HIs being happy a right for humankind? Is it a requirement to show that you’re all right? Is it okay to not be happy? My answers to these questions are no, no, and yes.

I would love to be happy all the time, but I believe that is unrealistic.

That’s not to say that I think we should be happy being unhappy. That’s not okay either.

Life throws us curve balls. Grief, sorrow, fear, anger, and disappointment are all real and legitimate emotions. We’re made to feel more than “happiness.”

The difference, I think, comes down to another “H” word: hope. Hope makes unhappiness bearable because hope tells us that things will work out, that the pain is temporary, that our circumstances don’t define who we are.

I’ll take hope over happiness any day of the week.


Alive and Kicking

It’s been months since I wrote anything for this blog. If you follow my blog and you’re still here, thank you for not dropping me. Things got pretty dark for me after my dad died in May. I was still recovering from my hysterectomy when he passed. The emotional pain didn’t help with the physical healing process and I was out of commission for two weeks longer than expected.

I was happy to get back to my students and my classroom to finish off the last two weeks of the school year. Then came the letters from the insurance company, denying the claim for my surgery. Much of our summer was put on hold while trying to sort that mess out.

Then, to add insult to injury, a few weeks into summer vacation, I lost my job. My principal called me into his office to inform me that they found a “better match” and I wouldn’t be needed for the following school year. No other explanation. No real reason. Just a big kick in the gut– at least, that’s how it felt. I pretty much cried nonstop for two days.

As all this piled up, my world got darker. But, as with every period of darkness, there were also little glimpses light shining through the cracks.

About the time my dad died, I found out a piece of fan fiction I wrote for one of my favorite authors was accepted by him to be published in one his books. The positive feedback I received about my story from reviewers of the book encouraged me to keep writing.

Since then, I have published a short story on my own. It has also been published in an anthology, which was released just a few days ago. I wrote another short story for a different anthology. I’ll find out next week if it has been accepted. I have a good feeling it will be.

I am also working on a full-length novel, which I hope to release by February of next year.

In addition to writing, I’ve been reviewing books and doing a little editing/promoting for Monique Happy Editorial Services. My focus is primarily on independent authors and those who publish through small publishers. I’ve always been someone who enjoys helping others succeed (probably why I became a teacher). I get to combine my passion for books and reading with my natural inclination to want to see others do well. How awesome is that?! It doesn’t pay anything, but I’m a believer in karma. Besides, I’m having fun!

While losing my job was painful, I now have more time to focus on writing, reading, and reviewing. I am homeschooling my boys, so I squeeze my writing between lessons and activities. They used to attend the private school where I taught, but now that I don’t work there, we can’t afford the tuition. I also homeschool a former student of mine. Her mom pulled her out of the private school after having a bad experience with the principal (hmm… wasn’t just me…). It’s like having a daughter for the day. They all like being homeschooled, and I like the freedom and flexibility it gives me.

These past few months have been difficult, but I’m doing fine. I’m hoping to start up this blog again and reconnect with the great bloggers I met during the A to Z Blogger challenge.

Here is a link to my book review blog: Under the Oak Book Reviews

If you’ve read this far, I’ll go ahead and let you in on a little secret: My pen name is Eila Oakes (Eila is pronounced Eye-la and means oak tree. What can I say? I like oak trees). Here is my author website: Eila Oakes, Author.  Here is a link to my Facebook author page: Eila Oakes (Facebook) Give it a “like” while you’re there!

Anyway, I hope you are all well! Be sure to say hi!