Why is it we always want what we don't have, can't lose what we don't want, and never seem to get to what we want fast enough?  Even if totally unanswerable, they are three totally true trains of thought.  And, we all think  and feel them from time to time.

I don't know what birds think.  I wish I did though.  They seem to be present living types of creatures.  Quite often I sit on my sofa in the winter and see cardinals roosting in my barren crab apple tree.  To my eyes, and ears, they appear unaware - unscathed by the conditions around them.  Never do they seem to fall prey to those three trains of thought I mentioned at the start of the blog post.  In all kinds of weather they come to the tree.  Some days, if I were a bird, I would hide from the gray, the rain, the snow, the wind, the heat. 

Do those bird long, like I do, for things that they don't have?  Do they get tired of what they don't like not leaving?  Do they watch the clock for the future to bring what they know will come but isn't yet?

I'm not really bent to park my bus on those first three statements perpetually.  I do though have regular visitation rights.  This winter I have unfortunately and systematically cycled through them like water through a coffee maker, like a daily pinch of guppy food in a fish bowl, and as regularly as Tuesday is trash day in my neighborhood.  It's been a bit of a hamster wheel winter, which has just fueled my already blatant disdain and quite decidedly strong aversion to all things winter in the Midwest.  Sun calms my impatience that is genetically in me. 

Some days I have looked for happy, but didn't find him.  Some days the gray on the outside was actually lighter than the gray that seemed to hang inside of me.  Some days, much like when I rode the school, I began to think that winter and what I wanted to change would never come.  And when I wanted it to leave, it just didn't.  Patience is not one of my strong suites.  Just ask anyone who knows me.

Happy isn't a result of a circumstance.  Happy is a place I create.  Laughter isn't the result of a reaction to funny or lighthearted things.  Laughter is what makes things lighter.  Contentment isn't the final destination of all my dreams in place or even the completion of things I don't like.  Contentment is a frame of mind brushed with deliberateness for the moment of time I am in.  It is finding the prism in the water from the sprinkler heads.  It is seeing a four leaf clover right where I am standing.  It is viewing the past in the rear view mirror and the future wide open in front of me. 

Then I let myself off the hook just a bit.  I was missing my daughter and son-in-law who have been in Africa for the past two months.  I was adjusting to having their dog on a daily basis.  I was battling a thyroid that took yet another dump.  I was facing the uncertainty and struggle of vocation mixed in at somewhat hyper levels.  I was looking at some big life changes coming down the pike.  And, it was cold and gray and there was snow.

Seasons start and eventually fade into the next one. I knew that even if I couldn't feel it fully right now.  I did eventually stop riding the school bus by about age 15.  Things do change...but it seems never as fast as I want when I don't want what I currently have.  There isn't such a thing as the grass is greener on the other side.  Over there is just new uncharted problems.  And me watching the pot for the first signs of it boiling only makes me just a little bit loony.  A timer works better.  It's a form of distraction!

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