Saturday, 24 August 2013

ESSAY: Great Expectations

Happiness is not a big thing, made up of holidays and paradise islands. It is something you build every day, out of a morning kiss or a smile, or the just sharing an idea or a struggle; it is the small things that build happiness.

Small contentments, small victories, small expectations…
That’s what it is for me.

Making a meal, sharing it. Giving and sharing pleasure: cuddling on the couch watching a movie, holding hands because touching is so necessary.
Or a love note in a sock drawer.

Reality is work: but work is also a pleasure. Achieving something: the sense of accomplishment following hard work.

Paying bills is also a reality, yes.
So is a giggle and a joke, or a bottle of cheap wine because you can’t afford the other kind.

Know what I have done with my daughter this summer?
We have no money for holidays. So I packed a picnic and we dressed up, with our big hats, and took a table cloth and my best crystal glasses and we went to the Municipal Palace grounds. We lay out under these huge ancient trees near the river and spent the most peaceful day. We told each other stories, and we walked home happy. I sang opera on the way home, and she was so embarrassed…

Happiness is something you have to want.
It is liking your life, liking what you do with it, and who you are with.
It is liking who you have become; not financial security, or expensive holidays flying first class.
Happiness is celebrating small victories, crediting yourself for achievements, then looking for the next horizon.

This has been the happiest year of my life, even though it has been one of the hardest.
I have reached small dreams, and pulled larger ones closer.
I like where I'm going, I love my life.

So believe in yourself, please.
If where and what you are brings you contentment, that is wonderful.
Embrace it, accept it. Don’t judge your happiness by other people’s expectations.
Let yourself enjoy every single day, every small moment.

If where you are is not where you want to be?
Stop moaning and griping about it.
Reach out, grab that dream.
Do something about it.
Nothing is impossible. 
Believe me, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Please don’t stop believing, make a fairy tale out of what is at hand.
All you have to do is reach out.
Reach out your hand.

Manuela Cardiga


  1. Manuela,

    I I like best about this poem-essay are the images and insights that are truly your own.

    You can take these as writing prompts, or make them into a deck of cards, a poster, or almost anything.

    Janet Riehl

    1. Thank you Janet. :) For the encouragement.