Today I went to a mall that seemed straight out of 1979, from Dairy Queen to the $3 photo booth to the haggard-looking Santa plopping one kid after another on his lap.

I aimlessly walked around for two hours with my kids, my sister and her husband. I had no agenda, no schedule, nowhere to be and no expectations of what I might of might not buy. I didn’t see anyone I knew and was having a good hair day. (A very good hair day.) I paid $1.25 for my kids to ride a mini-merry-go-round whose size limit was far below their actual size. I drank a decaf nonfat latte and ate a Larabar from my purse. I didn’t mind being continually jostled by my son and my brother-in-law with their incessant pushing, and wrestling moves and guy stuff. Or my daughter’s two-hours-straight-of-begging for some Justin Bieber perfume. (Uh-huh.)

It didn’t matter that on most days I don’t particularly care for malls or shopping. I thought about how great it was that I did away with a To Do List until Monday. I patted myself on the back for having realistic expectations of myself, my time, my days of late. (That may not seem like a lot to you, but for me it is a massive accomplishment.) I thought about tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal and the food that I no longer eat, and didn’t mind that I will be “that person” who isn’t eating what everyone else is eating. I caught a glimpse of myself in the Ladies’ Room mirror and took note of the faded and now almost non-existent black circles around my eyes. My skin looked clear and bright and I felt, as someone I saw just yesterday remarked to me, lighter. Lighter. Yes.

I realized, not for the first time but maybe for the first time in some time, that happy is not fireworks or butterflies, happy is simple. Happy is the awareness, smack-dab in the moment, that everything is fine, that things are good, that it is all OK.

Yes, it is all OK.