this side of happiness

i’m lying there with a heating pad wrapped around my neck and some electroid thing stimulating my upper back and shoulders. i’m in physical therapy for a long overdue neck problem. i am trying to breathe in and breathe out while staring at the ceiling.
i’m not good at breathing in and breathing out when there is noise and music and chatter surrounding me. and while i have you, i’m not very good at the breathing in and out when there is absolute quiet.
so there.
the place is packed. it’s after 5 PM. men, women, and a few kids.
injuries, back problems, job related, arthritis, falls, car accidents. you name it.
a woman on the bed next to me is talking about how much she loves her job as a cashier. she injured her arm. so, she can’t work. but she loves her job. loves it. madly. she says she’s a people person. i can tell. she’s joyous and buoyant and filled with a spark. talk about a fireplug. wow.
she lives hand to mouth, she says.
paycheck to paycheck.
she pays her mortgage and goes out three times a month with her favorite person, her husband, and they eat at perkins and have a ball.
she loves her life.
she loves working.
she lives paycheck to paycheck and goes dancing, and bowling, and eats out three times a month – three times a month — and ‘wants for nothing.’

i know there’s a lesson here. i know it. i’m gonna find it. because that woman knew how to live life, eat life, embrace life, love life to the fullest. there was nothing about her that seemed sad, or burdened, or wanting. a genuine pure joy popped from her life.

i’m sure she has some bad days, some awful days, like when she fell and hurt her arm, i’m sure she said, “oh shit.” i’m sure she’s had some heartache and sadness and loss. you can’t live life and be that joyous and NOT have experienced pain.

but still … there was something about her, like she knew a secret, or had the answer.
maybe what i saw was contentment.
peace of mind.
no regrets or resentment. no anger or fear.

and there it was, right there … in my grasp.

Category: Uncategorized 7 comments »

7 Responses to “this side of happiness”

  1. Madge Woods

    You’ll probably see her again so you can ask her what her secret is all about.
    I, too am going to physical therapy for a foot issue and I am a talker. So far just bits and pieces about jobs and small talk. The first time I came without reading material. The next time brought the newspaper and my book. Since it is all about me and my foot I let the therapist and the machines do all the work and I relax:)

    I love how you take everyday events and make them memorable.

  2. Barbara@The Middle Ages

    I’m with Madge — beautifully written.

    As for the firecracker — I’d guess it’s in the “not wanting”. How I envy people who don’t yeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrnnnnn for something.

  3. Hollye Dexter

    i think maybe the secret is….that happiness is easy, but we, who tend to overanalyze everything and yearn for more and push the bruise to see if it still hurts and question why why why…..we make it hard.


    but who knows?

    maybe you just met the buddha.

  4. melody george

    It is in your grasp…youre last few lines said it all…there it is..right there in front of you…right where you left it !
    great blog amy…great great great…

  5. Monica Holloway

    Amy, I love you so much! This is such food for thought. I’m chasing happiness instead of just “being.” I need to BREATHE. I have everything I need – more. And Hollye really nailed it when she said, “pushing the bruise.” I want to stop that. You make me really happy, Darling, Wonderful YOU!

  6. Debbie

    People like that bug the shit outta me.

  7. Linda tears

    “This Side of Happiness”… this blog is why, Amy Ferris, absolutely WHY you have my heart. I love being in this world knowing you are here too!!!

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