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Happiness Is…

During Spring 2011, our first at the Rock House, I worried to Christian:

“I think something’s wrong with me. I find myself staring into the woods for long spells. I’m not even thinking of anything…just staring at birds, squirrels, trees, leaves, nothing. For hours.”

“You know what that’s called?” He asked.

I stared blankly at him.

“Happiness.”

Rock House in Winter

Hmph. Interesting.

I guess I would draw the old “Happiness Is…” naked cartoon characters here in this photo.

For multiple reasons, we usually travel over the Christmas holiday. In fact, we had just returned from an amazing trip to Peru when we signed the papers on January 4th, 2011, to purchase our little cabin in the woods. But for our first Christmas as homeowners, we wanted to spend it in no other place. We got a tree, made sugar cookies from scratch, and played tons of Scrabble and Monopoly. It was perfectly peaceful and simple.

The year 2012 proved to be exhausting –in a good way– for both of us. Between my book tour and Christian’s TV and stand up work, we found ourselves traveling more than staying home. So, again, we wanted nothing more than a couple of weeks in the woods at our Rock House. We were so lazy, we didn’t even put up a tree (we did hang fresh pine garland, stockings and some twinkle lights) or swap gifts.

Instead, we bought this mini pie pan (two egg soufflés and two chicken pot pies I baked are pictured at left) and stocked up on a bunch of new games like Mystery Rummy (Jack the Ripper), BlokusMr. Jack in New YorkCarcassonneMexican Train dominoesLost Cities and new jigsaw puzzles.

Are we humbugs? Not really. It’s just that every morning waking up in the Rock House –no matter what the season– is like Christmas morning. There is a feeling of lightness here. The freedom to do nothing. I don’t have to be anywhere. I don’t want to be anywhere. This is it.

Since we’d no place to go, I sang, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

Three was the magic number it seems. I enjoyed three snowfalls for 12+ inches of snow, three jigsaw puzzles, three seasons of Cheers, season three of “The Wire”, and three books (The Other Wes Moore, Hands of My Father, Just Kids).

Over a week of being disconnected (I didn’t post a thing on Facebook, didn’t read the news & contemplated closing my Twitter account) and not being able to come up with a single goal for 2013, I finally updated my status to say, “Stick a fork in me.”

I’m done. I have nothing to look forward to, to work towards, to want or need. Will this feeling change? Probably. But until then, I’m left to wonder how and why I tried so hard at anything.

So perhaps the cartoon should read:

“Happiness is…

a terrible thing for ambition.”

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