She was so happy that she almost felt frightened.

Cavendish Grove

It is no secret that I am a half-empty sort of person. The word pessimist doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sometimes it comes across worse than I intended, simply because I prefer to think things through, to consider possible consequences. Sometimes I drown myself in those what-ifs, overwhelmed to the point of being paralyzed.

So I have been surprised lately to realize that I am feeling – it’s hard for me to even say it, for fear that I might jinx it – content. I know, I know, you think it’s because of the baby. But I have some witnesses who could tell you otherwise. The baby is still exciting and terrifying me in equal measures. It’s not just the baby that’s a good thing in our lives, though. There have been several things this summer that have made me realize what a good place we are in, with our beautiful house, our great jobs, and the time we have spent together. I feel – and, again, I don’t want to jinx it – as if I have begun to learn how to choose to be a better version of myself.

It’s frightening to admit to being happy, even to myself. It’s hard to keep from believing that it’s the calm before the next storm or that something terrifying might be coming. And maybe that’s true. That is how it seems to work. That’s my usual mode of operation. Maybe I will look back and laugh at these feelings of contentment.

But maybe not. Maybe some of the things that have happened in recent years have taught me something about growing. Right now I feel as if I am not just growing a baby, but that I am growing into myself.

As I was writing this, I knew that it echoed something I had read many times. I finally realized that it was my old friend Anne Shirley, which was appropriate since we just visited her Island. Even hopelessly optimistic Anne worried about happiness from time to time. I am comfortable being in such good company.

As for Anne herself, she was so happy that she almost felt frightened. The gods, so says the old superstition, do not like to behold too happy mortals. It is certain, at least, that some human beings do not.Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

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