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.


2 thoughts on “The Downside of Happy

  1. Such the irony huh? The guilt of feeling happy when you know others are in pain or things are not as hunky dorey as yours. I struggle with this too, but on the flip side, when things are not going good for me, the last thing I want is others to feel guilt for their happiness. Whenever I think of this I am reminded of the contentment of the good times and know that life is a rollercoaster and I truly believe we should honor all the emotions and all the experiences. To be present for the sadness gives us grace to be present for the good.

    Liked by 1 person

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