this is one of those articles that arrived as an email attachment … you know the ones … the ones i usually delete :-) but this one lives to see another day. the author is unknown.
i’m adding a post-script … a very poignant, personal post-script that i hope will resonate for you and give what is written here a special significance.
We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another. Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough, and think that all will be well when they are older.
Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence and we must deal with them. Surely we’ll be happier when they grow out of the teen years.
We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation, when we finally retire.
The truth is that there is no better time to be happy than right now.
If not now, then when?
Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and to decide to be happy in spite of it all.
For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life.
But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start.
I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life.
That point of view helped me see that there isn’t any road to happiness.
Happiness IS the road.
So, enjoy every moment.
Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds, to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn… before deciding to be happy.
Happiness is a voyage, not a destination.
There is no better time to be happy than… NOW!
Live and enjoy the moment
when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, the doctor came out of the consulting room to give me the diagnoses. he asked whether i wish to break the bad news to her or whether i’d like him to do it. i chose the former, planning to gather the family together and so we could all offer mutual support.
she had worked hard all her life, scrimped and saved and went without, to the point that life became a journey of frugality and self-sacrifice. i can fully understand this, since she came from a poor family, had to gauge out a living and did have to make sacrifices. life was hard for her and she raised her children with determination and overcame the constant struggle to put food on the table.
at the time of the diagnoses, she was in a really nice seniors’ home and had put her name down for a particular apartment that overlooked the harbour. it had a panoramic view over the city and the prospect of living there pleased her so much. we had only just moved her in and it must have seemed to her that she had finally arrived at some glorious point in her life, when the family gathered to break the news of her liver cancer.
she took the news in her stride and asked “so how long have i got … two, three years?”.
“no, only three months” was the bad news we had to give her.
i remember the moment well … she looked away, almost absent-mindedly, paused a few seconds and said “and i was just about to start living”.