Happiness realized is the best feeling ever, it feels as if you've just learned to breathe all over again. Once realized, however, we begin to fear losing it. So in order to prepare ourselves for its inevitable departure, we lower its value by downplaying it, changing the subject and, in my case, sarcastically quipping it away. And once lowered, we do not fear its loss as deeply; and we also do not feel its resonance as fully.
So, with as little irony, sarcasm and adorable cleverness as I can muster I will take a moment to recognize what is going well.
I've lost five pounds.
I am employed in the field I've always wanted to work in, not in the job I originally envisioned, but lucky to not have to have something to fall back on.
Teenager #1 has expressed genuine appreciation for little and big things with more frequency.
I love my dog.
I have some kick-ass friends.
I enjoy writing.
(It's so hard not to make fun of myself right now)
Husband still makes me laugh after 19+ years.
Both cars are paid off.
I started running this summer, and I like it.
Teenager #2 did the dishes last week.
(Almost impossible not to comment on all of the other things he didn't do)
The weather's been really nice this summer.
My extended family, complex and, at times Shakespearean, are healthy and still talking to each other.
(Hello Fate, tempted yet)
I've had some really good peaches this summer.
There are more good things, I'm sure of it, but I am feeling far too extravagant now and the urge to mock myself knowingly in order to connect and ingratiate myself to you is overwhelmingly irresistible. Also, my fear of destroying all that is good by appreciating it is censoring me. And none of what I listed is earth-shattering or deserves to be on a poster superimposed over a sunset by the sea. All of them do, however, make me smile and breathe a little easier and center my world to allow me space for the perspective and point of view to tackle the complex, and at times Shakespearean, stuff; the stuff that we need to laugh at so we don't crumble.
Challenging bad shitty things are going to keep happening. So there is nothing wrong or selfish or arrogant in enjoying a good peach and existing in the pure joy of that moment. Enjoying the good stuff doesn't make the bad stuff happen, it makes the bad stuff endurable.
So, dare to eat a peach Alfred J. Prufrock, and don't just eat it, enjoy it.