I am happy today. Last Friday I sent off a revision of my novel for writer friends to read while I am at the Hamline residency. I always set deadlines before trips and professional commitments and I don’t always make them. Then I am not happy. I wanted to get this revision finished because preparation for the residency – presentation and workshop pieces, along with 4th of July camping; two weeks back in St. Paul, and then recovery from all the stimulation, add up to quite a bit of time away from a daily writing routine.
And yet I love the stimulating days and nights with fellow writers. I would be one unhappy camper if I sat alone in my front of my computer, day after day, all year long.
So how to be happy? My husband and I recently watched the film documentary Happy. The film producers traveled the world in search of the happiest people. They asked: Does money make you happy? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?
According to the film 50% of your happiness can be attributed to your genes. So go ahead and blame your parents for your grumpiness quotient – but only part of it.
I want my writing life to be part of a happiness revolution. I want to believe that this summer I could be happy heading off for Hamline, or vacation, even if I hadn’t finished that revision. I want to trust my process, on the happy and not so happy days.