A “charming” find  

A sweet discovery can lend itself to a feeling of joy

Finding happiness and joy can be as simple as finding a hidden treasure.

There’s a story to be found in almost anything. You can often find the story inside a delightful keepsake. I found my narrative this morning within the symbols of a charm bracelet.

I was rifling through my mostly costume jewelry assortment when I spotted the sterling silver bracelet. Given to me by a family doctor friend when I was about 9 years old, the bracelet showcases a number of Maryland landmark charms along with a few charms I added along the way.

Picking up the bracelet to examine it more closely, I noticed the three newer charms near the clasp of the bracelet – a feather and two Chinese charms symbolizing love and happiness. In December of 2015, my then boyfriend Joe presented me with this gift and told me what it meant.  

I was taking the leap of faith to move to Seattle to marry Joe and it was the last Christmas I would spend in California. There was joy ahead and yet the very real fear of change. He explained the significance behind the sterling tokens.

“The feather is you flying away. The other two charms represent love and happiness. Together they mean you’re flying away to love and happiness.”  

The gift was not only a reflection of the way Joe felt about me, it was a testament of how he viewed the world, our world together, and how our journey would ultimately play out. He knew I would have emotional insecurities, concerns about all the ‘what ifs’, and even fear about what could go wrong.

Flying away to love and happiness was his strong belief that life for me was about to get better despite the anxiety, the hesitation, and the worry about the unknown.

Today as I glanced at the bracelet, it was EXACTLY the metaphor I needed to help me manage through some recent changes. It was no accident that I choose to hold it in my hand and reflect upon its hidden significance. I needed to remind myself that finding happiness is often found by the stories we choose for ourselves.

If we look deeply, we all have stories from the collection of things and ornamental gadgets we accumulate. No one knows the inside story but us. No one can decide what our story is but us. The secret of happiness lies in our ability to focus on the positive storylines and metaphors we receive and use them as a guiding force for how we choose to live our lives.

Taking flight isn’t so bad especially when it leads us to love and happiness. In fact, every so often we need to get away to find out what we really want. Occasionally, we need a universal nudge or maybe a charm bracelet to remind us.

I See Old People is available on Amazon for purchase. Jeanne is also available for podcasts and public speaking engagements. You can contact her directly here. Donate directly to the Alzheimer’s Association here: #Bekindtour.

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