Nothing in my life has brought me more bliss than relationships. I say this despite modern society’s relentless campaign to convince me that only material objects, and being as thin as possible, will bring happiness. I remain unconvinced. And definitely not as thin as possible.
Of course I enjoy nice things, and many of the things that bring me joy are solitary pursuits — I have been a voracious reader since I was very young, and really did read under the covers with a flashlight long into the night, hours after my parents thought I was asleep. And reading still gives me the greatest pleasure, and no, I do not belong to a book club, mainly because I don’t want to hear other people’s interpretations of a novel. Reading is just too personal. But no matter how much pleasure a well-written book can provide, it pales in comparison to the fulfillment I get from establishing deep and meaningful connections with those special people in my inner circle.
In times of great joy, I revel in sharing those moments with people I love. I am fortunate to be married to a man who still sets my heart aflutter after more than 30 years together, and I have strong emotional connections with my three sons. The time spent together as a family and one on one is definitely both blissful and sacred.
But equally important to me is the time spent with close friends — friends who have celebrated with me in good times and supported me through times of sadness and loss. One of those friends, Judy Librach, who you know as the bliss whisperer, has taught me important lessons about kindness and friendship. Judy and I are so different in demeanour that our close friendship never fails to elicit shock. Her sunny disposition and insistence on “judging to the good” contrast starkly with my cool, direct, and slightly cynical outlook. But we come from similar backgrounds and childhood experiences and our connection is deep. Her generousity of spirit knows no bounds and is truly an inspiration.
Under duress, I may even confess to wearing a little more makeup at Judy’s urging. Not necessarily a blissful thing for me, but friendship can make you do strange things.