Several months ago I had made the decision to not be mad any more. As simple as that. Life is too short, and far too often we allow ourselves to be upset about things that just don’t matter. I for one could care less about the condition of my toothpaste tube, I also don’t care which way the toilet paper hangs (as long as it’s there), and I don’t keep score on who does what around the house. I am choosing to focus on being happy, making sure the people I love know that I love them, and feeling like I make a difference in the world. There is of course my relentless recycling, but beyond that in little ways, with individual people, particularly children, I want to feel like something I did touched their life. Much like my Myra and Emma story, I’d like to be the “lady” that a child remembers from their childhood, I don’t even care if they recall my name. These days however I am trying to be to be the rock for a number of people in my life. It is definitely easier with some than with others. Stress, tension, worry, and exhaustion can cause people to lose sight of what is important, they speak without thinking, fly off the handle at nothing, and what ends up happening is the fracture of otherwise loving relationships. I’ve mentioned that Dan is out of work. I can honestly say that these past few months have only proven how much we care for each other. Some weeks are like a see saw, he’s up, I’m down, and vice versa, we support each other through the bad days, and are currently planning for a future business together. During our troubled times I have also been trying to be as much help as possible to two friends who find themselves in very different, but also very difficult situations. Then there is my family, my Dad was injured and then had a bad reaction to some medication. My sisters are worn thin, and again I am trying to be as much help as possible from thousands of miles away. Tonight when I tried to work I found myself unable to concentrate on anything. I started and stopped several pieces. I thought I had given up. I sat at the table and worked with my watercolors, swirling paint on the paper thinking that I was just playing with color. Something began to happen, my swirls of paint began to speak to me. I began to add intended shapes to the page, and in the midst of all of the chaos a solid core. It’s what I feel like these days. I am trying to be what the people in my life need, someone that they can count on in the middle of all of their problems that they know will listen, offer advice, or just offer some support and understanding. Through it all I am trying to maintain my new philosophy of living happier. Sometimes it’s difficult, but what always makes it easier is having Dan by my side.