Suddenly John turned to me and asked, "How's your new job? Do you like it?"
I must have paused for a brief moment, because Rod, my husband, jumped in. "She absolutely loves it." And I realized I did. I hadn't really thought about it, but I was happy and it took someone else to notice.
I was still working hard. I was still faced with regular challenges (that is one thing that makes me happy!). But I was HAPPY.
I have pondered that brief moment these past few months. Why didn't I realize the difference? What does Rod see? How often does our happiness just get absorbed into life? What is "happy"? Is happiness elusive or do we just not notice it?
I can now state specific things that make me happy...my teams, my position, the students I work with, the freedom I teach with. But those are just things. I have come to realize that what is truly making me happy is acceptance. I am allowed to be me.
There is a certain freedom and peacefulness that comes from acceptance....I am valued and respected. I trust and respect my teams and they trust and respect me.
And here's the thing -
Mutual trust and respect breeds creativity and innovation because there is no fear....no fear of ridicule or embarrassment. No fear of retribution or conflict.
And for that I am thankful.