Holding on With Both Hands

The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from my Nana. She may be trapped in an 89 year-old body, but she’s still the most popular girl on her block. She loves her faith, family, friends, a great party and a dirty joke. She has lived a beautiful life. When she talks, I listen.

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I was in agony from my divorce and heartbroken for my kids, but also in love with a great man…I was in the depths of despair and yet soaring through the clouds at the same time.

Squeezing my hand hard she said, “Grab your happiness with both hands and hold onto it while you can. Life goes so fast.”

In that moment, I got it. It’s so true. Life goes so fast. We make it harder than it is. Let go of the guilt and the past. Don’t waste precious time on regret, worry and anger. Be happy; be in the present. Embrace it. Grab it with both hands. Taste it; feel it deep in your bones. The only certainty is change. Moments, feelings, people, health…they are all fluid, constantly moving into our lives, there for a moment and then gone forever.

I’ve decided to grab my happiness.

In the middle of homework and the rush out the door to sports, I cuddle and squish my babies and breathe their scent in. I glory in my youngest son’s still squishy baby love of me. I soak in the dirty faces and spaghetti sauce smiles of the four boys around my dinner table. I’m done fighting the mess and worrying about clean. I choose to be happy now; right where I am with exactly what I’ve got.

Choosing to be happy.

I say yes to family vacations and seeing my kiddos get loved on and soak up time with their grandparents. That’s priceless. It fills my heart to watch my mother in-law surrounded by four boys teaching them to play Yahtzee and Scrabble. My Dad gives my sons wings – literally. They get to fly with Papa, and that makes my heart soar. I choose to soak in these perfect-for-me people and the love they lavish on my sons, now.

Dolphin watching with Grandpa Jeff, eating Nana’s banana cake for breakfast all summer long, flying kites at the beach, boogie boarding in the ocean…these moments bliss me out. Now. But they didn’t used to. I used to stress. Too close to the edge, too much sugar, too much mess, too dangerous. I’m done with the stress. It doesn’t change anything. Bad things happen. They happen to everyone, and they will happen to me and to the people I love. But in this moment, there is good. Look for it. It’s there. Sometimes it can be hiding, but it’s always there. Search for it; embrace it.

Choosing to be happy has made me hungry for life. I want to grab it and hold on to it. I want memories seared into my soul. The weight of my son’s head on my lap, the taste of salty margarita kisses from my sexy husband, the sound of my boys yelling with laughter, the smell of my mom’s perfume, the warmth of my sister’s hug... I want to soak it all up.

Time moves so fast.

My babies are becoming teenagers before my eyes. There is more gray in my Daddy’s hair every time I see him…life is happening now. This is it. Enjoy your beauty and health; play with your babies. Melt into your husband’s arms. Have mind blowing sex. Laugh with your family. Eat the cake. Smooch your nuggets. Do you. Grab your happiness and hold onto it tight. I’m holding onto mine with both hands.

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