I’ve spent a lot of time in the air recently, in airport lounges, in restaurants and at hotel breakfasts. For the past seven weeks, I have spent four of those overseas, which is a lot for many people, but it’s especially a lot with two fairly small children. Much of that time I’ve spent in the company of two of my colleagues, and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about what’s important to us. It’s what you do when you’re together more than you are with your respective spouses!
One of my colleagues (and dear friends) seems to have many things sussed, not by accident but by design. He’s a long distance runner, in better shape in his mid-thirties than when I met him in his early twenties. He is organised, calm, gentle, side-slittingly funny, deep. He’s also dad to a two-year old and a loving and sharing husband. We’ve had a lot of time to talk about what’s working for us and what isn’t, and he swears, among many things, by Gertrude Rubin’s ‘The Happiness Project‘. So in between long-haul flights I picked up a copy of her book for myself and fell in love with the concept.
I worry too, like Rubin, that focusing on my own happiness may be a bit indulgent. Certainly, blogging about it may be. But I have just spent a long weekend with my parents, people who have never put their own happiness first, and they continue to pay for it. They pay for it in ill health, in stress, in not saying ‘no’, in weariness. I love them, but I don’t want to be them someday. I feel galvanised; life is too short to have it slip through my fingers in the rough and tumble of a busy everyday life. My husband and I feel, for a number of reasons, like 2013 is a year that has barely registered; where good times outweigh the bad but they don’t outweigh the times we barely remember. I want 2014 to count.