Happiness is working two all-nighters this week to put a proposal together and landing the job and gaining a new client.... Joy is holding your young daughter in your lap and watching her fall asleep in your arms, quietly and unknowingly reminding you of what really matters!
Happiness is struggling patiently to teach your teenage daughter the intricacies of driving with standard transmission... Joy is receiving a hug of excitement from said teenage daughter when she finally masters the stick shift!
Happiness is spending the night out with your teenage son on a father-son macho outing of sorts and watching videos that Mom for sure wouldn't like (the pre-qualification for a good movie)... Joy is when you non-communicative teenage son (who usually feels grunts and groans are sufficient verbal skills) voluntarily says "Thanks, Dad" in audible clearly articulated sounds!
Happiness is watching your eldest go off to college her freshman year - a scared, insecure, timid, confused little girl... Joy is watching your eldest daughter return to college this year - a confident, in-control-of-the-situation, woman, whose eye-opening experiences of living away from home support have brought new understanding of gratitude for that home support!
Happiness is stumbling across an old picture of you and your wife pre-engagement (and contemplating all the thoughts and feelings and emotions of that period of time conjured up in that image)... Joy is still enjoying cuddling with her 26 years later!
Happiness is being grateful for a supportive wife and loving family... Joy is realizing that despite all of the pain and heartache and struggles and angst of being in a mixed-oriented marriage, there are no regrets and you would do it all over again!
Happiness is knowing the Gospel and the purpose and anchor it serves in your life... Joy is sharing that knowledge with new converts and feeling an overwhelming spiritual confirmation that what you are sharing and feeling is TRUE!
Happiness is coming to terms finally, without self-hate and maybe some measure of less personal angst, with being gay and still very much so attracted to men... Joy is... well, one may still working on that one...