How do you measure happiness?

How do you measure happiness?

To most people this might mean travel, career, money, success, so what does it mean to me? In my previous life, pre-children that is, I would have said, marriage, children and stability which I found by the time I was 30. Having a family was very important to me, as was being a Mum. I also felt it was important to follow the “right” steps, marriage, buy a house and then have children. I guess this may have been because I grew up in a single parent family. And I achieved this, success – married to a nice man and had 2 children.

I then realised that what my dreams should have been, was to be happy. The above felt like success, being married and having children, owning our own home, all those things that can be expected of you by family and society. But was I truly happy? How do we measure happiness? I guess that depends on who we are and what we strive to be. For me happiest is love and laughter. And at this stage in my life my children were the only true happiness that I had. The love I have for my children that is true love, the kind that makes you feel warm and happy inside.

I realised that in following my dream to be happy, truly happy with who I am as a person, who I surround myself with, and where I am in life, I would have to take a leap of faith. Being brave enough to admit that my marriage was not going to work, that neither of us were even going to be truly happy was terrifying.

So my marriage ended and I lost my house, I still had my children but suddenly I had to share them and be parted from them regularly – was that the end of the dream?

You never imagine yourself going into marriage and children, years later parting ways. What would people think? What about my kids? Would they be okay?

Thankfully it turned out to be the beginning of my dream. My dream of happiness and love. I found love, true love – yes the mushy kind that you see in movies. This was not ideal, society expect the nuclear family to be the “right” way to bring up children and for them to be well rounded individuals. Not the blended family, re-partnering can’t be good for your kids, can it? They need both their parents, and what kind of selfish parent wreaks a family? Parents are suppose to put their children first not their own happiness, how could I follow my dream and not hurt so many other people?

Some people thought terrible thoughts, some people loved our love for each other and felt proud. But I followed my dream, I took that leap of faith and thankfully I can say with conviction that my kids are okay, actually better than okay. They love having two parents that are happy – both having found their dream of true love. It’s okay that we found it elsewhere and it’s wonderful that we can model that love to our children. They get to grow up watching their Mum and their Dad, happy and following their dreams of love.

Was it selfish to following my heart? Probably a little but at the same time I knew that I deserved to follow my dream, just like everyone else. I deserved happiness too.

So I might not have the career of my dreams (yet), have travelled the world (yet) or be financially wealthy (yet) but I have followed – no – chased my dreams of happiness and LOVE and found it! The rest will come, good stuff always comes to those that want it.

Tracey Formosa

Tracey is a full time Mum with two children, (one with special needs) and a part-time step-Mum to her husband’s three children. Being part of a blended family means some days are busy and filled with beautiful kiddie chaos and others are for just her and her gorgeous new husband. When Tracey is not running around striving to be super Mum, she is reading, researching and writing about step parenting, blended families or special needs.

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Categorised: Grown Ups

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