LIKE IT SHOULD BE

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Everything is as it should be. No matter how strange or bizarre, in the end, it’s right. It does not mean we are happy about the way our book of life is written.  Where is my shelf of bestsellers? My big house on the cliff overlooking the ocean? The hot little sports car and my horses?

I want what I want. To be richer, healthier, younger. I want my brother, a final conversation with my mother. I want my old friends to not live so far away. To live, period.

I want those things I buy to last forever. How many times do I have to buy a new refrigerator? Didn’t I just buy this one? Really? That long ago?

Somehow, it works out. It balances. You wind up in a place you never imagined being, but after a while, you realize it suits you.

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Good stuff can be subtle. Crises whack you upside the head. Hard to miss them.

Happiness is sneaky. It slithers into your world like a mist, gradually invading the darkness and filling it with sparkles. One day, you find you are singing as you go about your daily tasks.

“Oh,” you say. “I’m happy. How — when — did that happen?”

It’s never all up or all down. The coaster tosses you from side to side. You scream down the big drop and laugh as the chain pulls your car to the next peak. That’s the point of the ride, isn’t it?

I once stayed in a resort so far beyond my expectations, I was stunned. The weather, however, was hot and humid. We could barely bring ourselves to go out and do anything.

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The following year, we found ourselves in the most beautiful town on Cape Cod. We were near enough to the beach to see, hear, and smell the Atlantic. The room was horrible. The beds were hard. The bathroom was barely usable. But the weather was perfect, and the sun shone every day.

It’s okay to be sad. From sadness, we learn joy. We need darkness to understand light. (Remind me I said this!)


ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE, when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped. Or better. Or something else entirely.



Categories: Life, Photography, Travel

Tags: , , , , , ,

31 replies

  1. Wonderful words- sometimes when things seem to be going to smoothly I actually get nervous thinking that the bubble will soon pop, instead of just being in the moment and staying with it. 🙂

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    • Me too. I’m trying to get past that. It’s a reflex after years of having bad things happen. I’m hoping that at least as far as my health goes, I’m due for a run of reasonably good health. Hopefully, so is Garry. But at our age, it’s always something. that’s just the way it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In my experience, nothing in life ever does turn out the way you expect, which is a great source of hope when you’re expecting the worst! Mainly, though, I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t hit the rough patches, I wouldn’t have learned as much, and wouldn’t appreciate today’s happiness as much as I do.

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  3. I think that happiness is a work in progress. Even when my ex-hubby was kicking me out I said to my daughter that something good would come out of this – and it did – both my children are doing well at university which they wouldn’t be doing if we were still together. Not to mention actually enjoying life for a change. I don’t like being with negative people as they drag me down. So I work on being around happy people.

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  4. I love pictures of walkways in a forest. Years ago, when photo wallpapers were in, I had one just like it in our livingroom. It always made me feel good. I chose to be happy. Is everything always like we planned it no, sometimes its so much better.

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  5. “Life is a box of chocolates”. Overall, from day to day, I’m happy, very happy. I have every minute of every day free so when I’m forced to part with one precious moment because of someone’s stupidity or ineptitude I get cranky. I don’t want to become a volunteer tour guide at the zoo. Otherwise I’d have a schedule when I had to be there. This way my spontaneous tours are fun, unexpected and unplanned.

    Even in abject poverty I buy what I want and look forward to next time I have available money for toys. That’s what I call camera gear and software, toys. “He who has the biggest and best toys wins. If I don’t like someone they are gone from my life quickly because I don’t have to put up with them anymore. Work was always bad about crappy people. I’ve forgotten their names and faces, thank God! On with my wonderful life.

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    • You are right on target. The only thing I have to do, which I do not want to do but have no choice, is deal with my health. I can’t get lulled into not bothering to make appointments. I have heart problems, and I’ve had cancer twice. There are medications I need. No choice and if I don’t take them, I will die. If I don’t get my pacemaker tuned, I will die. When things are going well, it’s easy to not do this stuff because who wants to visit the oncologist or cardiologist? I sure don’t.

      My next camera — because I do love my toys too, love them too much but enjoy every minute of them — will probably be a weather-sealed Olympus OMD. I keep entering sweepstakes where the prize is $10,000 worth of camera gear and a trip around the world for you and your best pal (guess who?). You can thus properly exercise the new camera. I figure someone has to win, why not me?

