We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness –

Behold, the opening phrases, second paragraph, Declaration of Independence. You can see the document for yourself in the National Archives. You can imagine the incredibly literate brain of a man who could write such words of pithy truth and feeling. (we forgive him that he didn’t include women; we gained the right to include ourselves.)Unknown-1

At Thomas Jefferson’s beloved home, Monticello, you can also see the desk where he may have lovingly, painstakingly penned the immortal manifesto. You can also see the contraption he invented to make a simultaneous copy of a document. Imagine the rigorous effort, the concentration, the steady hand required to produce such flowing and perfect script.

With a quill and ink. And no auto correct, which has become a belligerent overseer when I text.

He couldn’t even sweat at the effort, for beads of perspiration would plop on the paper and he’d have to scrape the work. There are a lot of words, lovingly strung – and they precisely fit on one giant page. Fervent, artful, superior. He deserved wine from his cellars at the close of the task, which must have taken many days. Imagine it.

Happiness pursued, happiness felt, happiness lost-and-regained. It’s a core American value. I feel it much of the time, though I’d called it contentment.

My husband and I enjoin a peaceable terrain, unfettered by family issues in Elsewhere, USA. We have little arenas of contention; neither of us must be right or dominate. Each has their own hobbies, duties, and pursuits, which balance well. We value each other’s life and liberty, we respect each other’s humanity. As equals, we resonate. Amen.

While I adored my speech-language pathology avocation, I enjoy my avocation of writing, my encore career, just as much.

images-2And I have a new Happiness Meter: when I am thoroughly content and invigorated by life’s circumstances, my writing imagination ignites, afire with ideas and opines. Story ideas and blog posts flow like Thomas Jefferson’s pen. It’s exciting – and Happiness begets more Happiness, a nice cycle of Life.

It’s leaps beyond where I started when I embarked on this Elegant Hobby; then my slogan was “I write when I feel blue, I write when I feel black…And then I feel all better.”

WHY? Because I write my own story, not the blustery bullies that populate my/our world.

Applause, please – and what about you? How’s your pursuit of Happiness? Your own story, I hope.