All You Can Promise is Love
Worried, that is the word of the year for me. I’m always worried, not for myself, but for my family. There has been adventures and great joy in my life in 2018. I have an understanding calm husband, a job I don’t hate, plans for the future, some may say I found the elusive and evasive state of happiness.
But there is always a nagging worry in my heart for my immediate family. We are very close and introverted doesn’t even begin to describe our social skills. We cling to each other rather than branching out our social networks. Family first and stranger danger are slogans tattooed on my brain.
Happiest when together, depressed when apart.
For the last 5ish years, I have felt some kind of pressure to keep my family sane, healthy and content. The older I get, the more I notice when my family is struggling or unhappy.
Once married, I developed the need to be in two places at once. Making sure I was there for my husband, yet not disappearing from the lives of my mother, father, and close younger brother.
If we are totally honest with ourselves, I think my family would agree, we each have some unique mental and emotional issue that we struggle with, who doesn’t? Struggles, both mentally and physically, are hard to balance when a piece of the support system (me) is always having to move away.
I feel guilty sometimes for pursuing my own happiness. Try as I might to console or give advice, sometimes all my efforts to share my joy fail. I don’t mind, I keep trying.
When my mother or father are chained to a soul sucking job, I try to encourage. When my brother is at a fork roads in what he wants to do with his life, I try to listen and not put my two cents in too much. If a member of the family goes down the dark road of emotional eating or self-destructive self-loathing, I argue for self-love.
I may not always be able to force happiness on my family, but I can keep love a constant.
I have been nicknamed the “other-mother” in my family (I don’t think they watched Coraline). Daily, I nag about health, exercise, going out and being active. Constantly suggesting new methods to try to bring my family some happiness. I figure, if it works for me, it should work for them, right?
I am convinced now that happiness is something a lucky few stumble upon. It’s not a marriage, job or location. I have to make it (happiness), every day from scratch. Accepting that some days will be sad, or depressing, frustrating and emotional.
Sleep, hormones and the context of our day can all fluctuate our happiness level. These factors affect my family but how they deal with them is out of my control.
I may not be able to protect my families happiness, but I can PROMISE them that they are loved. From wherever I am, whatever they choose to do or be, they are loved. A constant emotion, regardless or our happiness or misery. Love!
I am walking into the new year with a goal to never feel guilty for my own happiness. To protect it and be grateful for it. I may not always be able to force happiness on my family, but I can keep love a constant.