Last week, when speaking at the Library Lovers Day (that’s Valentines Day to the rest of us) I was asked a really great question. A lady in the audience hesitantly put up her hand and said “Jodie, I don’t really know how to ask this, and I don’t want it to come out wrong…. but you’re very young (Thanks, can’t quiet believe I still fit into that category, but I’ll take it!) and it’s really easy to be happy when your young and things are going well, but you haven’t experienced as much as many of us. Do you think you’ll always be happy?”
What an awesome question! I really appreciate questions that make me think, both personally, and when up in front of an audience on my feet. Everything that comes from my mouth must not only be my own personal truth, but also add value for the audience. (That’s certainly the aim anyway!) So I said “Thanks for calling me young, the truth is I feel like I’ve aged 15 years in the last two (Since having my two children.) Many of my days now are filled up with trying to stop the baby crying, pacifying my demanding toddler and just surviving the grind of motherhood. Of course part of it is wonderful and glorious and full of love and joy, but a larger part isn’t. My reality is that my life is pretty tough right now. I have about an hour a day after the kids are in bed that I get to do something for me, I’m up numerous times each night to Dylan and am generally running on empty, both physically and emotionally………… yet, I’m still happy.”
I don’t see that the crying is going to change over night. (I certainly wish it would, but it’s not going to.) I have great relationships in my life, live in a wonderful place and I have things that I’m grateful for everyday. My circumstance is challenging, but it’s not dictating how I feel all the time. The audience seemed to appreciate that and we moved on to talk of other things involving happiness.
After the talk, an elderly lady came up to purchase a book. She said to me “You know, I’m 89 and I’m happy. It really doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you have or don’t have, it’s what’s inside.” She was such a warm woman, I asked her “Have you always been happy?” She said “Yes, always. My husband passed away a few years ago, and that was horrible, but I’m still happy. I was happy at 20 and I’m just as happy now I’m nearly 90!”
What a beautiful way to look at life. Regardless of your age, sex, finances, race, religion or relationships you can be just as happy at 89 as you can be at 20!