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I had a rare chance to speak with my daughter last night over dinner. When I say rare, it was because she and I were alone in the house and we were not pressured to be anywhere after dinner, so we had time to enjoy our food and each other's company.

The conversation turned to happiness...in particular, mine. She wanted to know if I was happy. For some reason my children seem to believe that I must have a man in my life to make me happy. (I have been divorced for almost 16 years and have not dated for probably 8.) I simply told her that after the last fiasco I had decided that I would not get involved again until all of you (referring to all three of my children) were out of the house. She replied that she was almost gone. I acknowledged that fact and said, "I am ready to date again, but am not actively seeking it."

"Are you thinking he's just going to come knocking on the door?" She asked.

"No," I replied. "But I'm a little too old to go out to bars. Besides, my happiness really has nothing to do with being with someone else." I then proceeded to tell her that I had to be happy with myself before I could be happy with someone else.

She asked me if I was happy, and I asked her the same thing back. We both agreed that we had been happier in our lives, and we had been unhappier in our lives. I then told her that I know now that I am doing something that makes me extremely happy and fulfilled, and that it is what I feel that I was put here to do. It's what I need to do to make me happy in the long run. I'm not sure that 'happiness,' per se, is the goal, in my life.

"Why not?" she asked. (Now mind you, she is two months shy of eighteen.)

"Happiness is a fleeting emotion, where contentment and bliss are lifelong feelings, I believe." I told her. "I am on a path where I am doing something that I believe is important and I am doing it because it is the right thing to do. If, along the way I meet someone, so be it. If I don't, that's okay too. I always have the dog!"

She just laughed.