we love it. We have our stresses, we’re self-employed and sometimes that is a scary thing. We’re raising a bunch of seriously intense kids. We’re juggling work and church and community and … You know. But we realized recently, we are living our dream.  And that is an extraordinary gift.

What I didn’t realize, was that the dream would be so darned exhausting. I didn’t realize I wouldn’t feel happy all the time. I didn’t anticipate how hard we would work or how much we would all fight and bicker on the hard days.

I’m learning life isn’t about being happy. I’m learning it’s about depth and growth and learning and struggle and passion. I’m learning it’s about stretching and forgiving and love. I’m learning it’s about something more than being happy. It’s about being utterly exhausted, knowing you gave it all you had that day.

Do you think happiness is the goal of life?






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Jeannine July 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Beautifully said my friend.

Chrysula July 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Jeannine, thank you! I loved every minute I got to spend with you this week. You are inspirational and so very real — that is always the best combination in my book.

Lu July 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I believe a lot of people seek happiness through out their lives, but finally find their way back to themselves, where true happiness lives.

Chrysula July 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I love that perspective. It can’t be from external things. For me, true happiness has to be through my relationship with God because that’s where I find the peace. And maybe when it comes down to it, happiness isn’t the right word? When I feel peace, calm, ‘right with the world’ — that’s when life feels it’s best. And I don’t necessarily have to be happy or my external circumstances be in alignment to feel that.

Reshma May 2, 2013 at 6:52 am

Today I asked myself the question – Is life about being happy?
It is not. Happiness is an emotion like other emotions we go through it and it doesn’t stay with us for too long. the important thing is to cherish each day and each moment and realise that nothing lasts forever and not place such a huge demand on being happy.
We can be whole by learning to appreciating all the challenges we face everyday and like you say “giving it all you have”

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