I think I met a new friend yesterday. I’m so excited. Many people call me an extrovert and I guess I am. But truth be told, instead of being the center of a huge group of people, what I really like is to connect deeply with someone – someone with whom I have a similar mindset or approach so that we “get” each other, but from whom I can learn new ideas and perspectives. I think I met one of those people yesterday.

I was at my son’s basketball game, sitting near some women I knew slightly, but not necessarily feeling invited into their conversation. It was probably me, but someone’s belongings were between me and the person I knew best in the group, and it felt presumptuous to move closer and join the conversation. There literally were things in the way.

Now I may have happily spent the rest of the game by myself, cheering my son on. Or I may have spent the rest of the game feeling awkward – was I being rude in not joining this group’s conversation? Did they care if I spoke with them? Or not?

But instead of either of these options, I introduced myself to someone I didn’t know at all. A new friend of my son’s had shown up at our house with the gang on Friday after school, and I thought I recognized him on the basketball court. As the woman behind me cheered for the team, I asked her if he was that boy, and if he was her boy. She replied yes to both and we ended up talking.

It was delightful. She was new to town (so I could feel gracious and welcoming – I still remember with gratitude and love the friends who went out of their way to welcome me when we were new to town). And we seemed to have so many things in common – a child just recently out of the nest, a blog, a book we hoped to publish, a love of San Francisco (my second favorite US city) and New York (needless to say, my first favorite).

We also seemed to have a similar approach to life, and to happiness. She shared with me how she had recently been in Whole Foods, asking a question of a worker there. “You’re not like everyone else around here,” he told her. When she asked why he explained that she seemed different because she seemed happy. And she explained to him that she saw no reason to get up in the morning if you didn’t get up happy.

I loved hearing that. I, of course, firmly believe that happiness is – can be – a choice, and I’ve dedicated my January to making that choice every day. Over and over if necessary. And I delighted in finding someone who believed in the same choice.

I have a bench in the new “nook” in my house that needs a pillow. And I saw one a few weeks back that I think I’m going to buy. “Happily Ever After” it reads. I think that can be an amazing reminder to me. I can choose to be happy. I can choose to live Happily Ever After. Don’t get me wrong, stuff happens. It happens, sometimes, all the time, every day or all day long. But again, I can choose to be happy in this moment, in this day. I can choose to take at least a few moments and focus on the things that I can be happy about. And I can choose to view my life as Happily Ever After, and to do my best to make my life that way – or at least right now. I can even remember to view my marriage that way. “NBB” my husband says to me. “Nothing But Bliss.”

I’m so excited to have hopefully made a new friend. I’m so excited I started up a conversation with her and opened myself to a new experience and a new person. I’m so excited to choose to live my life Happily Ever After.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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