Tuesday Coffee Chat ~ Lessons Learned

“Lessons Learned” 

What’s the most important lesson you have learned thus far in life? Did you “get it” straight away, or did it take a few tries? Share your wisdom. 


We all want it, we do everything we can think of to have it.

And yet for many, even once they get what they want, they aren’t happy.


Because it isn’t, as the sign says, a destination, it is very much a way of life.

It is not a lesson I picked up over night.  I have gradually figured it all out as I have matured and grown older.

No person is going to make me happy.  I’ve been married twice now, the first time just a few years, the second 22 years.  In that second marriage, despite my husband’s faults (believe me there were many and some glaring!), I made the choice to love him when he was not a lovable guy, and to stick it out.  I chose to be happy.  Funny thing, when I made a decision to love him and be happy, I was!  In my mind he was the end all of men because that was for me what I believed my spouse should be.  And I was blindly and blissfully happy because I decided to be.  Sadly it did not go both ways.

When I ended up getting divorced because he wanted out, it about destroyed me emotionally and mentally.  I have struggled to come to grips with how anyone can boot someone out of their life that stood by them when they were one ugly, mean S.O.B. and carried the weight of the world on her shoulders when he could not.  How when it came time to roll up the sleeves and dig his heels in for me, he bailed.  But in all that mental and emotional train wreckage I made the decision to be HAPPY!  Every morning I crawled out of bed and put a smile on my face and told myself it was the best day EVER and that I was HAPPY!  And you know what? I WAS!  It didn’t mean that being tossed aside didn’t hurt, and it didn’t mean that there weren’t days I behaved like a horse’s ass through the divorce and immediately afterward.  But I still kept telling myself that I was happy and went about life doing things that I enjoyed and made me happy.

It is why I know that I don’t need another person in my life or lots of things to make me happy.  I’m flying this life plane solo and I don’t really have much in the way of possessions.  My happiness comes from inside.  Some days it is a bit more effort that must be put forth to put on my happy face, and there are days when I slip into a funk and might even hop on my blog and lash out irrationally.  But whatever splinter made its way in to cause that, I work quickly to dig it out and be happy again.  That decision is the seed that takes root that morning and before long I’m singing (not too loudly so as not to scare anyone) and dancing (like no one is watching) and I am HAPPY!

My happiness is my responsibility, and it is all part of the journey, not the end destination.

*To link up and join the chat and share your lessons learned, click the coffee cup icon above*


  1. The truth is, it’s up to oneself to create happiness because no other person on this planet can do this for you period. Your attitude and determination to rise above the odds is applaudable. I wish so many others could find their imaginative boot straps to lift themselves up & out of the pit of gloom which overshadows them. Instead, many choose to wallow around in self-pity and depression. Great post!

  2. Great post! If I can’t make my husband laugh every day he becomes a real grump. He also needs his kiss and hug to get him going. I agree that we have to be happy ourselves before we can share happiness.

  3. I agree because true happiness isn’t fleeting ;it stays with you through your everyday journey! Have yourself a HAPPY and joyful day :))

  4. This is so freakin fantastic!! Love this.
    I know so many people who are searching, wandering, trying every thing, filling up their lives with so much Stuff — filing up those empty spaces, in an effort to find happiness. Just choose it!! Then live it. Do something in service to someone else; you may be surprised at how good you will feel. Stop collecting stuff….it’ll take up all the room in your heart, and leave no space for what really matters.
    As for companions, I agree completely. While the notion of “you complete me” is very romantic, I do think you have to be a whole person on your own before you can truly open your heart to another. Making yourself someone else’ problem to solve? that might not end so well for you. I’ve learned that too: often someone doesn’t want to spend forever with a person who saw them at their weakest/ugliest. Shame is a powerful thing too. Or, you are no longer the crutch they need: now that they can stand on their own.
    Thanks so much for joining my chat today, and sharing what may in fact be the best lesson of all!

    • Thanks for hosting!
      Do NOT hesitate for the subject you mentioned today for next week. I think it could be a very good, and deep, subject matter!

  5. Marti… I LOVE this post and especially your last sentence….
    I completely agree with you that happiness is a choice and it is the one you have to make for yourself. I have been thinking a LOT about that lately as I am swamped in debt trying to help my kids (an of course everyone says… they are adults let them make their own way) … but as long as I have a roof over my head, food on the table, my health and the health of my children what more do I really need?

  6. Bravo! I always enjoy reading yours posts and while I may not be able to comment each time, the ones such this encourage me to take a moment and drop a line.

    Unlike you, I have never been married and while I agree with your saying no one can make you happy, I do believe it is possible (even for you after two disappointing and painful marriages) for someone to supplement the happiness you find on your own. Perhaps it is the idea of not wanting to grow old alone, or some fantasy/hope that a man who can love, appreciate and honor me still exists, but I think we shouldn’t give up the idea. The idea that being by ourselves and having family, friends and hobbies are enough to fulfill us. These certainly help and I’m not saying a life companion is the cure all; I just believe deep down, you may still want it.

    Alright, off to work I go but again – great post. Oh and about your dream from the other night… Long Beach, California is a beautiful city and is literally in my back yard. 🙂

    • I agree, a special someone can compliment and enhance our happiness! But if we are not happy standing alone, we will never be happy with someone at our side!

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