She has some great 1968 video of habited nuns walking around asking the random man-on-the-street (and woman, too) if he is happy and why.
It got me thinking, "Am I happy?"
Surprisingly, I have no hesitation in saying, "Yes. I am so happy." There is, as PG Wodehouse would say, a concatenation of circumstances in my life right now that should add up to marked unhappiness: chronic pain, financial stress, postpartum depression, side effects from medication, and on and on.
When I think about happiness, however, I can only say, "I am happy." So happy. How can this be? I think the answer, as the Anchoress also says, lies in gratitude. The list of woes fades rapidly in the face of my list of blessings. I almost giggle when I ponder how wonderful my life is.
Little joys and pleasures have become more acute: bulbs forcing their way through the earth. Warm fire. Colors seem more vivid. Comfort. Beautiful words strung together. A friend's encouragement. A brother's concern.
There is, of course, the children. They are a lot of work. I probably wouldn't be in all this pain without them. But I would be so poor without their presence and their needs and their gifts to me.
Then there is the Scientist Dad. There is so little left to hide from each other (although, in 15 years, God willing, I'll probably look back and see how far we've come). We've seen each other's darkest, each other's brightest. He bears my cross with me. And I hope I bear his with him. Sickness has made our marriage more real: The vows have been tested, are being tested. And they are our life.
And finally there is hope, which does not disappoint. I have hope of recovery, but I also have hope that nothing is lost. There is not a moment in my life that has been wasted or frittered--although I have tried my hardest to fritter! The time is flying by so quickly, and it is full. I am convinced that everything is accounted. All faults are forgiven and, like my tears, are nothing. All joys and good works are stored away for the Day of Rejoicing.
A life lived under Mercy is a happy life. I would not trade it for all the world.