Feb 5, 2012

If You Are Happy And You Know It......

Think about that song. How many times you have just mindlessly sang it? :) Oh dear...how many times have I deceived others and sang that song and clapped my hands and not really known for sure if I was happy? :) No, seriously... What makes you happy? How do you know it makes you happy? What does happy look like? Is happiness male or female? What makes it go away? How do you get it back? Does it come before or after joy? I have been asking WAY too many questions about happiness lately. I have been surprised at how many people have not really answered my questions about happiness. How do you describe it? How do you recognize it? I fear I am on a quest to figure out what on earth happiness is.

All the way back in 2011 a dear friend told me about a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I finally bought it in December but I did not start reading it until a few weeks ago. I am fascinated by how the author Gretchen is writing about this topic and can not wait to see if by the end of her book if she  indeed can declare she is happy.

 I have always considered myself to be a happy person. But after this last year I am finding myself wondering if people who cry everyday can still claim to be happy? Can crying and happiness go together? Should I attempt it? I wonder if someone will call me on it?

 I wrote to my daughter Madeline on her mission in El Salvador about my happiness quest and I was so surprised when she wrote back and told me that she actually kept a running list in the back of her journal of things that make her happy and she added things to it after she thought long and hard about if they truly made her happy. I never knew that about her. So I thought "Geesh, I better get me a happy list." I bet it will make me happy :) But the words that she said that worried me were that she "thought long and hard" about each thing on her list. They were not just plunked on that list without going through a process and earning their spot. I have just recently learned about stopping, being still, and thinking long and hard. I have learned to adore these three things and have welcomed them with open arms to my personality. But sometimes covering up, suppressing, and busy want with all their might to be bullies to stopping, being still and thinking long and hard but I am learning how to send them to time out when they are mean.

I was encouraged on Friday when I was musing with a dear friend about who I really was to sit down and make a list of what I like AKA what makes me happy and she said I would be pleasantly surprised to discover how much I really did know about myself.

So I thought just for the heck of it I would blurt out the first ten things that came to my mind that make me happy and see what comes out... so here it goes: (in no particular order :)

#1. Hiking makes me happy.
#2. Growing things makes me happy
#3. Getting a load of compost delivered to my garden makes me happy.
#4. Avocado on a sandwich makes me happy.
#5. Driving long distances makes me happy.
#6. The moon makes me happy.
#7. Someone needing me makes me happy.
#8. The smell of fire, pine trees, new tires, and freshly cut wood all make me happy.
#9. Reading makes me happy.
#10. Discovering that we have something in common makes me happy....I adore connecting.

So I imagine if I drove a long way to get to a hike, went on that hike with a sandwich with avocado on it, had someone along who needed me and also liked avocado on their sandwich, we hiked through some pine trees and past someone who had a campfire, we stopped at our destination and read a book, we hiked back in the dark with a full moon, got home to discover the peas had come up in the garden, and someone had delivered compost I would be able to be supremely happy :) SIGH....I wish it was that easy :)

Oh wait I thought of #11 ......a view.... Oh how views make me happy.......

1 comment:

Ackerman/Mejias Family said...

Hmmmmmmm.... I'm reading that book myself right now. I also have a small list of things that make me happy. I haven't looked at it in a while. Maybe I'll wait until I'm done with my book!