“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”- Hafiz of Persia

Someone at work asked me (somewhat warily, I might add), “Why are you always so happy?”  I’m fairly certain he has no idea what’s been going on in my life (I genuinely think he’s puzzled and trying to figure out if I have a personality disorder or just heavily medicated) and I can’t even tell you how I responded but it got me thinking.  If nothing else, the past few months have been a time of reflection and self-analysis.  A diagnosis of breast cancer  has forced me to evaluate everything in my life including my relationships, actions, perspective, vanity, faith, happiness, future… everything!  (By the way, I’ve read that DCIS isn’t even cancer which makes me wonder why the heck I’m spending so much time with a team of oncologists but that’s a discussion for another time.)  But the question of happiness has been food for thought.  I could have told him that happiness is a choice – I think it is.  Or that I’ve observed people who are happy seem to be equally full of hope and gratitude.  But how to express happiness daily…?

Do you remember the tv show Candid Camera?  I love those prank shows – they set up an absurd situation, hide a camera and then sit back and watch how people react.  Most people respond with irritation, frustration, anger and even outrage until they finally reveal, “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!” and THEN everyone smiles and laughs.  But there’s almost always one person who looks baffled but amused and laughs while it’s happening and I always hope that’s how I would react.  If I’m caught on tape, THAT’S the person I want to be!  Bizarre and strange situations happen every day and I often ask myself, “Am I being ‘Punked?’  Is there a hidden camera around here?”

Isn’t that deep?  The answer to finding happiness is being baffled and amused.  Now you’ll ALL be looking at me warily, “Doesn’t she seem happy?  Actually, she’s delusional – she thinks she’s on a prank show right now.”  Nevermind – refer to the first paragraph when I wrote that happiness is a choice and there’s a direct correlation between gratitude, hope and happiness.  Even when it’s not, life is funny – I have to laugh!   God must have an awesome sense of humor.  If we are made in His image, there must be a reason that laughter makes us feel so good.

“All life … is energy.  You are responsible for the energy you create for yourself.  You are responsible for the energy you bring to others.”          – Dr. Jill Taylor

I met with my radiation oncologist on Thursday and he was great – he actually spent time getting to know me, asking questions about my family, friends, support system, etc.  I will go in for a “practice run” January 4th and will begin radiation treatments the 5th.  I’ll go five days a week, for four weeks.  Good times.

I am grateful to have so much support from my amazing friends, family and even strangers.  Your kind words, texts, emails, gifts and prayers give me strength, make me laugh (and cry!) and keep me going – thank you.

“He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.”
Proverbs 16:20


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dennis neville
    Dec 17, 2011 @ 20:28:02

    it’s way more fun being happy.. easier i believe. always loved candid camera. i’m glad you’re still laughing gretchen.. it really is funny.. keep it up amazing friend.


  2. Jill
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 05:46:11

    It’s funny Gretchen. All my life I’ve had people ask me “why are you so happy?” Sometimes with suspicion (what does she know that I don’t?), sometimes sarcastically (she’s so lame that she doesn’t know to be worried) and sometimes I think, as a real question…
    My life hasn’t always been easy but I’ve always had a good outlook and a loving family. But more than that, I think there are some of us who are more in touch with Joy and find it easier to give in to Awe. Lucky us. We’re really HAPPY!


  3. Juliet
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 16:19:29

    I am SOOO with you girl! I love to be in that state of constant wonder and amazement at life… stay child-like!!

    I love your attitude — I love YOU!

    I am almost POSITIVE I am on a life-long Candid Camera! 😀


  4. Heather Lightner
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:15:37

    I think you are a brilliant writer! Next career perhaps? I agree that happiness is a choice and that even when you aren’t truly happy, it is healthier to pretend to be, than to sink into that negative place. Positive energy from your actions and reactions cause others to question your attitude. They don’t understand that it is far easier to smile than to frown. (Does that mean we are lazy happy people?) Keep smiling darling and I wish you a safe journey over the mountain you are climbing. I bet you are meeting some amazing happy people along the way…..so glad you got to get away for some toes in the sand time. Wish you could pop over for a healing cup of tea…I bet we could spend hours on the subject of HAPPY. 🙂


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