Friday, September 28, 2012

A thought on happiness

Today I feel kinda sick and completely drained.

Once upon a time, I thought this is what happens to everyone if they don't sleep enough. Then a few years ago, in the follow up a while after a completely successful cancer surgery, doctors noticed that I have persistently low white blood cell counts. Since it was cancer doctors who noticed this, they were a little alarmed: did I somehow get cancer in my bones? They did a marrow biopsy and found out that no, I didn't have more cancer. Just a freakishly high percentage of fat instead of marrow in my bones, probably since birth.

"Do you get sick a lot?" asked my doctor.

"I don't think so," I said--and then realized I might not be qualified to identify "a lot," since I have sort of a skewed sense of what constitutes normal.

I am rarely too sick to function, but often mildly sick. If I rest, I get better soon. If I don't rest, I get more and more tired until I'm ready to fall asleep on any available floor space. Home or office. Usually a few steps from the door.

Today should be an exciting day. A production of one of my plays is opening. I have my first post up on a cool new group blog. My book is not only out, but also selling far more quickly than I'd expected. And the entries for the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest are looking awesome so far.

But the day is not exciting. Because I'm feeling too drained to be very excited or have much fun in the standard sense.

Here's the thing, though--I'm pretty sure I'm still happy. I don't necessarily feel it, but I don't think happiness has to be a joyous feeling. What if it's just a quiet confidence, in the back of your mind, that you're doing your best to live in harmony with God and your fellow men? What if it's the subtle peace just under your skin that says your deepest commitments matter?


  1. I know that happiness is as you describe it...because I've been able to feel happiness...that confidence that I'm doing all I can...even while being depressed. Thanks for all that you do and contribute to the world.

  2. Yes. I think this is what happiness is. I felt the same way when I had a bout with Sheehan's Syndrome after my twins and for about a year I had the energy of a limp dishcloth, so I so sympathize with exhaustion so severe you would lie on any floor anywhere. My thoughts go out to you, and in the midst of "stuff" I'm so glad you're writing with us.



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