Article by Wendy McCance
Over the weekend it snowed. It was a beautiful snowfall. Big, fluffy flakes of snow fell and made the homes, trees and bushes look like they had been frosted. It was so quiet and peaceful outside.
Inside the house, I had decided it was a perfect day to use our crock pot. I spent some time cutting vegetables, browning meal and mixing ingredients. I also made a big pot of soup. The house smelled fantastic.
The kids were sprawled out throughout the house with blankets and books or in front of the television playing a video game. The kids were content and happy.
As I worked in the kitchen, I would peek out the back window mesmerized by the falling snow. It just felt like a perfectly cozy day. I said as much to one of my daughters. She just rolled her eyes and asked what it was about everything having to be cozy? She said she was convinced that I was happier by the those little things than anything a person could do to make a day great. I thought about what she said, and knew she was right.
We began a discussion of why that seemed to be the case. I knew the answer immediately. When I was growing up, my father travelled a lot for work. My relationship with my mom, dad and sister was strained. We moved several times when I was very young. I believe all of these events culminated into me relying on myself for any happiness I felt.
I used to read often. I loved the family stories set in picturesque locals with close family members, overly loving parents and a few loving pets sprinkled in. I felt that this was the type of life that would make me feel best. I dreamed often of having that type of experience growing up.
As I got older, I rode my bike quite a bit. I loved riding through the neighborhoods with the picture perfect homes and the well manicured yards. I would see the kids playing in the yards while the parents were outside gardening or washing their cars and my daydreams for that perfect life increased.
I was great at making friends as I grew up, but I never got too close to anyone. I was afraid to put too much effort into any friend because I didn’t want to be disappointed if anyone didn’t turn out to be a person of the type of character I hoped they would be.
It’s hard growing up. Kids do change as they grow and not all moments are all that great. Fights between friends are common and loss of friendships inevitable. I was sensitive and loss was painful so I kept friends at arms length.
So back to the discussion with my daughter. I basically explained that I began to depend on myself as I grew up. I knew I would not disappoint myself. I always did the things that I enjoyed and took nothing for granted. Seeing the beauty in the little things was something I focused on and drew content from.
My daughter said that she was the opposite of me. She is incredibly social and puts quite a bit of emphasis on her friendships and family relationships for her happiness. I am happy that she has close relationships and feels so much happiness from them. I am also happy that she seems to have picked up some of my traits. Quiet moments will sometimes bring her peace and a sense of contentedness. She by no means is as caught up in it as I am, but she seems to have found a healthy balance between the two extremes.
What makes you happy? What brings you those content and peaceful moments? Or are you happiest when there is a lot of activity around you?
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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Working on my own personal projects makes me happy. To see artistic growth in my own work. About a year and a half ago, I watched amazing portrait painter, Sean Cheatham paint portraits with a outstanding sense of warms and cools. I could not believe the clean colors and values he was making with about less than 10 colors. Since then, I’ve been practicing on my own and have really pushed beyond what I could have ever imagined. (kimberlymzamlich.blogspot.com). I was coached by fellow artist, Ron Velasco, who had taken Sean’s class many times. I have been taking screen shots from period films and have been studying how to tell the story thru lighting, warms and cools, layout, camera angle, emotion, what the director was thinking, was it successful was it not? I am gearing up to tell stories. The other thing which has made me stupidly happy is helping other fellow artists step up. I have been promoting the work of others and also organizing museum visits so that artists can meet and talk art and support each other. I will also organize drawing field trips at zoos, and natural history museums. I have done so much drawing and creating, that now I can give back in the form of support, advice, demonstrations. Currently I will be posting animal drawing lessons online. I want to help support the artists out here in Canyon Country to succeed with their own work so that they can grow.
Love this comment. Your artwork sounds incredible. Stop by and put your blog link on this blog under The Opportunity to get more traffic. I think you’ll get a good response. 🙂
I love the thoughts this post conjures up. What makes me happy? Holding my cat and listening to his quiet purr, watching the birds at the bird feeder, spending time in my garden, walks in the park, spending a quiet evening with my husband by the fire. There are more but I won’t bore you. 🙂
Love it. 🙂
Being with friends, being with family and being alone - just have to find the right balance!
