Yesterday was a super, duper, really bad day. Nothing specifically tragic happened. I just could not get off the couch. My husband would pass by me, pat me on the shoulder, tell me everything was going to be okay and still I could not move. It was not a physical ailment. I was down in the dumps, depressed and discouraged. I periodically go through these mud holes. It may be a family trait, a weakness of character or maybe a gift.
Today, looking back, I would say it is a gift. If I said that to myself yesterday I would have buried my head deeper into my self-made mud pit and cried. But today, on the other side of melancholy, things look different.
Yesterday, as I wallowed in self-indulgent misery (I took no steps to make things better such as a walk in the fresh air), I thought about my life, my desires, my failures, regrets and the current state of my house. I reflected on the kind of mother I am, the kind I'd like to be and the kind I really can be (and have been). Through all this thinking, I figured out what really matters to me and what really makes me happy. And, as they say: "If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy"...or something like that.
So what does make me happy? Well, for one thing less time with my Kindle (see yesterday's post). At least a little time for quiet prayer and reflection is important. Good and honest friendships is another important factor in my sense of well-being (I figured that out while a friend listened to me go on and on about past regrets and future fears and we didn't even have our usual large glass of wine). Lastly, I need to write. This need needs more attention and so you see I've posted two days in a row.
Happiness isn't everything. Suffering will come too. Both are necessary to be truly alive. I do not plan to spend other day in a desperate mud bog, but I probably will be there again some day. Suffering gives me perspective. It helps me to see what's important and what I need to let go. It's not to be feared or avoided. Instead, it can be like a knot in a rope to hold onto in order to get out of the bog.
Then there's redemptive suffering...but don't get me started on that. I don't have time tonight. Little Bear wants a story before she goes to sleep. I hope I'm not too late. However, if you are interested in the topic you can read about it here.