My youngest son asked me a new question on the drive home from golf, yesterday.

He asked, “Are you happy?”

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I sat stunned for a moment or two. I thought, my boy’s growing up. This was the first time, as far as I knew, that his perception had gone beyond himself to thinking of other people. Then, I felt sorry for him. He’s the little worrier in the family.

Next, I felt incredulous that anyone close to me could think I was unhappy. I get to bring up my lovely boys, be with family and friends sometimes, and then I get to write, and be alone. What could be better than that?

To walk the path of the writer is not easy sometimes, because a lot of people just don’t get it.

I can see how in the “world’s” eyes, I might be miserable. I’m divorced. Single. A stay-at-home mum. A writer (the loneliest profession of them all!) and a “card-carrying” introvert!

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In fact, there are more single women these days than ever before, in the U.S, single women account for half the female vote, 56 million, up from 45 million last year, and in Australia, single women make up 42% of the adult female population. Yet, there’s still social stigma around doing certain things on your own, like going to the movies or eating alone. The writer, Christina Ling, wrote a fantastic piece for the Huffington Post, Don’t Feel Bad For Me Because I Do Things Alone. It echoes my feelings exactly. I rejuvenate through time alone, that’s how I recoup my energy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-ling/the-stigma-of-doing-things-alone_b_9239900.html?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

As Christina puts it, ‘Being alone with your mind, however, is one of the best things for your soul. More importantly, I think we are perfectly entitled to simply not be in the mood to entertain someone throughout an activity or socialize, in general.’

 

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After being mama to two rambunctious boys for five days of the week, I look forward to my 48 hours break, when the boys spend time with their father. Even though I work alone, I still crave that solitary time, in which to recuperate fully.

Carol Bainbridge, the Gifted Child Expert explains the need of introverts to withdraw, ‘Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.’

http://giftedkids.about.com/bio/Carol-Bainbridge-19284.html

The lucky thing is, my job is directly suited to the introvert. And, I can’t imagine a job I could enjoy more than I do mine. I get to write fiction for young persons and those of the eternally youthful mind. It’s so fun, it’s the best job on the planet, hands-down.

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Murphy’s Law and the laws of randomness usually apply to most of us, and therefore, there may never be more than a penny or two in it for me. I may never build up a fan base beyond that of my family and pet fish. But that’s not the point. Doing what you love is the point, and as long as I get to write, then I shall still be the happiest mama within a five-mile radius of my son at all times!

I understand how my eleven-year-old looks at me, and he probably feels I must be miserable. Introverts only make up about 25-40% of the general population. There are not exactly a lot of introverted role models to look up to.

I had to assure him, “Yes, I am happy.” I don’t know whether it’s a “boy thing” or whether it’s the age, but that answer was enough. He took me at my word and carried on to the next subject.

I was still fascinated with the subject of happiness and what it means. He’d brought it up and I wanted to talk about it. However, I could see he’d already moved on. I let him take the lead, and we talked nonsense the rest of the way to his father’s house.

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After dropping my son off, I drove home to my weekly respite, and I pondered further on this delightful question my son had asked, Are you happy?

No one is happy 100% of the time, that’s just not natural, however, would I say I was predominantly happy? Yes.

What I was left with, was the sensation that my son cared. It takes emotional health and depth to ask another person how they are feeling. Therefore, I had a sense of my son’s developing emotional wellness, and his humanity.

It was a lovely, poignant, parenting moment. One of those, ‘he may act banana-pants crazy half the time, however, he’s going to turn out all right’ moments. It was one of those reward moments, when all the hard work of parenting is blissfully worth it.

What about you, what great questions have your kids asked you? Would you say you’re predominantly happy? 

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Talk to you later.

Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

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In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom. ~ J. G. Ballard

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Subscribe to my Newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to: yvettecarol@hotmail.com

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Comments
  1. I can imagine how tender the moment must have been. I understand boys. Don’t you just wish you could hug them to pieces when they are like that. I already know you’ll cherish that moment forever. The best part… there are many more to come. Love this post, Yvette. I am not single, been married longer than most of the trees have been alive in my garden. But to support our family, my husband worked in camps while my sons were growing up. The youngest was 43 last month. I was in that weird state of being between being married and being single. But that’s a story for another day. Thanks for all you write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      My pleasure, and thank you for your thoughtful, warm response, Joylene.

