Most of you know that my “word” for 2013 is HAPPY, meaning that my focus for this year (building on my 2012 word – create) is discovering the “happy” in my life and creating more of it.
Today I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that although there are many things in my life that make me happy, the one that is a constant, woven through all the aspects of my life, is “being useful.”
I AM AT MY HAPPIEST WHEN I AM BEING OF USE TO SOMEONE.
I haven’t felt very useful lately. With all my physical limitations I find myself on the sidelines a lot, watching instead of participating, being waited on instead of doing the waiting on. I am incredibly grateful for the help, but I don’t like being dependent. And I know I deserve it. I know I have given a lot. But it is not easy for me.
I was thinking about my sister-in-law this morning. Her husband has macular degeneration and is nearly blind. But he wants to be of help, so he’s figured out how to make coffee by feel. This results in coffee grounds in the coffee from time to time, but she just drinks around it, because she knows he needs to feel useful. Isn’t that darling? I just love it!
And, although my limitations aren’t nearly in the same league, I know how he feels. I am accustomed to being a workhorse. I am used to being the energizer bunny, running circles around people much younger. I am used to working through to do lists a mile long that make other people’s heads spin.
Not so much anymore.
But I need to be able to do what I can do. I may not be able to carry all the luggage, or carry the kids long distances, or put together a whole dinner party alone (at least not for now!) but I can help. Hopefully my limitations will not be too long-lived, and I’ll get back most of my energy and physical abilities. But if they are permanent (God forbid!) I’ll just have to find less strenuous ways of being useful. Because, as I’ve just figured out, my happiness depends on it!
Interestingly enough, I had recently decided that I need to channel my creativity back to my scrapbooking, which I have gotten woefully behind on. Not only does it play into “create,” from last year, but it is a useful endeavor, because it documents my family’s history, which is of benefit to them. AND I don’t have to be able to stand for hours or run up and down stairs to do it. AND it makes me “happy.”
I love it when things work out like that!