Choose to be Happy

To say this summer has been hectic is a gross understatement. The last few weeks have been the crap icing on the shit cake. So when my husband burst into the house on Sunday asking me to “pack our bags so we can get out of here” I honestly wasn’t sure if he meant ALL our bags – as in we are leaving Belize – or if he just needed to get off the island for a few days. “Are we taking Sabrina and Seth with us?” I asked. Knowing this would answer my question. I mean, if we are leaving for good – we’d obviously take the kids, right!? And the nanny??? “Just us for a few days” he said.
When we don’t take time to connect with the ones we love it becomes easy to forget why we love them. Kids, lovers, friends – all included. We forget how special people are. Even when they are right in front of us oozing specialness every single day.
I was a little bit worried about how our alone time would go. Barry and I haven’t had much quality time together in months. We’ve been side by side but not much face to face. I started to get grumpy this morning because Love is hung over form a much needed night of guy-football-booze bonding. And I want to be up and out. Walking around, shopping, and looking at people. I don’t see many people and I am an avid people watcher. Read – I secretly like to drink coffee on the beach here and watch the tourist stumble by in their “vacation outfits”. Vacation outfits are clothes you would never wear at home. It’s great fun. Anyway, I want to do things I can’t do at home. Barry needs rest and more rest and lots of lovin’. I want to have fun outside the hotel room too! I sat on the porch alone this morning beginning to feel I was missing out. Rum punch cruises going by that I am not on. Diving adventures leaving for the day. And damn, let’s go parasailing or something. I started to feel a little resentment coming up like throw up in my mouth. And I knew – that more than a rum punch cruise – I want to NOT feel like this.
Maybe Barry and I don’t’ have that much in common anymore. We like to do different things for fun. Are we growing apart? This is bad. I start to feel sad that maybe we are becoming more incompatible as time goes on.  I had to stop myself. Because the thing is if I keep thinking that he’s no fun – he will become no fun. So I stop. I remember how he held my hand last night and kissed my forehead at least every hour. Or every drink. I think about his honesty and integrity and how he makes life choices and I remember how sexy that is. I think about how he holds our daughter in his arms and reads her stories. That is really sexy. I consider how often we laugh together and have the same jaded sense of humor. Right now he is sitting next to me at the pool reading out loud a funny part from ‘Don’t Stop the Carnival’ and we are laughing about how it is exactly like our first experiences in Belize. I AM having fun, after all! But it only came to me once I let go of all preconceived expectations and focused on what is right in front of me; My dear friend and life partner!
Choosing to be Happy
I got un-grumpy by telling myself truths instead of telling myself wants. I want a Land Rover. The truth is I don’t need a Land Rover. The truth is it would be a huge waste of money and we wouldn’t even use it that much. I want a husband that is fun and adventurous. Who likes hiking and exploring and invites me to do outdoorsy type things with him. The truth is I love my relatively quiet husband the way he is. I love the way he treats me and our family. I love the way he treats other people. I love that his love for me is selfless. The truth is he IS fun. And the other truth is I get bored with outdoorsy things easily. The truth is when we are alone or together with our friends we laugh all the time. Not only is that fun but it is also healthy! The truth is I would rather be laughing with good friends than hiking, or stumbling drunk to reggae music on a rum punch cruise.
The truth is always better than the fantasy we imagine in our heads. The truth is tangible. The want is invented. And after all we’ve been through in our lives, isn’t it time we let go of the fairytale and rejoice in the reality when it comes to people and love? Damn Disney. We are not damsel’s in distress for crying out loud. No one will save us from the castle tower. Once women earned the right to vote all castle tower takeovers were voted out. Don’t’ get me wrong here. I’m a dreamer by all accounts. I often daydream. All. Day. Long. I will never stop imagining great things for my life or coming up with ideas to improve. But often we put onto others we love the responsibility we should be taking on ourselves because we are holding onto fantasy, un-real, expectations of those we love. I expected my husband to entertain me. Instead I entertained myself and he came to join me. I got want I wanted by telling myself truths and doing for myself what I previously expected of him. Now we can go on to take over the world, Pinky and the Brain style! 
I can note that it is currently going well – I mean I am sitting by a pool sans children on TripAdvisor’s #1island in the world. How could it possibly be going bad? We’ve dinned with true friends. We’ve made sweet love. We’ve reconnected with why we want to be together. Or at least I have. I’m not sure Barry has ever lost sight of why he loves me. I’m so perfect 😉 
Kiss someone you love today. Hug someone who you don’t want to kiss. Tell the truth. Be kind. Remember your Kindergarten class rules, follow them in your adult life. I’m going to try to do the same thing as tomorrow we go back to reality. Back to life pressures. Back to managing hooligans and entertaining the unreal expectations of travelers.
Big Love from Belize!

Recommended Reading: Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk

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