Aaron and I are taking a class called "Financial Peace University" through our work. So far, it has been educational regarding spending and saving, one of which we are very good at, the other of which needs some work. Ahem.
Being a Christian based program developed by Dave Ramsey, there are always little subtle lines about our money belonging to God, and doing things with our money that will be pleasing to God, all while not being so "religious" that only "religious people" will learn from or enjoy the class.
The video we watched tonight was my favorite so far, where Dave talked about how money does not buy happiness. It can buy fun, but it can't buy happy. And then it got to me.
4 years old, yearning for Kindergarden, when I'd finally be able to play with my friends all day, and be happy.
8 years old, yearning for 6th grade, when I'd be in the top class at school, and happy.
13 years old, yearning for 10th grade, when I would be 16, able to drive, and happy.
17 years old, yearning for college, where I would be on my own, an adult, and happy.
21 years old, yearning for marriage, children, and a career, where I would make lots of money, buy nice things, and be happy.
25 years old, yearning again for college, where there weren't bills, or jobs, or real responsibilities. I was so happy.
26 years old, yearning again for children, and a career, where I would make lots of money, buy nice things, and be happy.
27 years old, and maybe, just maybe, learning what it means to actually be happy. To watch your husband succeed at his job. To see your friends have children who are healthy. To watch your brother step off a plane from Iraq, healthy and alive. To spend hours with your mother recovering from surgery, knowing that the pain will eventually pass and her life bettered by a few short weeks of discomfort. To meet your father's girlfriend, who loves and cares for him. To watch your "baby" sister drive, date, and wear one of your dresses for Prom. To know that this could be it. This day could be the end. And all this time, all these 27 years, I spent waiting for happiness when it was really right in front of me the whole time.
It's there, in the little things, in the kind word of your coffee barista, and the woman who lets you in front of her in line at Target because you have one item and she has many. It's the laugh of a baby and the chatter of a 6 year old, the time with your husband when you don't have to say anything. It's family. And friends. And sometimes, a stranger.
Today, and every day forward, I choose joy. I choose hope. I choose love.
I. Choose. Happy.