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  6. I think ups and downs belong to life, otherwise it would be boring. Its the little things in life (like having the drainage exorcised) that make you happy. Mr. Swiss just said tomorrow is a sunny day so I said we could go for a walk. “Wait and see” was the answer “I don’t like making plans” is it because the plans sometimes don’t work out?At the moment have a blocked up head due to a heavy cold, but who cares, we might even share it – that’s what life is all about.

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  7. Yep, I agree. If you were happy every moment of every day, how would you even realize what happiness is? You have to know sadness to understand happiness, just as you have to have both light and darkness distinguish shadows and lines. Too much light, and you get nothing; too much darkness, and you get the same.

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    • I think it’s in our nature to find the bad stuff more memorable than the good. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m making an effort to correct that!

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      • I believe this is because (get this!) the bad stuff is exceptional.

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        • I think it’s because we notice pain. Can’t miss it. I’ve never had a calamity sneak up on me, but I’ve had happiness bloom behind my back. Maybe it’s just me.

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          • I think a lot of it depends on perspective. My grandmothers — both of them — lived through terrible times — between them two world wars, the death of a child, the alcoholism of a husband and his committing manslaughter and going to jail, health problems (one became blind, the other had severe heart problems) and on and on… Yet, both of them were happy women. I studied them because my mom was incapable of happiness. In fact, once my mom said to me, “You’re like your grandmother Kennedy. You just don’t care about anything.” She assumed we didn’t care about anything because we weren’t miserable. For some odd reason, our eyes were pointed forward at the next good thing, not backward at our losses and dreading the ones lying in wait for us. I don’t know why we were/are like this. When my dad died, the preacher (an old family friend who’d married my parents) said to my mom, “OK Helen, now keep on keeping on.” She was incapable of it. This man had achieved that. His own son was killed on the road 2 miles from their home on his way home from WW II. Imagine! The even couldn’t be “unhappened” and the preacher and his wife had to keep going. They had other kids, a calling they believed in, a future in which they had to live.

            There’s a lot to learn in the story of Shiva and how he carried around Sati’s corpse until it stank. Actually, that whole story has a lot of wisdom when it comes to dealing with loss and pain. I gained a lot from it when I had to contend with my brother. ❤ Hang in there.

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            • We are processing. It takes a little time.

              I had a friend who is no longer a friend who firmly believed that anyone who was happy just didn’t understand the situation. She was a miserable human being and spread darkness wherever she went. I don’t stay down, but I don’t bounce back as fast as I did when I was younger. Not emotionally or physically.

              Liked by 1 person

              • No, we get tired after a while and we no longer believe, “Well that awful thing won’t happen again.” Resilience is important, nonetheless. I am always bewildered by the paradox of people who believe they can avoid pain by never being happy or hoping for much.

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                • Many people create their own misery. They’re addicted to drama. They don’t feel alive unless something “tragic” is happening. I know people who have been in the middle of a crisis for 30 years. When I was young, my friend R got cancer. He was 14. Later, he pointed out I should enjoy life because one day, something REALLY bad would happen and I’d wish I hadn’t wasted all the happiness being miserable. I took it to heart. If my health had not taken so many hits over the past decade and a half, resilience would be easier. I have been physically ill so much of the time, on some level I’m always waiting for the next shoe to fall off. I’m beginning to feel better, at least less exhausted. I’m never going to be a frisky filly, but I don’t feel like the old gray mare anymore either. That is progress.

                  Liked by 1 person

  8. I was not very happy with the beginning of my book of life but I stuck it out and the plot seems to have gotten much better. I have fallen in love with a few of the characters and find there is a moral hidden away in there, somewhere, if one just looks deeply enough.

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    • Yes. Me too. And we all need to be patient as it rolls out. You don’t get to read ahead to see where the story is going. I have always felt, though, that we should get to take a look at the script before we have to play the part. I’m sure I’d do much better if I knew my lines.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another little gem, my love. The graph that begins with “happiness can be sneaky” is really GOOD stuff! Well, the SUN is out today and the weather appears to be decent. If I can pull my body together (This morning’s doggie cleanup was memorable but that’s on us), we’ll go out, smell whatever and take some pictures. That’s like it should be for us.

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