      Yes, I know exactly what you mean about wanting to hug them to bits. And, you know that moment’s already enshrined in the museum of the mama-memory, girl!

      I guffawed over the ‘married longer than the trees’ in your garden line. I look forward to hearing more about it, maybe in another blog post, another day…you’ve got your hands full at present, right! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Green Global Trek says:

    I came across your blog (on the comment sections of another blog we both follow) and am happy that I did. You write eloquently and I enjoyed reading this post…

    I love the exestential type questions our children ask at the weirdest moments…just asking these simple innocent qyestions and then we as parents often are prompted to spend a considerable amount of thought to figure out our answers. I remember this well with my three boys ~ now all grown up and wonderful adults. I must have done something right …

    Your boys are adorable by the way! Especially the photos with all three of you. The love and warmth is so visible!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So profound for a kid especially a boy. I wonder if they are more attune to adults when they know how hard you work by yourself for them. I think thinking about being happy is overrated lol. Do you treat yourself to watching a good show when you’ve finished writing. I know I really missed English t.v. when I moved. I appreciate now just how entertaining it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yeah, it struck me as profound, too.
      I think ‘thinking about being happy’ is a conundrum. While positive thinking is the way to go, at some stage you have to stop ‘thinking’ and start ‘being’ positive.
      In answer to your question, I treat myself to binge-watching the History Channel – I love it. I also buy up Japanese animated movies, anything by Studio Ghibli. I have a brand new unopened copy of “Spirited Away,” plus second-hand copies of “Origin,” “Only Yesterday,” and “Tales of Earthsea,” to watch. Add potato chips and chocolate and it adds up to instant happiness. Ha ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bun Karyudo says:

    That was nice of your son to show concern like that. As to your question about happiness, it really depends when I’m asked the question. The answer early Monday morning and late Friday afternoon isn’t the same. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pinar Tarhan says:

    Ha ha. Outside world would is probably having a heart attack with what I’m doing with my life. I’m 31 and single – and I’ve never had a serious relationship. I have no kids, and I’ve no plans of having any. I live at home with my parents. I’m a writer.

    But…

    Some months ago, on one of these funny sites (9gag or the meta picture), there was this funny post. “My friends are getting married, engaged or pregnant, and I’m like getting another coffee stamp at my favorite coffee shop.” And that’s the thing, I don’t want to be engaged, married or pregnant. Coffee makes me happy than any of those things ever could. I’m a writer because I couldn’t not be one. And free coffee? With chocolate? Oh my… 🙂

    What those folks don’t consider is that I turned that living at my parents’ at my age angle into a Washington Post article and got paid for it. Or that my parents live in a gorgeous neighborhood and I could never afford, no matter what high-paying, boring office job I got. Or that I kind of got used to the freelancing’s depression vs. euphoria, feast vs. famine cycles. I’d literally not want the life of any of my friends’.

    So…most of the time, I’m the happiest person I know.

    It’s lovely that your kid is growing up to be sensitive and sweet. But I totally get why you are happy. :):)

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Wow. That was really cool to get to know more about you, Pinar. I lived at home many times, and also with my brother at one point, and with one of my sisters a number of times. I have never cared about money or possessions, or career. All I ever wanted to do was to create stories, first by illustrating and writing picture books, and these days, by writing upper middle grade fiction.

      I totally get what you’re saying about your friends, too. While my friends couldn’t understand how or why I would want to sleep in people’s spare rooms, I didn’t want their lives, either. I craved the freedom to write and create, and the financial reality in those days, as it is now, is the cost of living goes up all the time. To be a writer, as a young person, I couldn’t afford my own place. It makes perfect sense, and the situation can have benefits both ways of course, as long as you’re contributing positively to the household. As you say, if you’re the happiest person you know, then you know you’re doing what’s right for you. That’s all that counts, right? Stay happy, my friend! 🙂

      Like

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