It’s okay to be happy


I’ve spent a lot of years getting okay with sadness.

While we live in a culture that tells us that, through various forms of self-medication, sadness is to be avoided at all costs, I have learned that sometimes, you just need to feel sad.  Lean into the pain.  Don’t do anything to try to change it, just fully experience it.

And why shouldn’t I feel sad?  For me, the last 5 years have held their fair share of death – death of dreams, death of relationships, death of people.  If it isn’t happening to me, it’s happening around me – although, I’ll be honest and say that these days, it’s happening to me… more than I’ve asked for, more than I imagined could hit all at once.

I’m really good at the sad.

I’m realizing that there are no happy endings – no game-winning home run, no swelling music as the couple kisses, no cowboy riding off into the sunset.  Until the good Lord comes again, we are existing in a never-ending series of ups and downs – just as soon as we seem to find our footing, the world tilts.  Despite our most wonderful moments, we will never “arrive.”  We will never figure it all out.  We will never seal the happiness deal.

Depressing?  Maybe.

But in a small way, this also feels like freedom – freedom to stop waiting for the happy ending, and to experience the happy right now.

How many times have I postponed any given occurrence of happiness, in favor of that elusive “someday” happy ending?  Brushing off a compliment because I’m waiting for the day that I’m skinnier.  Paying no attention to the moment because I’m waiting for the larger event.  Questioning my worth because I’m waiting for the day that I’m truly loved.  Ignoring any good because I’m waiting until there is absolutely zero bad.  Disregarding the many gifts in my life because they do not yet include a) a husband, b) a house, c) a baby, d) a larger purpose, e) any sense of security… the list goes on.

I’m going to go ahead and keep hoping, because good things are surely in store – but I need to remember that happy endings are smoke and mirrors.  As long as we’re on this earth, we will never be fully satisfied.  It’s time to feel the freedom to seize those happy moments – because all we’re promised is today.  Grab that happiness by the jugular, and enjoy the shit out of it.  Laugh without feeling guilty.  Be silly without feeling stupid.  Feel happy without any nonessential qualifiers.

If you need to feel sad, by all means, feel sad.  But if you’re lucky enough to have a reason to be happy, don’t wait.  Be happy now.



  1. Dani on May 10, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    This reminded me of a post by Jon Acuff last week.
    We don’t serve a miserable God, and we don’t need to be so to get in touch with him, even though I feel that way sometimes. Hang on, lovely. Love you. XOXOXO

  2. Greta on May 10, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    I LOVE this.

    You blow me away AP.

  3. Mary on May 10, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Annie darling. This is, hands down, one of your most eloquent, honest, and poignant posts ever. It hits home on so many levels. Thank you for the reminder to be present and happy in what we have today. And that sadness is okay, too. I am in a forever struggle with both of those truths.
    xoxo hold on, love.

  4. Kerry Morby on May 10, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    You have amazing wisdom! I am so impressed with you, Annie Parsons! Best quote to take into my day? “Grab that happiness by the jugular, and enjoy the shit out of it.”

  5. Whitney on May 10, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Amen, amen, and amen.

  6. Pamela on May 10, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Ditto to Kerry Morby.

  7. Alissa on May 10, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    This does feel like freedom – deep breaths of freedom. Reminds me of a comment one of our Deputation “kids” made after a particularly ORDINARY (possibly even boring) summer overseas. She realized that her trip taught her how to find the joy and walk with God in the flats of life, instead of only seeking him in the valleys and celebrating on the mountain tops. There is joy this day.

  8. ana on May 10, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    annie, this is beautiful. thank you, thank you, thank you for a very true reminder. HE has made in you a beautiful heart.

  9. anna on May 10, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    is it a bad sign when you can’t even spell your own name right? :) “anna”

  10. Mandy on May 10, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    LOVE this. That’s all. Just love it.

  11. Dad on May 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    I heard someone say recently, “Misery is optional – the choice is yours.” And another, “Today is all I’ve got.” I think you and I are all too much alike, struggling to stay present in the moment and enjoy it to its depths. But to tell you the truth, I’d like to learn better how to do that . . . with you.

    Love, Dad

  12. Jodie | Velour on May 10, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    My comment is exactly the same as Greta’s.

  13. Andrea on May 10, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Annie, you’re amazing. I’ve been so consumed in my sad lately that I haven’t realized my happies. Your posts are always so eye-opening for me. Thank you for your words.

  14. Tay on May 10, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    You are awesome and I love you. :)

  15. Tad on May 10, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    I don’t know if anyone’s said this yet, but you, Annie have the gift of wisdom. I’m glad we’re pals.

  16. Chloe Boyle on May 10, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. A wonderful reminder and just so darn true. One of my favorite sayings is, “This, too, shall pass.” – the good with the bad. It reminds me to enjoy the good while it’s here, and remember that the bad will go away. Both ideas help me live in the moment while looking to the future with hope.

  17. Lyla on May 10, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    #1 I love your new song
    #2 GREAT blog post.
    #3 When I read “Grab that happiness by the jugular, and enjoy the shit out of it.” I said in my mind in the voice of the kid in Jerry Maguire “You said shit”

  18. brent on May 10, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    This is the best post I’ve read anywhere in a while. Thank you.

  19. Jocelyn on May 10, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    So so good. I’ve been there so many times. Wait… I AM there (in one way or another). Solid words, miss.

  20. annie on May 11, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Previous comments say it all, but I just wanted to say that you are a beautiful person, Annie Parsons. Inside and out. Thank you for sharing yourself with so many of us, because you humor, inspire, and encourage us with your words all the time. I anticipate something special every time I visit your blog.

    This post is on the money, honey.

    It’s like your dad said: “stay present.” We waste so much time living either in the past or the future…

    Love ya!

  21. sue hinkle on May 11, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Yes Annie. You’re on to more than you know. Hang on to it for dear life because it will bring you life that is dear. Love you, grandma

  22. Danielly Nobile on May 12, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    You wrote exactly what I needed to read. Thank you!

  23. Nashville Miranda on May 12, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    I love you. Thanks so much for your beautiful words.

  24. Muggles on May 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    My heart just uss-plo-did.

  25. Jessica Beecham on May 14, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    oh my word. your dad is so sweet. i have zero relationship with my dad. we haven’t spoken in 2.5 years (and that was for 10 min), wasn’t invited to my or my sister’s weddings..alcoholic, absent, promise breaker. celebrate the blessing of a dad today. :) xoxo

  26. shanna on May 14, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    my dear blog friend, I think you and I have more in common than I knew. I want to tell you that I’m praying for you, with limited knowledge but to the one whose knowledge has no limits. I also want to tell you that happy endings and fairy tales and so on are not total lies—only because they are, without realizing it, pointing to the great truth that there IS satisfaction, completeness, security, finish, great great good to come, in our futures, when we finally have the the very thing we didn’t even know our hearts were longing for all this time that they’ve been longing: when we are united with Jesus, forever, never to be separated or taste death again.

    all the hurt and pain and disappointment in this life, I sometimes think, is good if only for this: it makes me ache for my real home.

  27. […] And finally, it’s okay to be happy.  It’s okay to be happy! […]

Leave a Comment