There aren’t many countries that talk about “happiness” as part of their national raison d’etre, but it’s right there in our Declaration of Independence.
It’s our God-given right to at least pursue it, so why aren’t we happier?
I spent a lot of years wondering that about myself, until something happened this week — I wrote about it the other day — that made me feel a little bit like Dorothy at the end of “The Wizard of Oz” when Glinda told her she had the power to go home right there all the time.
I have felt very happy the last few days, as if I have finally released all the anger and resentment that had bothered me for so long. But I can’t help feeling more than a little stupid at the same time, knowing now that I had what I needed to be happy all along. Or at least for the last 17 years.
I have a wonderful marriage that will last for as long as both of us are alive. My wife is the love of my life and a truly special person.
I have two amazing children, and if there’s one thing they have taught me, it’s that sometimes the best way to be a good parent is just knowing when to stay out of your kids’ way.
I have an amazing granddaughter, who brings tears to my eyes almost every time I look at a picture of her.
And I have reasonably good health and — knock on wood — financial security for a good retirement.
I also have wonderful friends, with at least three friendships that go back more than 35 years.
As for the things I haven’t accomplished, well, I am not dead yet.
There really is no place like home.
And nothing like family.