Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happiness is...

I was going to post this really cutsie little piece about things that make me happy and finding happiness in everyday life...

But as I walked into my kitchen I found myself facing this:

It left me pondering why so many marriages fail, and my heart was sad. Yes, THE SIGN MADE ME SAD. (Darn, this was going to be all about being happy!) I wasn't sad for myself, but for all those people out there who marry and hope their joy will last for years to come, only to have it crash down a few months or years later. Sure, maybe they're still married, but are they happy? (Okay, where's my box of tissue?) 

There's a reason that plaque up there doesn't say, "Happiness is marrying your best friend". Nothing is so constant as change. (Relationships especially.) We are always growing closer to or further from the people in our lives. The relationships we nurture, like a tender plant, are the ones that strengthen and grow into a great trees. Those trees can withstand all kinds of turbulent weather, but only if the plant is sheltered from the storm while young. 

My husband and I dated/wrote for two and a half years, but I didn't know he was a Yankees fan until we'd been married a year! That's not to say we didn't have a great relationship. We loved one another completely and shared everything, but we were still two different people. Surprises were inevitable.

As human beings, we want to be understood on a deeper level. We yearn for it. We NEED it. How easy it is to tread on someone's trust, especially someone who has opened their entire heart to you! There were times I wanted to walk (sometimes run) away from my hubby in frustration or anger, but we had a strong set of roots, ones that kept us firmly planted and committed to one another.

Those roots were more than a foundation of trust. When I married my husband, it was a commitment between myself, my husband, and God. The times when I've wanted to wring my hubby's neck or storm away, I had another member of our marriage to turn to, one who understands me AND my spouse entirely. He has kept us close, and I thank him every day for that. He has taught me that if a relationship is to succeed, it has to be about the other person, about how to make them happy. There are very few people who will not eventually reciprocate loving treatment. Even if we don't see a response, our focus becomes service, and service is the key to happiness. 

Oh, and cheese.  

So what in the world does that have to do with writing?

Happiness really is about the relationships in our lives. I once heard a very wise man say that love is actually spelled T-I-M-E. It's easy to get wrapped up in our careers or goals, but if we're really truly seeking to be happy, we have to set those things aside and make time for the people who matter most.

And now I need a piece of mozzarella. 

What secrets have you learned in finding happiness?


  1. My husband and I are still madly in love after 15 years together. He makes me laugh every single day. I'm very lucky.

    As for our blogfest, it's not too late to join us. I'll add a link to my blog post.


  2. Beautiful post! I agree that the marriage commitment needs to be more than just to each other. Including deity adds an additional dimension. It also helps to remember that when marriage gets tough, we're not alone!

    Enjoy your cheese. :)

  3. Lovely post! And a great reminder for everyone (*whispers* especially me today).

    I keep an old picture on my fridge of my husband back from when we met. It helps remind me of all the little things I fell in love with then and still love now. The reasons are still there, but sometimes I need a reminder!

  4. Lola--15 years is awesome! We're right behind you with 12, and thank you for the invitation!

    Emily--thanks for the support, and yes, my cheese was excellent. =)

    Becky--That's a great idea, the picture on the fridge.

  5. Beautiful words. I'm not married, but I hope that if I am one day, I'll be able to call him my best friend. There's a little something in here for everyone to take.

  6. Thanks for being the first visitor at our blog since we've returned. Glad you're back too and hope you enjoyed your blogging break! This is a topic that has been on my mind lately too. My husband and I have been married 8 and a half years. We've had our low moments. I think starting out is hard and I also think the first years having a family are tough. Learning new roles, learning to communicate expectations to one another and learning to deal with stress without tearing each other to shreds takes work. Anyhoo, it's been on my mind, not because of us-we've been doing better (also because of cheese...tell you about that later), but because many houses in our subdivision have put up for sale signs in the past year. Due to divorce. We live in a newer subdivision. All the families have built their own homes and all have had two young children. Sad! Thankfully, we have God to talk to when we struggle as well. Best to you! christy

  7. Aww! Such a sweet post, and I love how you related it to writing too.

    (BTW, the linky is working on my blog and I wanted to let you know.)

    Now I want cheese too. Hehe!

  8. My husband and I have been married for 26 years this week. :) We still are looking for firsts in our lives. In two years our daughter will be finishing high school and going to college...that year will be full of a lot of firsts. Two years ago we bought a Harley...We love going for long rides together. When our daughter goes off to college we are looking forward to taking overnight trips on the Harley. :) I think you have to keep having new experiences together to make a marriage stay fresh and happy.

  9. Sharon, maybe that's why we move so often--keep things interesting. Great insight there. Firsts...

    We're looking forward to our Harley days too--when the kids are gone and we can tour the US. I'll be the granny in pigtails. =)

  10. I loove that video. I wish more people found happiness in marriage like you:)

    BTW, congrats! I just gave you an award. Check it out here

    Happy weekend!

  11. Great post. June is 23 years for us and it's remembering that marriage is not about I or me, but us.

  12. LOL, you won't be that old. Moving keeps things fresh for sure. It leads way for lots of new experiences.

  13. I love my husband. I love our marriage. And in September we will have been married 40 years. Yea! Maybe taking a motorcycle ride, or a train ride somewhere to celebrate.

  14. Great post, Crystal. I have only been married 3.5 years (this time around!!) and have learnt from my past mistakes. Very happy now :)


Hit me with your cheese!