The Downside of Happy

Two days ago I flew to New York. This is nothing new. I don’t live here, but I visit. It’s my happy place.

I was happy that I had enough points to book a flight. I was happy (and grateful) that a friend offered up her apartment for my stay. I am happy (and grateful) that I have an understanding boss and a hard-working Assistant Manager who make it possible for me to travel.

In the past two days I have shared drinks, meals and hugs with 5 friends and family members. I’ve run into two friends from the neighborhood where I used to stay. I’ve met two new friends. I was invited to see a friend perform at Carnegie Hall, and I was lucky enough to share in the afterglow. I am having lunch and afternoon tea with two more friends tomorrow, and there are still others I hope to see before I leave.

I have seen the sun rise from the top of the Empire State Building. I have had conversations with elevator operators, taxi drivers, airplane seat-mates and a family visiting from Pittsburgh. I have walked the streets I know, and discovered some new ones. I have, in a very “Hocus Pocus” kind of way, inhaled as much energy out of this city as I possibly can.

And today, I am grateful that I have a healthy heart, a cancer-free pancreas, a man who loves me, healthy and happy children, grandchildren and parents. I have a wonderful job and amazing residents. I am not rebuilding after a hurricane or cleaning up after tornadoes. I am not dealing with chronic pain or going to physical therapy just to learn to walk and eat again.

But I feel as if it’s irresponsible to enjoy this happiness. If I can’t share it, or fix broken things, then I’m not sure it’s worth it. The downside of happiness is guilt.

I realize this is not the most upbeat blog (I had a rather cool one cooking… and maybe that’s for another time), but I just want to state that I would trade in every moment of happiness to fix everything that’s broken in the lives of those I love.

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