Posted on | August 8, 2011 | 17 Comments

I know what you’re thinking; I know what you came here to find.  You popped over thinking “Oh, Law Momma is going to be sad this week.  She’s going to be all woe is her but that’s okay because I totally pretend love her.”

But my sister sent me a book last week called “Hand Wash Cold” by Karen Maezen Miller.  It’s a Zen book.  It’s about, well, instructions for every day life.  It’s… amazing.  I am not a very Zen person.  Sure, I read Eat, Pray, Love and momentarily thought about finding a Guru.  Sure, sometimes I practice Yoga and sometimes I try to meditate. But I am not into all that new age crystal stuff with chimes and chanting.  I’ve never really understood it.

Until now.

Oh this book.  This wonderful, wonderful book.  It came to me like a life preserver, finding me in my darkest place and reminding me that I have the ability to turn on the damn light.

So rather than floundering around in the dark, I’m turning on the light.  I’m lighting some candles.  I’m changing my way of thinking and feeling and meditating on this world.  I have struggles. I have problems.  I have concerns and fear and crazy six-headed beasts of confusion following me around.  But you know what? They do not have voices.  They command my attention only because I take the time to turn around and watch them, to look at them, to fear them.

I don’t want to look at them any more.

I want to look forward.

I want to put fear in my past and focus on the joy in my future. 

I’m not foolish. I know there will be times when I will glance backwards.  I know there will be times when I wonder “what if.” But I am making a choice today to focus on joy.  I am choosing happy.  I am choosing to BE happy.  Because while there might be a lot wrong in my life, oh my gosh is there a lot right.

Like this:

And the fact that I woke up this morning and had enough money in my pocket to splurge for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut coffee from the downtown coffee shop.  And the fact that I have a job that pays my bills, a house that covers my head, and a yard that feeds my soul.  I have a life.  I have love.  I have more than enough reasons to wake up with a smile on my face and to stand up before the mirror and find myself, well, not lacking at all.

It is as “Judy” said in one of my all time favorite comments… sometimes, the things you love aren’t good for you.  And those things are being put away. I’m focusing on the things and the people who feed my soul, who strengthen my heart, who hear my cries and who carry my smiles in their hands, feeding them to me like tiny bars of chocolate.  I am focusing on love and joy and happy.

And so this week, this week that was looking so dark and frightening, now is well lit by the faces and the life-lights of the people who love me and the people I love.  Rather than focusing on what is dark, I will spend this week focusing on what is right: my son, my family, my friends, and someday soon, I hope… myself.

Happy Monday, y’all.  Take the time to choose happy, today… you’ll be glad you did.


17 Responses to “Choices”

  1. Jana A
    August 8th, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    Off to buy the book. And THANK YOU for this today. I choose happy. I choose it for you, too.

  2. Mrs.TrophyWife
    August 8th, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    And now, I must find that book. Oh, and no pretending necessary. I totally love you. Roomies for BlogHer12 perhaps?

  3. Adrienne
    August 8th, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    I don’t have nearly enough energy to pretend to love anyone. Ain’t nothing but the real thing, baby!

    I’m so glad the sun is coming out for you. Raising a kid with serious mental illness has pushed me to find my happiness in new ways and it seems to me to be as much a learned skill as anything. I’ll join you this week and turn my face to what is good.

  4. Mom on a Line
    August 8th, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    I love the new outlook. My mom always told me that your outlook on life is what makes it good or bad. Her philosophy is to always have a smile on her face. She says just that simple act can help her feel happier all day. Of course, growing up, I thought she was crazy. I know now that she was right! I hope you find it works for you too.

  5. Karen Maezen Miller
    August 8th, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    Monday is laundry day. Thank you.

  6. Laura
    August 8th, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    Karen I LOVE this quote “I’m focusing on the things and the people who feed my soul, who strengthen my heart, who hear my cries and who carry my smiles in their hands, feeding them to me like tiny bars of chocolate.”

    Absolutely love it. Thank you.

  7. Delia
    August 8th, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    First, it is ok to be sad/angry/hurt. What happened sucked and those emotions are part of it. Second, thank you for writing this. I may have to do something next week that scares me, and has made me want to be sad and angry. That won’t get me anywhere – thank you for pointing out that I’m the only one who can change it.

  8. Chunky Mama
    August 8th, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    Love this.
    Sounds like I need to get myself that book.

  9. Mrs. MidAtlantic
    August 8th, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    New mantra: Choose happy. Choose happy. I think I can. I think I can. Choose happy.

    After my cranky weekend, thank you. I am choosing happy this week.

  10. Anthony from CharismaticKid
    August 8th, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    So wait a second… WAIT… what are you gonna talk about now on your blog?

  11. Law Momma
    August 8th, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Anthony: I sincerely hope that I am more than just my divorce. I blogged for over a year before I got divorced and while it might not have been as riveting as watching a train wreck, at least a few people read then, too.

  12. aim
    August 8th, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    Whoo hoo!!! So glad you like it. I absolutely loved that book and probably could read it again…. Nice when you find words to speak to your soul.

  13. Jill
    August 8th, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    I drove to work this morning with tears in my eyes & a cry caught in my throat because my little baby boy is going to be 1 tomorrow…I am so proud of him…he has accomplished so much in such a short time (he is walking already!) & has such a huge life ahead of him…I get so wrapped up in him and trying to make life better for him that I forget about me…poor single me…and then I get to thinking how can I be better…a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend…and then I read your blog…and know, I already AM a better person. And the fact that I too have a job that pays my bills and a house that I own that covers my head. I have a life. I have love. I have more than enough reasons to wake up with a smile on my face and to stand up before the mirror and find myself not lacking at all. Thank you for that.

  14. Amy
    August 9th, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    If you liked that book, and you’re a mom, try her book “Momma Zen.” I’m on my 4th time, and every time is like the first…it sheds a whole new light on being a parent!

  15. Anon
    August 11th, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    Just wondering if you’ve ever considered Christianity? 🙂

  16. Law Momma
    August 11th, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    “Anon”: I am a Christian. I consider myself a practicer of Methodist Zen.

  17. Lyndsay
    August 15th, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    I found you through your comment on Charity Mom’s blog and had to comment here because that book has opened my eyes BIG TIME!

    Glad you enjoyed it too!

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