I made a list to remind myself what makes me happy. What makes me whole? What is it that holds me together in a day/month/year? It terrified me on completion of the top ten things to realize that my children barely made the cut. It turns out they aren’t the fibre that strings me up. Instead, these things were:
10 Things That Hold Me Together (in no particular order)
1. Playing guitar and singing. Freely. Without an agenda or pressure. Feeling the wind coming from my lungs and passing over my vocal chords and landing back inside my eardrums. Healing. Complete.
2. Biking, paddling, running, hiking. Feeling the wind passing over my skin as I move. Preferably next to my husband. Together. Side by side. Moving forward. Without words.
3. Music. Listening to songs that inspire me, move me, shake me, unravel me and put me back together whole. Finding new music that excites me. Finding new artists that touch me.
4. Animals. Simply. Resting their heads on my knee. Purring. Cooing. Mooing. Snorting. Furry beings that surrender themselves to my care and in exchange I give my whole self, in the present, with full breath and open heart.
5. Giggling with friends. Laughing until I bend at the middle. Bellowing so loud that heads turn in public places. Humour that makes my eyes water, my drink spit across the table, my pants need a change.
6. Food. Meals with family and/or friends. Plenty of food. Good food. Food that I have prepared with my own hands. Food that my children have helped me put together with chairs pulled against counters. Food that is colourful. That I can share. Food that brings health. Food that brings happiness (not always the same thing). A universal language and I am connected to the world.
7. Writing. Songs or poems. Words that find themselves through my fingers before my brain sees them and makes them crooked. Healing. Less alone. Connected. Guided. Grateful.
8. Feeling productive. Things getting done. Pictures painted in. Loose ends being tied. Puzzle pieces finding their way home. Useful. Food stored for winter. Chores complete. Rewards earned.
9. Wildness. Long, deep, high or heavy walks. Walks through trees, down riverbeds, through tall grasses, crawling under blackberry canes, over boulders. Walks through sand, Water lapping onto toes. With my husband. Or alone. Exploring. Finding new ground. Any season. Any time of day. Fantastic.
10. Movies. Two hours of commitment. Guilt-free. A dark cocoon that is the theatre. Holding you still for two hours. Your time. Alone time. Popcorn time. Stories are told. Feelings are bent out then formed and shaped again. Deep quiet. For me, anyway. I love them. Always have.
These children of mine. There are two of them. Glorious, happy, smart little exploring beings. They are the meteor that crashed down on a fine, starry night and the impact they have had is immeasurable.
I would not change anything for the world. They are the colour in my landscape. They are the sweetness in the air I breathe. They are joy incarnate. Now that I know what it is to have them in my life, I cannot fathom the emptiness there would be without them. They circle around me with tiny voices, waving little arms, smacking pieces of food and they are the entire basis of my existence on most days no matter where I am or what I am doing.
But they don’t hold me together. They never did. And they never should. Those ten things (and many others) are what I have to make time for.
Will you tell me something that makes you happy?