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get cola fizzy…

What makes you happy?

Some folks will say money or peace. Some will say quiet or partying. Others will find happiness in an herb or a spirit. I’m one of the weird ones, since mine would be all and none of the above. Whaaaaa? How sway, De?

I enjoy all of them. I’m not going to turn down any at any given opportunity because they do satiate a need. They all produce seratonin, your brain’s natural happy drug. But that happy is temporary. It feels amazing – at the moment – but eventually wears off. My happiness comes from a deeper, longer lasting place. Sit back and see if you follow me.

I turned 50 years young last Monday (go ahead and put Dec. 6 on your calendar with a yearly reminder one month in advance. go. I’ll wait.). That alone had me floating on Cloud 7! Considering my years of destructive and counterproductive behavior, it is nothing short of a miracle that I am healthy, sane and whole at this juncture. Hallelujah! Now, do you know what i did for my birthday? I flew home under the radar. Only a few people knew i was coming and were sworn to secrecy. The next day, I surprised my family and then spent the following 48 hours surrounded by them. I cannot even put into words the intense happiness that surged and swarmed through me the whole time, but I’ll try.

Photo by Quu1ef3nh Lu00ea Mu1ea1nh on

Take a Pepsi bottle, you know, my dormant addiction. Drink half of it then drop three Mentos in it. But don’t let go of the bottle! Feel the intense energy build up. Notice the temperature change in your hand? Can you smell the reaction? Now watch it explode straight up into the air! A heady column of foam reaching for the sky! Now here’s the good part… Don’t move. Let it rain down on you. Yep, make a complete mess of yourself while you yell and laugh and cuss at the sweet, minty downpour. You just experienced every sensation in a split second and you’re laughing so hard you can’t breathe. That’s the happiness i felt. It really went a step passed “happy” and turned entirely to JOY.

My family makes me happy. Spending time with all of them, catching up, laughing over an amazing meal made by everyone’s hands, even sitting silently watching TV, nothing puts that cola fizz in my spirit like my family. Another reason that makes me happy is because there are a lot of people who can’t say that. Who won’t say that. Who would rather slide down a razor blade than even indicate that. But I’m blessed enough, just enough to say I Love My Family!

My mother is the middle child of seven; my dad is #10 of fifteen. Suffice it to say, I’ve got a lot of family. And i have no beef with any of them. I’ll crack a beer or sip a glass with all of them with no reservation. Whaaaa? How sway, De? People do that?!

Yes, and it’s easy. I stay out of their personal life and they stay out of mine. We temporarily invite each other into our situations, commiserate, pass no judgment, then leave it, closing the door back solidly. I don’t tell their business (read: invite mess) and I trust they don’t tell mine. It actually can be that simple. There was an ugly situation in my life a while back that I’m sure a number of my family members were aware of, but no one — save my most outspoken aunty — said a word to me about it. Those are the kind of “not in ya business, but I’ll pray for ya” families I come from. Zero beef.

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I say all of that to say this; find your happy. If there are things that make you smile just thinking about them, entertain them. Not just when you’re feeling low, but regularly to keep you up. You know those people that always make your eyes sparkle? Drop them a line every now and then. Make them happy, even if just for a second. Happiness is contagious and needs to spread exponentially! Hop to it!

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