Today I am inexplicably happy. I think maybe it’s the snow, lightly flurrying, only sticking here and there, making me feel like I want to feel on Christmas. But everything seems to please me this late November day, even things that normally irritate. The stress of our morning routine flows around me and does not touch. The girls seem happier too, and have a big laugh when I get into the car growling, “Il neige.” I insist that French people growl all the time, but they are not convinced.
The quiet of carpool doesn’t worry me today, and I even forget the four girls in the car, following my own thoughts, as I wonder why snow under an overcast sky might make me happy. I know that Lena and Ivy are Facebook friends, and feel the history of that in Ivy’s inquiry about Lena’s audition. Nice to hear grumpy Ivy supporting my girl, in her way: “At least you did it” (Ivy had chickened out) “and now it’s over.”
After I drop them off, I know several unpleasant tasks await me at home, but don’t seem to care. First I walk the dog, fat oak leaves furred with snow on our usual path. I don’t worry as I walk.
At home I make five tedious phone calls about money. I talk down a bill by seven dollars. I set up a payment plan that frees up some Christmas money. I leave a message with my homeowner’s insurance agent. I return a call about my husband’s health insurance. I thank all the customer service people in a friendly voice, even after several long holds.
I am not ecstatic. My mind wanders to my usual worries, but does not dwell there. Somehow I know I have no control over them and don’t want to bother and plan.
I take the car in for an oil change and feel like the woman behind the counter is a true friend. I grade a few papers while I wait and feel moved by the youth and optimism of my students. I eat lunch at a favorite café, and even though the soup is disappointing, the happiness continues.
I talk to it. I’m glad you’re here; please stay. If you won’t provide an explanation, that’s fine, but do visit more often.
I think of days when I am inexplicably sad, or depressed, or just blah. These seem more frequent and it is easy to tie the mood to an event or worry.
If happiness is inexplicable, I think we just have to wait for it, and welcome it when it comes. Don’t pressure it to stay, but trick it into coming back.
Maybe it is my new socks, purple stripes and polka dots.
Maybe it is the snow.