To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy . . . is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
I’m struggling to be happy lately. I do think happiness is largely a choice you can make. And I’m trying to remind myself of that every day.
I’ve been struggling mostly because of an assortment of health issues of family and friends. Some issues are enormous parts of my daily life, and others involve more distant family members and online friends. The specter of hospitals, police officers, constant doctor’s appointments, cancer treatments, hearing aids, threats to self and others … Sometimes it feels like one bad news bulletin chasing another right into my heart.
So I try to remind myself of the good news: I’m a basically healthy person and have a family I love, a house to live in, food to eat, friends to email, and a laptop to write on. Thank god for that laptop. When life feels particularly awful, I feel lucky to be able to escape into my writing. Right now, I’m escaping into several projects:
* a work-for-hire photopoetry book for upper elementary kids
* two collections of short verse about two emotions
* a prose picture book about pirates–dark and funny, I hope
* a chapter book dealing with Goldilocks
* several found poems
* a terza rima for the Poetry Princesses (OK, I haven’t actually escaped into that one, but I’m at least thinking about it!)
Occasionally, things reach such a fever pitch with a health situation that the appointments and treatments take over life and it’s hard for me to get ANY writing done. But I feel lucky that, for the most part, writing offers me an escape from whatever life throws at me.