I’m reading ‘Gift From The Sea‘ right now (I’m on a roll with the self help books apparently?), and it has gotten me thinking about what makes ME happy. What are the conditions and moments that are necessary for myself to be relaxed and content inside? As a mom, most of my time and thoughts tend to be focused only on my children. They demand every second of my attention most of the time and it can be hard to find the moments that I need as a person to fulfill the real me, the person inside that no one sees but me. I know we’re beyond saying that being a mother and wife should be fulfilling enough, right? All of us have an inner person that is the essential us, and this inner person is important no matter WHO we are or who we love. Regardless of what roles we play in our life, I think it’s important to find that part of us that makes us smile.
If my mind and soul were a room, it would be the guest room of my grandparents house growing up. We called it the blue room and it sat on the second floor of their beach house. The window faced the harbor, it’s sheer white curtains always fluttering in and out with the breeze. My family owned a deep sea fishing business growing up, so a lot of my memories stem from that. I can hear the boasts starting up in the morning from that window, you could always tell the time of day by those boats. They came and went like clockwork and regulated a lot of my life. I can hear the seagulls, the waves on the beach, and the smell of the sea in the air. This room, this simple and old fashioned room, is my happy place.
I can imagine laying on the bed with a good book. This one particular summer I decided to try out all the classics at the library. Piles and piles of books came home with me, that summer still smells like old book bindings and musty pages in my mind. I think I love the thought of this time, between my junior and senior year of college, because it was one of the most easy going times of my life. I was old enough to be independent, but young enough to still come home and be taken care of. I could go to work and come home and be completely free with my time. I’m someone who relishes being alone. It’s a balm to my soul to have time to myself, to have no thoughts but my own, to hear no voices but the one in my own head. I could read all I want and not be interrupted, I could dictate my time and schedule to my needs. It was a moment in time that marked the end of my childhood and the beginning of adulthood.
Today my happy place is the same, yet different. I have more versions of what makes me content, and they are all special in their own way. Spending time alone with my husband, cuddling with my children at bedtime, time spent laughing with friends. All of these bring a smile to my face for different reasons. Yet…I still crave time alone. Moments where I can write without interruption, spilling my thoughts out and organizing them into a message I’d like to share. Moments where I can read for as long as I want, without thought of time or obligation. Moments were the course of my day is decided entirely by me, where I can choose where to go and what to do. I don’t have to worry about making anyone else happy but MYSELF. I’m lucky enough that I get these moments more now as my kids have gotten a little older than I have in the past. I need them. I need them to survive, to fill up my soul and create a balance between my inner self and the world. It makes me a better mom and wife, sister and friend, when I can steal these little snippets of time to recharge.
Alone time is my happy place. Reading is my happy place. Writing is my happy place. Without it I would probably go crazy. I think so many people are made happier among others, but I’ve always been one that is content alone. This can make me seem a loner, or a recluse sometimes, but I love being in my home surrounded by my things. My house is set up with everything and everyone I love, so why leave? I can stay home, surrounded by my books and sentimental things, and just be me. This house, these people I call family, they are my happy place.