And so today’s moment of happiness despite the news.
And no, it has nothing to do with the Superbowl, Justin Timberlake, or holograms of Prince.
Last week, Today’s Moment reached its one-year anniversary and I said I would announce on this day what the future of Today’s Moment will be. But first…the Moment itself.
Well, the Moment IS the Moment, really. I spent a lot of time today, both in meditation and just in general, considering the Moment. What started out as a desperate whim (I’m overwhelmed, so I’m going to post one moment a day that made me happy on Facebook) became something much bigger. From a single sentence at the beginning to what I would now call quiet, unedited essays, I kept at it, writing just what came to mind. I was determined to not make the Moment a professional endeavor. I wasn’t writing for publication, I wasn’t writing for an audience. I wanted to keep it at a Moment that made me happy and examine why. That was a struggle for me as I became aware that there was indeed an audience – an audience that caused my website to crash several times because of traffic! I’m a professional writer, I tend to even edit my thoughts and whatever I say before I say it, not to mention edit everything I read, from news articles to books to comic strips. But I wasn’t going to edit, I wasn’t going to improve the pieces – in a sense, Today’s Moment is Kathie Giorgio – Unplugged.
I’ve learned so much from writing the Today’s Moments. I learned, first of all, that there is at least one Moment in almost every day. Even on dark days. I might have to look for it, but it’s there. And that was a lesson unto itself – happiness is an active endeavor. It isn’t something that just comes along and happens to you. Sometimes you have to look for it.
So I’ve learned to look.
But alternatively, I’ve also learned to honor sadness and anger and fear. I couldn’t chase these away by writing about a Moment of Happiness. I couldn’t chase them away by becoming aware of a Moment either. A Moment isn’t a pill I could take to chase these negative emotions away. There is no pill, no prose, no prettiness that will keep a person happy one-hundred percent of the time. Today’s Moment allowed me to release a very unrealistic expectation – that if I could just find One Big Thing to make me Happy, I would never ever be unhappy again.
But finding that One Moment helped me to navigate through some pretty dark times. It gave me the one good thing to hang onto. Some days, that was like holding onto a rope while dangling off a cliff.
One of my favorite Moments is the one where I was told I didn’t have to be strong all the time while I was going through breast cancer. That I could be scared, that I could be sad, that I could be weak. That illustrates what I’m trying to say about the unrealistic expectation. I know now to look for the Moment of Happiness, but not to expect that finding it means I’m going to waltz down whatever path opens before me next.
But the Today’s Moment does keep me looking ahead and looking up. My favorite quote from literature, which is engraved into a ring I wear every day, is from John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampsire: “Keep walking past the open windows.” I’ve now edited it a bit, to “Keep looking for Today’s Moment.”
So what’s going to happen to Today’s Moment Of Happiness Despite The News, now that I’ve reached my goal of one solid year?
It’s not going away, but it is changing. It’s going to become This Week’s Moment Of Happiness Despite The News. I will only post it one day a week, and I’ve chosen Thursdays, at least to start. There has been no small amount of pressure, trying to come up with something every day. I’m looking to relieve that pressure, but also to expand my vision and understanding. I think that by having to sort through many moments every week to pick out just one to share, I will become further aware of just how many Moments there are in this world and in every life. I’ll give it a shot.
If you are worried that you might forget to check my website on a Thursday, then just click on the button that says “subscribe” on the upper right of this page . Then you’ll receive a notification when each new Moment appears.
When I look back on this year, I could be focused on the many bad things that happened. I had to deal with an assault, my daughter’s being bullied, my husband’s job losses, and above all, breast cancer. But what I focus on instead is the amazing coincidence (if you believe in coincidences) of my starting Today’s Moment at a time when it would turn out that I needed it most. It got me through. And everyone involved, by reading the Moments, by commenting on them and discussing them, got me through too.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.
(Look for the next Moment on Thursday! )