A State of Peaceful Happiness

“Worse things have happened to better people.”

We used to say that in college. My friends and I dismissed anything bad that happened to us by saying, in what we thought was a funny way, we didn’t deserve for good to happen to us. We were and are good people, we were just preppy, fat, beer-swigging girls!

This blog isn’t anonymous. There are photos of me and my family, my name, where I live (not the street address that will cost you), etc. The lack of anonymity prohibits me, to a degree, from discussing certain things. For example, when I am stressed or troubled or worried about someone in my life. I can’t discuss it without telling that person’s story and theirs is not my story to tell.

A little background, my father died of congestive heart failure in 2005. My mother died of lung cancer in 2008 at the age of 68 and at her young age, it was an even bigger loss. My father-in-law died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. My husband and I separated in 2009. Deren went through some big time health issues in 2010. My siblings have moved, dealt with family and professional issues, blah blah blah. I have two teenage girls and being a teenager is tough for them and for their mother.

I did have a slight nervous breakdown after my father died but usually I do my best to look at my rough patches in life and think, “worse things, better people.”

I have been counting on 2012 to be the year that it all gets back on track. The year that everyone is in a good place. Where my life, and the lives of the people surrounding me, settles down and is figured out and then according to the Mayans the world will end, but at least we got everything in order before the bell rang.

The worst part about what is troubling me now is that it is happening to people I love. I think I have reached an age or a state of mind in the past couple of years that allows me to honestly say I would rather deal with life’s painful aspects than watch someone I love deal with them. That’s not martyrdom talking. I just know what I can handle and I can control how I deal with things. When a loved one is hurting, I can help but I can’t heal. I can try to fix things but everyone has to walk the coals themselves.

I am content. I have a job and thinking of finances doesn’t keep me awake at night. I need to lose weight but that is under my control and I have been quite lenient with myself on the weight loss front. My children are healthy but I fret about them because they are my children. (There is a family in our neighborhood that has had a son missing since before Christmas. Worse things, better people.) I am blessed. I am in love and loved by a good man. I am close to my siblings and have many good friends. I am content.

Content is a small and quiet word that Webster’s defines as “happy with one’s lot.” I am happy with my lot. In 2012, I pray that those I love can be content. Hell I pray that those I like can be content. I don’t hope for contentment for those I despise, although the despise list is short.

You know who I despise? Priscilla, my mom’s manicurist, who turned down our request to do my mom’s nails when she was sick and weak and needed a little something to buoy her spirits. Really? Who the hell does that?

“Hi Priscilla could you come do my mom’s nails? You know the woman who paid you every two weeks for years, who brought you a ton of clients, who paid for my sister’s whole wedding party to have you do their nails? Yeah, that one, could you come to our house and paint her nails? Oh no? You can’t? Oh, you’re busy? You will never be available to do that? Oh, okay, well thanks anyway.”

Sorry you have cancer but I’m not going to do your nails!

I despise you Priscilla. For the despised people I wish pestilence and locusts. No, I’m in Oregon, I wish carpenter ants and black mold.

I digress.

An Irish Toast To My Loves and Likes:

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

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22 thoughts on “A State of Peaceful Happiness

  1. acflory says:

    Empathy is a gift and a curse but it’s what makes /most/ of us human. I suspect that manicurist lacked any kind of empathy so we know what that makes her. Right?

  2. badfads says:

    I think, unpleasant though it is, that the painful moments in life define us to some extent, especially our reactions to them. That manicurist showed her true colors when she refused to show care for someone who was sick.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      You’re right. It was so bizarrely bad at the time. When I was thinking of this blog last night I was trying to think of people I really wish ill and she was the only I could think of.

  3. Mia says:

    I simply adore you, Maggie! I hope it’s “ok” that I read your blog… And, this Priscilla you speak of, yeah, she’s at the top of my list now too…not the good one.

  4. Brigitte says:

    Maggie, what a lovely post and you’re brave to share. As far as the manicurist, well karma, it is a bee-otch. I love the Irish Toast — beautiful and right back at you! Be well!

  5. First, that manicurist should rot in hell with infected hangnails.

    Second, I love that thought, worse things happening to better people. I’ll have to remember that one to help keep things in perspective. Being content is probably one of the best things one can hope for, in a good way.

  6. La La says:

    Seriously, karma is a bee-otch. I agree with Brigitte. It hurt my feelings just to read this. Is it just me, or does Priscilla sound like an evil name? Although I am sure there are some lovely gals named Priscilla out there in middle America…just none here.

  7. Simon says:

    I loved this Maggie, such a great reminder to put everything into context and focus on content instead of want (even if one of my other web pages up is boat trader). You are awesome and I agree, if there is any justice Pricilla has an STD.

  8. Ok, now that I’ve pulled myself together … great loves to you – 2012 will be a better year for many of us …. you included! Priscilla will get hers one day … the energy she puts out will come back to her 10-fold … thanks for sharing inner feelings – it’s cathartic … for you and others! We realize we are not alone out there with our experiences and emotions!

    Andrew Weil has a book out, “Spontaneous Happiness” which talks about maintain a state of contentment and serenity rather than an unrealistic state of “endless bliss” (“happiness”). I am “happy” to finally be contented and serene at this stage of life regardless of the emotional ups and downs that naturally occur in our lives.

    So to you I wish continued contentment and serenity ….


    • Maggie O'C says:

      Thanks Itty Bitty (I love that),
      I have heard of that book. The older I get the more I wish I could have had this serenity 20 years ago but I suppose it is something you have to earn.

      Happiness to you!

  9. I think some people have a hard time facing death. It may have been difficult for the manicurist to face your mom because it would be admitting the truth of the matter. That, or she’s a horrible selfish person. Either way, that’s not the way it should have gone down.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      I keep thinking about this and I’m with you. If she had just said, “I can’t handle doing that, I’m sorry I wish I could.” Totally fine. We would have understood but she was so rude about it.
      Thanks for reading.

  10. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said
    “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to
    her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

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