For those that have been reading me with any regularity, you will know half my world view comes from an intellectual crush on Messrs. Vonnegut and Bradbury. In the case of Happiness, Kurt Vonnegut sums it up perfectly. In the book, A Man Without A Country, he tells of his Uncle Alex who would interrupt them when they were all sitting around laughing and remark 'If this isn't happiness, I don't know what is.' By underlining the moment as it happened, you're highlighting the appreciation of a moment of happiness for everyone present. Bookmarking it, if you will.
I think it's human nature to enjoy the moment but not 'collect' it in our store of emotions. We remember the terrible slight and drama filled incidents, ready to recall them at a moments notice, but forget the daily moments where happiness is the reigning emotion - walking down a flower filled street on a sunny day, laughing with a friend over something inconsequential, watching a movie in cool air-conditioned darkness and so on. We don't see them as important enough to matter.
That's the trick to life, however. It's ALL important. The mundane is probably more important than the big events, because that's what we squander the most time on. In a way, laughing in the car on the school drop off is more valuable than the big birthday dinner or even a wedding...we spend a lot more of our life doing one than the other.
Happiness is a day at the beach.
Happiness is a swim.
Happiness is laughing with friends.
Happiness is smelling flowers.
Happiness is buying a new book.
Happiness is finding time to read.
Happiness is dancing. Anywhere.
Happiness is first cup of coffee in the morning.
The list goes on endlessly.
For the next week, when you're happy, pause and take a moment to acknowledge it. See if your mood lightens when you realise how happy you actually are most of the time. Start building that bank of happy moments.
"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" Vonnegut.
Fill in the blank. Happiness is....
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