A couple of weeks ago, Jana from An Attitude Adjustment tagged me in a happiness meme. She wondered if her musings about her happy day could inspire me (and several others) to find our own happiness. I thought about it for awhile before writing this post. As luck would have it, today is the first day in Kristen at Motherese’s virtual book club and we’ll be discussing the book Raising Happiness by Christine Carter. The coincidence is too perfect and so today I tell you about my own happiness.
Generally speaking, I am a happy person. However, for several months I’ve been struggling to feel happiness. The distinction for some may not be obvious. I can’t say it’s completely clear to me. I just know that the two are completely different. I find joy in moments and have periods of random clarity and happiness. This is without question. But they are only moments. I don’t feel happiness about myself. It isn’t evident in all of me. Something holds me back. I believe that the I’m on the path to feeling happiness, but I’ve only started this journey. There is a light in the tunnel, for now it is small, with only a flicker of brightness. But it’s there. While that something is for discussion in a different post, I thought it important to paint this distinction, to share my belief that we can feel different kinds of happiness. Because this post is not about the whole of happiness for me. It’s about the moments.
Every night, before we put our oldest son to bed we ask him: What was your favourite part of the day? It’s one of the ways we hope to teach him gratitude and reflection. After he shares, we tell him our own. I’m not always completely honest. Of course I tell him happy moments, but they always involve him. Often my most favourite moments are not ones I’m ready to share with such a little boy. For now I think they are too abstract and he can’t relate. I’ll share them here with you, these are the moments that bring me joy:
- A quiet moment, sitting in cozy chair in front of the fire, with a steaming mug of hot coffee and a delicious book.
- Nursing my youngest son every night before bed and then again at 4:00 in the morning when we are completely focused on one another.
- Extended family dinners with my parents, my siblings, my children and my husband. I feel so lucky that they are close by and that we see each other often.
- The final moment of the day when I curl up in bed, under a mountain of blankets and feel my husband reach out and touch me.
- A hike in the woods, listening to nothing, but hearing everything. These are the times that I see things the most clearly.
- A day at the beach with my family, playing in the water and sand, enjoying a picnic. It makes my children happy and so it makes me happy.
- Starbucks. A guilty pleasure, but oh, a mocha just makes me happy.
I’ll leave you with a quote pulled from Raising Happiness, this I believe to be the key. Now, if only I can find my way there.
Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug.
What makes you happy, I mean really happy? Write a post of your own. Let’s continue to celebrate our joys and encourage others to do the same.
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/newbirth/467227133/ via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.