Wendy, your childhood sounds a lot like my own… I became very independent and relied only on myself for whether I was happy or not. Like you I love reading, quiet moments with my pets or my grand-sons (daughter’s dogs..LOL). I love writing and photography too, but seem to have trouble finding time for those right now. I don’t share my writings with my family at all though. I did once and all I got was their criticism and comments about being so strange…LOL.
I love the quiet, don’t really like crowds, especially if I don’t know anyone in the crowd to talk to… 😀
It’s funny how similar personalities tend to find each other on WordPress. I don’t do photography, but I do draw. My immediate family has never read anything I’ve written. Honestly, I don’t think there is much interest. I have had some cousins who have read my blog though. Thankfully, I have gotten some nice feedback from them. 🙂
Well it is not being surrounded by friends because I don’t have any friends I have family and I am lucky to have such a great family so it is my family that makes me happy……………..knowing they are close by makes me happy………….
Family is so important. You are lucky to have such good relationships with them.
I am happy when I do things that make me happy. Writing, listening to dance music, cuddling my guineapigs, going to the theatre, the cinema, dancing when I can (that is hard with my fibromyalgia.) I love energy, noise and movement. I am not happy with much quiet as it’s not who I am. My day job can be very quiet and is hard to cope with considering how energetic I am and how much noise and activity I like to have in my life but at least I have money coming in and I am working hard to build my own businesses so I can do more of what I love, that is writing.
What is most remarkable is how you have been able to find a way to keep up an energetic feeling that makes you happy with the complications of having fibromyalgia. That my friend is inspiring. 🙂
Thanks so much. Fibro is certainly a challenge and trying to do a day job and get two businesses of the ground is even harder. Yes noise and movement help my energy levels and so does taking Kelp for my iodine levels to remain in a good place. I don’t sleep much, lol.
I don’t sleep much either. It’s the hardest thing to tackle since little sleep makes symptoms more pronounced. 🙁
If I slept well then I would like to get more sleep but as I don’t, if I go to bed at a reasonable hour, I never get deep sleep and wake up feeling worse than if I go to bed in the early hours and only get a few hours deep sleep.
I enjoy the quiet moments to having a lot of people around, unless it’s my children and their families but even then the quiet afterwards is something I relish. I came from a broken and violent home so kept people at bay, never wanting a friend to ask to be invited over. It kept me closed off for a good part of my adult life too and preferring solitude. I think for your daughter to be open and able to trust in her friendships says much about the safety she felt growing up in your home, what a great job you have done.
Thanks. The more you comment, the more I see so many similarities. It’s so nice hearing from someone who really gets that way of thinking. As always, I really appreciate your thoughts. 🙂
Sorry we have to share these types of similarities, but for me at least, I know they helped me to be a better parent.
Hi thr… I would just like 2 say tat u missing some of the most beautiful moments of ur life… Friends who r supposed 2 b closely connected 2 u…r kept at arm’s length just for the fear of betrayl/cheating/getting hurt.
“The greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.”
It is like not going on road fr the fear of accidents, It is like not eating food for the fear of food poisioning, It is like not going out for the fear of being lost, It is lik not sitting in Exams for the fear of failing.
Not everything in life comes with a negative end. For the fear of having some negatives u r missing the joy of positivity.
So, just try ones…shorten the distances…. break the boundaries … as they may restrict some good views, some fresh air, some fragrances from outside world.
B strong enough 2 experience all tat comes , and I m sure if u r good natured, kind & friendly u vil face more of positives than negatives.
U can also hv a few blogs on relationships & positive thinking on:
Thanks for the comment. I do have friendships and have had some great experiences. I have to say that I enjoy family the best though. 🙂 Thanks for the link.
yup,,,,family is best..but families r nothing less..
But, above all is do wat ur heart says 2 do…& Love what u enjoy…
Just Enjoy ur life to the fullest 🙂