The Year of Happiness

Every now and again a book comes along that is so very in tune with your life and reality that it just takes your breath away.

As some of you will remember, this is my dedicated Year of Happiness.  Right around the holidays I was hit with some interesting, perhaps even disturbing, news from some of my best friends in the world.  It wasn’t the most shocking thing I have ever heard.  In fact I think I was rather expecting it, had been expecting it for some time even.  But still, hearing it out loud meant that it was real and now some sort of action was required on my part.  But what?

In the meantime my own life was in turmoil, my husband and I had recently moved our family across three states, we were living in someone else’s house and finding it hard to make it our home.  I was struggling to find a job and wishing I could just write full-time.  Everything seemed messy and complicated.

And then I remembered, the point is to be happy.  To find joy.  To live fully and completely and to open yourself to the wonders of the world.  So I wrote it all out and sent it out into the cyber universe in the hopes of reminding others and myself – all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of one small candle! (Thank you Charles A. Beard)  Shortly thereafter I got my dream job and was able to start looking for my dream house.  Dedicated happiness was working.

Then I heard about a book that was launching called This Is Not the Story You Think it Is…  A Season of Unlikely Happiness by Laura Munson.  It was about the very thing that my friends were going through, a moment where that perfect couple, the one we all have on a pedestal, decides its time to come down and show us all that they are real people after all.  That moment where one person wakes up and realizes that “this is not my beautiful life” and tries to walk away.  I wrote to the publisher begging for a copy to help me sort out my feelings about this model couple suddenly becoming a normal couple.

On my actual birthday I came home from work to find an envelope from Putnam Books waiting for me.  I tore it open and sure enough there was the coveted book.  I began reading it just the other day and it has taken me places I didn’t expect to go.  I was really just looking for some insight into my friend’s life and how I could help them/cope with my own mixed up feelings but what I received was invaluable insight into my own life, my own state of flux, my own gypsy spirit, my own marriage and family AND a confirmation that happiness is a conscious choice to be made each and every day, no matter the cards you are dealt.

I am only half way through the book, so no spoilers here.  All I can say is that This Is Not the Story You Think it Is will be hitting stores April first, and even though I’m a lucky, spoiled blogger and got an early copy, I know where I’ll be that day and what I’ll be doing.  If you are human, come on down and meet me at the bookstore because this book is for you.

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2 Comments

Filed under Books

2 responses to “The Year of Happiness

  1. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thank you for the valuable recommendation.

  2. Here, here – I completely agree with your post!

    I am a kindred spirit. When I read Laura’s NYT essay a few weeks ago, I had tears streaming down my face. My life was at a point of utter groundlessness, and I was caught up in the whirlpool of suffering.

    A mutual friend lent me a copy of Laura’s book and I enjoyed my trip through its pages. It’s my favorite book of the year. And I read. A lot.

    Laura’s courage and presence blew me away. I loved her message that happiness, indeed, is a choice. She helped me leave my pity party and get back on my horse.

    I’m telling all my friends about this book, what I think is this year’s Eat, Pray, Love. (And can’t you just see the movie?)

    Yeah for you, Laura!

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