Life and Achieving Happiness

Earlier today I watched a TedTalk about happiness in life. In summary, Harvard University conducted the longest running study of 700+ men over the course of their life and studied what led those to have happy lives. (This study has spanned over 70 years!) Those that were happy were not void of struggles or trials but the common denominator was that they had surrounded themselves with authentic relationships and had a greater sense of community; with their friends, family and their surrounding community at large. I started thinking about that concept today with regard to me, my life struggles, my present and my future.

I am 90 days away from my wedding, from a starting a new chapter in my life. And although my life has been far from perfect or free from struggle and trials; TODAY I am rejoicing in those. I can so clearly see the beauty in my journey. And I somehow knew that one day I would have this kind of vision when I looked back upon the treacherous and long journey that Divorce has taken me on. Has it been hard – absolutely! The hardest. No sugar coating that fact. And it wasn’t just hard on me, it was hard on the ones I love the most – my children – which in turn added more pressure on me to get it right. This blog has been my therapy. I can look back and see every emotion, every valley I walked through, poured out into each post. AND now I can see the bigger picture – the 10,000 foot view and I can count the blessings that came from that arduous journey – the many life lessons that I learned and the wisdom that is inevitably gained by experiencing it.

What I am most proud of is that even though I had my moments of grief (and they were never easy) I persevered!!!! I overcame!!! One moment at a time. Some times I would take 5 steps forward and 10 steps back, in the beginning I probably lost more ground than I gained. BUT I never stopped striving for the life I knew I wanted – and I knew what I wanted it to look like. Looking back at all the pictures that documented all my adventures, friendships and family time – I achieved it – I have actually arrived! I have traveled all over the world (OMG too many places to list), I have surrounded myself with some amazing friends and friendships – always open to adding to my circle (I love people). And the cherry on top is the LOVE and PARTNERSHIP that I finally found. I just wouldn’t settle for anything mediocre or less than what I knew I wanted and my family needed. And to be honest, I knew this piece of my life (my love life) whoever it ended up being – I would have to fight for. Fight against what I had been programmed to believe was a normal relationship, fight against the guilt and shame of divorce and not providing my children an intact family, even fight against those few that for one reason or another didn’t support or want the relationship to move to the next level. I was determined because if you know Dean – his love for me and our relationship is worth fighting for.

So those who may think that my life is by happenstance you, my friend would be wrong. My life as a whole just doesn’t happen with luck – it is purposeful movement and decisions toward the goal I set way long ago in 2015!

My life, just like those men in the Harvard study will continue to have struggles and grief and trials throughout my entire life – That is a definite truth. However, just like those that achieved a lifetime of happiness, I will walk in their footsteps and embrace the truths that have been studied and proven. I love the relationships that I have and will continue to purposefully nurture them – they are life, love and happiness for me! I am ready to close this chapter of my life and begin a new one – one with an amazing man by my side!

Parting thoughts: Never settle….Deal with your issues… open to change even if it feels different, different doesn’t always equal bad, sometimes its just different….forgive often….embrace life – even the bad stuff, because that’s where the growth happens!

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