"People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you are fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world to find it. You have to participate relentlessly."
Being the wishful thinker that I am, I tend toward the mindset that if all of the pieces would just fall into the right places, I would be perfectly, blissfully, happy. If only I could get this one wish or change that one moment that set in motion the chain of events that led to some sort of unhappiness. So when I read this quote, I got to thinking about happiness. Sure, I know that in theory, we are the creators of our own destiny, blah, blah, blah but I don't often think about the fact that if we really want to be happy we may need to take matters into our own hands.
So that is just what I did tonight. Recently, I have felt like I am balancing a stack of textbooks on my head and holding my breath until Christmas. This whole eat-sleep-breathe speech and language thing is taking it's toll and I desperately needed to go out and join the living. And when I did, I discovered that life is going on in a big way out there. I hadn't even realized it but the Christmas season is really here. There are lights on branches, candles in windows, and trees lined up under tiny white bulbs just waiting to be picked. And there is no better place to experience the magic of the holidays (and a friend's birthday!) than at the Opryland Hotel. This place is Christmas on speed and I'm not afraid to say that I am addicted.
So though it may not have been good for my GPA, my Christmas outing was good for my soul. Instead of giving into the misery that is finals week in grad school, I went out searching for my own happiness and discovered if you just open your eyes and look around a little bit, it's not all that elusive after all.
P.S. Can you believe how the Opryland Hotel has bounced back since the big flood?!