Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

What? Could I simply not maintain the sense of contentment  that came  in  so  warmly  in  late  August  and stayed through much of September, in spite of the issues with my dad, my ex, the pressures of my job?

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

There was still such a wonderful sense of everything being as it should be. Serenity. Calmness. Destiny.

So what’s changed?

My emotions are discordant this morning. They were last night, too.  Not the kind of emotional response that comes with stress, and I’ll admit the job stress has been harsh but still, it’s just job stress. It will pass. It’s not like the old days where I felt the world would end if I wasn’t at work. I’m over that. And in my current job, it’s unlikely my actions will cause someone to die or not. I really don’t care to go back to that type of work and I’ll stay out of the limelight and forget the promotion interviews so I can have a real life waiting for me when I leave my desk every evening.

I was more stressed last week than I am now. Work is falling into  place, the house repairs are evolving  nicely, several big projects at my home office are now complete, the patio is lovely, Shannon’s car is out of the shop, I’ve talked with some interesting new people online this week, the  new Spilled Candy catalogs  are gorgeous,  and both girls—though terribly busy and stressed—are home with me this week, even if it is only in the late evenings.

Yet now, suddenly, I’m hit with waves  of…sadnessand anxiety…that don’t make sense. There’s been an undercurrent of anxiety and want all weekend, just as there was the previous weekend. Just a sweet sense of longing mixed with confusion and questioning. I’ve been too focused on completing  physical tasks to give it too much thought, but as I’m clearing out the tasks, these emotions are surfacing more strongly.

The tough thing is, I’m not sure if they’re mine. Usually, I can  distinguish—sometimes  after a day or two— and pass them through and  I’m fine. That’s easy to tell when my emotions bounce all over the place,  changing moods five times in an hour. It’s not so easy when they settle in.

I know that they’re about me, but I don’t know if the emotions originated from within. I sat and cried last night for a minute or two, for no reason, and it stirred me to search for other things in my office that dredged up tenderhearted  thoughts  of  my  own.  The  more  I  think through this, work through this, the more I feel that these emotions aren’t my own—though I’ll agree that the impatience is most definitely mine, if not an emotion I share. But the rest of this feels more like…almost  there,  can’t do anything yet, must be sure, the moment must be right, I can’t screw up again, I want but I fear. Just deep longing and wistfulness…and paralysis.

There’s  a  scene  in  one  of  the  old  Buffy  episodes where Drusilla has dumped Spike (my favorite, and not just for the leather coat or abs). He’s in denial that he’s in love           with       Buffy, but            Drusilla—the      psychic-turned- vampire—knows the truth, even if he  doesn’t. She tells Spike  that  Buffy  is  all  around  him.  Not  physically,  of course, but there in the Ether around him. I recognize that sensation.

That’s how this feels.

I wonder if, when one person thinks about another, they are  somehow  present  in the Ether, all around the other  person,  and  that  person  is  drawn  to  being  all around the first.


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