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Happiness | Our Prairie Nest

Happiness

I was planting seedlings in our garden today and wondering, Am I happy?

It’s a normal question for anyone to ask from time to time in their lives. And today, probably stemmed from the fact that I was lamenting the need to work versus get our garden ready. But the fact remained that the garden did need t0 get planted, and I started pondering the flexibility of my life these days.

I’m grateful that what I do allows me to live this way. The joke I make to my husband is, “I’m a magician. I turn words into money.” Of course, writing is much more than that. But I know how incredibly fortunate I am right now.

In my previous job, I was so stressed out, that I couldn’t wait to escape it. Oh, the money was good! And I suppose if you like to market a luxury item geared toward a high-end market, it’s fine. However, I breathed a sigh of relief every time I crossed the bridge that signified the change from city to country. I didn’t enjoy having a fast-paced job or being in the city, no matter what the pay and benefits were.

My former boss didn’t understand my feelings. He thought someone intelligent and capable couldn’t possibly want something less than all of that.

But I didn’t want less.

I wanted more. More time for me, more time for what I love, more time for my family and friends, and more time where I could just genuinely be me, instead of the version of me the company demanded.

Maybe I don’t get a steady paycheck anymore. Yes, now I’m paying 30% taxes instead of 15%, because I no longer have an employer to pick up the other half. True, I pay taxes instead of receiving a refund. Also true that I am not rich. At least, not financially.

I am, however, immeasurably happy when I can do something like this: sit on a tree stump in my backyard, watch my daughter flit through the sprinkler, and write. My time doesn’t belong to anyone but myself these days.

Charles Bukowski was onto something.

If you dream of the same thing, work on it now, rather than waiting. It took me a long time to get here and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

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