When I'm happy, as I have been these past days (weeks?), and I mean "Whoa, I kind of feel high," happy, I get a little worried: Do I have high-fuctioning bipolar disorder? Am I mildly oxygen deprived? Do I have a tumor? I think the doubt comes from years and years of having not felt good. I'm feeling settled and productive and at peace. This can't be!
But I think (I hope) this go around it's just the result of postpartum hormones, which have always been kind to me, and my enormously pedestrian Happiness Project efforts, in particular honoring my need for a calm (read: tidy) space at home. The more I work the knots out of the tangled skein that is my home environment the happier (calmer, kinder, easier going, more engaged, more productive) I feel. I have a long way to go still, but we got through house and tree decorating so smoothly. I felt really excellent, with the music playing and the dinner promptly on the table and now with the dishwasher whirring.
Sometimes I marvel at the increase in self-knowledge and happiness I've experienced as I've grown older. When I was younger I think I pictured happiness looking something like this, a kind of idiosyncratic domestic bliss, but I couldn't figure out how anyone would get to happiness, whatever it looked like; it was like another country that I could see in pictures, but there were no flights, no trains, no buses, no roads.
But I guess you just put one foot in front of the other over and over and one day you find you're in another place.