Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - My happy ending

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt 5 - “You know a happy ending isn’t really the end. It’s just the place where you choose to stop telling the story. Why not make everything work out when you have the chance?” Where would you could you place your happy ending? (inspired by The Myth Of You And Me pg. 137)

Happy endings -- where everything wraps up nicely and fits into one big box with a pink bow on top; where the villains go to jail and the angst-ridden protagonist finally ends up with Mr. Big Right to live happily ever after; where the star-crossed lovers whose timing is always off by about 3 days until one thunderous, hailing, pouring night he sees her (while walking without an umbrella - completely drenched yet handsome all the same) through the window in the diner across the way - looking forlornly into her coffee and not eating her blueberry pie, so he races across the street and directly into her arms; where the troubled child who has blamed his parents for all his woes gets out of rehab and wipes the slate clean with one big sweeping apology for "everything" -- Happy endings?  Those don't happen outside.  Those are indoor games reserved for movie theaters and television sets with scripted lines and fake pie that looks too good to eat because it actually is, well, not too good, just inedible.

In real life, there's always something to stand in the way of perfection, which for many of us means to stand in the way of our "happy ending."  Maybe it's those last 5 pounds; maybe it's the test you didn't study for; maybe it's the credit card debt, or a sick parent or an unforgiving boss or an absent spouse or an unhappy child.  The list could go on and on - there's never any shortage of things to worry about or reasons to be down.  Most of us don't see the present in terms of moments but more of a long flowing continuum toward and inevitable end.  And this, I am afraid, can cause even the most optimistic soul to fall down.

So right now, I'm just thinking about thinking about individual moments.  Ones that make me smile just remembering them.  Ones that make me tear up and feel overwhelmingly loved.  Ones where happiness was something you could touch, and smell, and taste.  There are some obvious one - like the births of my children and lighting the candle during my wedding ceremony.  And then there are some less obvious ones, too - like finding $300 on the sidewalk in Golden and going to the Rocky Flats Lounge to have a beer with Paul and the toothless barkeep, watching Zach eat crocodile skewers in Australia last year, or finding out that I had passed the California Bar Exam after computer glitches that made it seem as if I'd failed.  I suppose any of those moments could be my happy ending, and yet I know what happened afterward, so it's hard to stop telling the story there.

And somehow, reminiscing about the best moments brings to mind some not-great-ones too.  Times that I struggled, felt worthless, and couldn't find joy in any of the less-obvious-moments that surely occurred even then too.  Because I realize, as I write, that these moments happen all the time!  Every day or week or month there is something that happens that reminds us of our humanity, reminds us that we are unique, reminds us that we are important and needed and perfect.  We just don't listen!

So for my happy ending, I choose right now.  That's not to say that everything is perfect - it's not!  I still have those last first 5 pounds to lose (and then the rest of it too), I should probably get a job, my son hates the 4th grade and I just turned 40.  So NO, everything is not perfect.  But I'm happy, and maybe even more importantly, I'm content.  My house may not be in perfect order, but my children know they're loved.  My tennis game could certainly improve, but my friends know I care.  And underneath it all, I just know it's all going to work out the way it's supposed to -- and I know that I am supposed to live happily ever after.

Thanks Mama Kat - turns out I needed this prompt for more than just another post!


  1. I love the way you turned that around and wove through your life. Very good post and I enjoyed it very much!

  2. Being content is a "happy ending" indeed. So many people do not have peace these days so if you are one of the rare ones who can grasp onto it with both hands, even in the midst of an imperfect world, then hold on to it honey and keep on writing... I enjoyed your post!
    (visiting from Mama Kat's)

  3. Great post. I think movie scripts have confused the heck out of us. Your words reminded me of two sayings.

    Where ever there is an end there is a beginning.

    The doorway to happiness is the present. (Err, something like that.)

    Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  4. Aww, i do know you care. you should be happy! you have an amazing life and a cute blog. Very good post.

  5. Lo, I love this. We so often go running after an idea of "happy" that's so unrealistic that we overlook the perfectly good happiness that can be found in the contentment right under our noses. Thanks for pointing that out. It's a good thing to remember.

    I'm impressed you did this prompt--this one intimidated me!

  6. I just read this post and now I'm gonna feel like an asshole when I post my blog.

  7. Well said!! I think too many of us buy into the concept of a happy ending that we see in the movies. The key is to have happy moments and sad moments and Ok moments but to be in the moment as it happens.


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