A Happy Life

I’m still trying to figure out the nuances of me.  I know that sounds strange.

But in fact, just the other day, I discovered that I can focus much better in complete silence.  It’s not that I didn’t already know this about myself; after all, I spent eight years of post-Secondary education in quiet libraries, but I’ve just recently learned to articulate this fact.  No wonder my study days in Mt. Pleasant’s Second Cup required earplugs.  How unusual that I never noticed this quiet=focus effect on myself.

I’m emotional.  I’m sensitive.  I see colours when I read words, especially people’s names.  I am a homebody.  I love to travel, often, but for short periods of time.  I have a semi-photographic memory, especially for the written word.  I am interested in real estate and architecture.  I have a spatial mind.  I communicate best through writing.  I only like camping if someone else is doing the work.  I love yoga and spirituality and self-reflection.  I need fresh air and an elevated heart rate daily.

These are all revelations that I’ve had in my adult life.  I’m 36 years old and I’m still figuring out me.  And the reason I’m telling you this?

  1. My blog is an extension of my professional self.  The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust and this outlet is how you can get to know me. (This is Me.)
  2. These revelations have affected my parenting, and hey, I like to write about parenting.

How has it affected my parenting, you ask?  Well, thank you for asking, you’re playing along nicely.  You see, as a teen I often overheard people talk about “figuring out who they are” and I didn’t quite understand what that meant.  I heard people talk about “figuring out who they are” at University, “figuring out who they are” through travel, “figuring out who they are” through sport.  I did all of those things, and yet I still couldn’t define myself, my role, my reason.  These revelations seem to have come to me later in life than most of my peers, or perhaps I’m just late in learning the vocabulary associated with soul-searching and self-contemplation.

As such, lately I’ve been talking to my children about “who they are.”  We’ve been chatting about things they like, things they don’t, things that are/aren’t important to them, and their hopes and dreams.  I’ve been trying to give them the verbiage of introspection, to open up their childhood minds to the language of what characterizes them, and makes them proud to be unique and special.  To be themselves, whomever those selves may be.

For now, my job is to give them opportunities to learn.  I see each exposure to something new as a chance for personal growth.  That’s why we spend our Summers traipsing around Southern Ontario and our Winters at every event within an hour’s drive.  We go to see monster trucks and rodeos and conservation areas and waterfalls and baseball games and theatres and ceramic studios and Teen Tour Band concerts and beaches and outdoor rinks.  We show them the world and try to help them figure out their role in this wonderful community of life.

I posted this on my Facebook Page a few days ago: “I really think a happy life is about balancing all of your favourite things.  Lower the stressors you have control over and prioritize the things that you love.”  And how are they to know the things that they love if I don’t give them the tools to discover that?

“Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good.”

And it seems to me that if you figure out your good, you will figure out your happy.



6 thoughts on “A Happy Life

  1. Alli

    I read a quote recently that said something to the effect of life is not about finding oneself, it is about creating oneself. I like that.

    • Yes Alli, I love that! A distant cousin, who is a minister, once told me that “You are made the way you are with your own unique interests and abilities, and it’s up to you to find them.” I like that too.

  2. Erick Landmark

    You must’ve been reading my mind lately, Ash, I’ve really been ‘pondering’, exactly why some are sooo happy, while others, who seem to have a wonderful, full life, chose not to be. Some expect ‘Happiness’ to magically appear. I really think that you must ‘work at it’. There is soooo much beauty and people, nature, so many Wonders around us, how can we not look around and Feel Happy?! It’s right in front of us, take a really good look, grab it, enjoy!! That’s my ‘sermon’ for the day, stay ‘tuned in’ for tomorrow I just might bore you with some details of ‘Happiness on the Farm’! My bed time, good nite, xo, Auntie C.

  3. Chrissy

    I also see colours when I read (or think of) words! Each letter has its own colour and then the combination of the letters in words gives each word their own distinct colour. I thought everyone did that, but was surprised to learn that’s not the case when Alex was interviewing a contestant on Jeopardy and that was her “thing” 🙂 My sister also has it, but we compared colours one time and ours are different!

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