never been happier.

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a bunch of my friends. we've known each other for a long time. As I made the rounds chatting and hugging hello, I conversationally asked one of them how things were going. The answer? "I've never been happier". "I've never been happier"!!!

Are you kidding me?

My first thought was "have you lost your ever loving mind?".  You can't just declare a complete state of bliss out loud in front of everybody.  It's like standing on a glass table top in four in heels and announcing that nothing can possibly go wrong now.  I couldn't side step out of her proximity fast enough.

For a second I felt bad for my friend, and the giant guffaw. who knew what would happen now. what fresh hell would befall her or her lovely family in the coming weeks?  Hopefully something small. a fender bender maybe.  A warning shot.

I think it's best to tip toe through happiness doing my best to trick it into thinking I'm just barely getting by.  In fact I sometimes like to declare all events and actions as utter failures prior to commencement, sort of a happiness diversion tactic if you will.  If I end up being successful and happiness is the end result, well then by Joe, I can't be held responsible because I did my darnest  at the start to deflect it.  On the other hand, I get to be right when the thing goes south, or when a loved one, friend, or innocent passerby minding his own business's thing goes to hell.  It's smug satisfaction which is very different from happiness but only after the smug wears off.

Back to my friend, and the fact that lightning had not struck yet.

I've never been happier?  I have to admit, I was impressed. I admired it.  In fact, I had actually identified with it at one time, but the concept is fluid and what was true a few years ago is eluding me at times right now.

Yesterday as I wrote this blog, I was fighting off the demons of anxiety.  Recently I have felt the full weight of a generation currently residing in the middle of people who can't find themselves and parents who no longer know themselves.  Maybe tomorrow will be different, but I can't tell if it's breaking soon.

To be fair, south doesn't happen all the time, so I actually have it pretty darn good.

In fact, I've reached a beautiful place in my life and it's made me feel sorted out.  I've rekindled a couple of old friendships and I've picked up the pace on some new ones.

We worked through a choppy 2012 and saw the fruits of that labor in 2013. You're still the one.

I started a new chapter in my life, did some volunteering, read some really great books, started taking pictures again, saw some more of the world outside my door and did a bit of home decorating (which means I painted and bought a new throw pillow).  I did a lot of gardening, writing, traveling and laughing.

I also turned sixty two and stuck my toe in the pool of self acceptance or what I like to call "love what you are".  I'm not on a journey to someone else.  This IS me… mouth like a sailor, inappropriate musings, and super hard hugs.  Stay if you dare.

I have all the makings of "never been happier".




I'm mostly in charge of my mother and I'm confounded by the path of the universe.  I'm feeling squeezed by the weight of burdensome responsibilities, both real and imagined.  And, is it just me or is generation Z taking their own sweet time to adulthood?

Some stuff I can directly influence the outcome… most I cannot.  There's no solace in either. The gal who was once too controlling is being taught a lesson daily.

I'm living in the land of fits and starts and no amount pinot noir or chips and salsa can make it better.  

Hey I know, let's add in some new wrinkles to the mix (yep it's that time of life… sorry guys).  A lot of my days are confused and some of them are dude, where's my car?  I recently hit a huge chuck hole in the middle of the road and drove for two days trying to figure out if I was dragging something or something was knocked loose under my car.

But wait there's more.  I've had cabin fever, two hour naps and headaches.  

Twice last month I had migraines so bad I vomited.

You're welcome.

The whole thing makes my heart hurt and quite frankly I think it gave me an extra panic attack. (now I'm just throwing everything in here).

It breaks my writing (that's where I've been).  It makes me wear comfortable clothes… a lot.

Sometimes I imagine people in third world countries listening to my petty problems, "You're in a bad mood?  Really?  Do you have indoor plumbing? Food to eat? Clean water?".  Okay then.

Buck le heck up darlin' - every day can't be Big Sur.

"It will be alright in the end.  If it is not yet alright, it is not yet the end".  
Hang in there because it all works out the way you think it should?  I doubt it.  I think it means that life is messy and the resolution of it is death.  It's alright in the end because…well you know, it's the end.  So don't be so quick to get to the alright part.  Inappropriate musingsI know, right?

Maybe that's what my wise daredevil friend meant when she said she's never been happier, it's not yet alright and that's a good thing.

The other day I found myself smiling, for no reason I felt peaceful, and yes, happy ...come to think of it, I've never been happier. 


Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil or salted butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 generous teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground if possible
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, well mashed (about 3 large bananas)
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter or oil a 12-cup muffin tin (or two), or line with muffin papers.
Mash bananas in a medium bowl, then stir in honey and eggs. Add vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil, or butter), brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Add flour gradually, in 1/2 cup tips, stirring with a spatula, just until it disappears. Continue until all flour is incorporated. Add chocolate chips, and stir just to combine.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins (I like an ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup dry measure for this), then bake for 21-24 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of a muffin bears tender crumbs. (Begin checking at 21 minutes. Timing will depend in part on muffin size.)

Remove from oven, and let cool in pan, 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling. Fresh from the oven, these are divine. Two days out, they remain admirable. If you're the toasted and buttered muffin type, these are excellent candidates.  


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