On Happiness

Annah ElizabethLeave a Comment

“Happiness is fleeting,” a psychologist once told me. He couldn’t have been more correct. I, like so many of you, have been trying for years, now, to figure out–to comprehend the meaning of a happy life.  For some reason, we seem to believe that to be happy, we must have this sense of ongoing euphoria, the fairy tale, the trumpeting and hand clapping. It is as if we consider happy to be synonymous with never-ending.Those elements, however, are traits of giddiness, symbols of heightened excitement. A pace that is difficult to maintain.

Let’s face it. How much fun is laundry, vacuuming, paying bills, grocery shopping, dusting, mowing the lawn, working, scheduling play dates and doctor’s visits and fun trips and oil changes and inspections and tire rotations… Oh, the drudgery of adulthood! Yes, there are those who enjoy some of these things. I once heard of a woman who dances and whistles while she vacuums; she actually found that chore rewarding and fun. Personally, I don’t find pleasure in dusting or vacuuming, but, when I allow it, my soul is soothed by my simple country surroundings, when I am out mowing my lawn.

So, what is happiness? For each of us it is different. I have been saying to my husband for years, “It’s the little things, honey, the little things that bring me great joy.” To me, a simple hello from a stranger, random acts of kindness, an act of simple awareness (someone takes the garbage out without being asked, or removes laundry from the dryer), patient drivers and courteous co-workers, are all happiness in the making. And, then, there are the oft portrayed symbols of happy: sunrises and sunsets, sunshine, a child’s smile or laughter, an adult’s smile or laughter, hummingbirds, hugs, fall leaves and spring shoots…

Why, Bert and John Jacobs have created a legacy from one simple message of optimism: “Life is Good.” A great deal of their success comes from their simple approach, “with an emphasis on simplicity, humor and humility.” Their images depict the happy, uncomplicated events we enjoy: camping, golf, horses, hearts, flowers, music, and pets. Their brand has exploded to include images from so many fun activities and pleasing elements of our lives. A giant heap of autumn leaves, with a person’s head jutting out of the top of the pile. Who doesn’t associate joy with that childhood favorite?

When we are participating in the events, when we are acknowledging the parts of life that bring us pleasure, we are happy. When our attention is diverted to tasks less fulfilling, then we experience different emotions. A person who is a classic Type A, who tends to be high-strung and intense, I am trying to recognize the small moments of happy, for together, they add up to days and weeks, and, hopefully–eventually–a lifetime of greater contentment.

And, now that I’ve injected a bit of writing happiness into my day, I must resume some of the drudgery: transferring laundry, and taking my daughter’s cell phone in for repair…

Here’s to your happy moments! I’d LOVE for you to share them with me!


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