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Where is YOUR happy place?

11 Feb

Hi folks. Thank you for stopping by for a few moments.

We all have them. That space that offers us a pause button in our push button life movie. A sort of solitude we slip away to from our stormy waters. A retreat from the catacombs of depression. Though our Specter still latches into us, riding us wherever we go, we can still go to this place and feel…“better”?

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My happy place is at the beach across the street. I used to hate living there. Because of the circumstances. Recently separated after several years of marriage. A three year old daughter I was able to see on a limited basis through a court appointed schedule.

Living in an area with a bad rap. Apartment life on the other side of the tracks.

No roots. No friends. Tumbleweed tossed from another zip code and stuck on the dune just before heading out to sea.

About three years after my first separation is when things started to change for the positive. I made a career switch from a high school history teacher into something I knew nothing about – instructional design. I got back in shape. I ate better. 40 lbs. lighter and a few years after my career switch I endured two layoffs. I journaled a lot. I got back in touch with my faith.

Around two years later, after a failed reconciliation and hopelessness had sunk in, I wrapped my arms around reality. About this point in time marked a pivotal event for me – I read Dr. Henry Cloud’s, Necessary Endings. Thanks to chapters 5-7 on hopelessness, things became crystal clear for me. It wasn’t until then that I accepted where I was in life. I asked myself what I needed to do to move forward. Little by little that lonely dune by the beach felt more and more like home. It became my happy place.

Here’s the three things I did to create my happy place.

1.  I accepted my hopelessness. I mentioned this earlier, I just wanted to include it in this little list. I suggest buying Dr. Cloud’s book. He also has a whole series on boundaries, which is one of the things I needed to work on.

2.  I changed my environment. I went out on a limb here and painted my apartment. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere soon and had decided I didn’t want to live in the drab, sterile tan jail cell with the specter of depression. I needed to change it. Light blue in the bedroom and living room for comfort and relaxation. White drapes and sheers for brightness. I didn’t want to be secluded from this place. I wanted to be a part of it. The beach. The sunshine. I now embraced it. I painted my bathroom a lime green with Asian accents. Partly for contrast from the rest. Mostly to help me wake up in the morning. I started to bring the outside in. Using my daughter’s and my beach finds to decorate.

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3.  I branched out. In 2014 I started a business. This was a big step for me. I started creating upcycled coastal décor using the materials my daughter and I found on our beach walks, or that were being thrown out by my neighbors. My daughter helps me with some of the work and I’ve been able to cultivate her creative side. As a single parent this has helped me to establish new traditions with her. Something you lose with a marital schism. I have a regular day job so this is not my bread and butter. But it certainly is a healthy outlet. My mind is occupied during the design phase. And my hands are occupied during the production phase. I see smiles on people’s faces. I interact with customers at art shows. This has been a healthy move forward.

So where is YOUR happy place? What one thing has helped YOU decide and/or create that for yourself?

Please share your thoughts. I interested to read them!

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