Wednesday, 9 January 2013
What makes you happy . . .
Perhaps if one really knew when one was happy one would know the things that were necessary for one's life.
On a scale of one to ten . . . how happy are you right now? Is it even something that you ever think about? As a woman I know that I am always interested in what makes my husband happy . . . my children, my parents, my friends etc. . . . but as for if I am happy or not myself . . . that's not something I have ever really thought about a lot. I suppose that I have always come at the bottom of the totem poll in the scheme of who's truly important in my life.
I recently read a book/journal entitled "A Life of One's Own," by Joanna Field. Published in 1934, it is the private writings of a young English woman who spent a year chronicling what things specifically triggered feelings of delight in her daily life throughout the year in 1926. She had come to the realization that she wasn't really living the life she should or could be living . . . mainly because she had never made it important to find out what were the things that truly made her happy. By keeping her journal she was able to search through the mundane minutiae of her life and find clues to what she was missing.
From this journal experience she was able to discover that she delighted in good food, spontaneous laughter, writing letters, red shoes, French novels, loitering in crowds and "A new idea when first it is grasped."
And so . . . I have been pondering this year thus far . . . what is it that truly makes me happy. What little pockets of joy are sprinkled amongst the minutiae of my life which make up my happiness . . . what are the things I truly love?? It's not an easy thing to do . . . but I find that if we can teach ourselves to savour things that bring us joy . . . we can find happiness and contentment. And . . . it's not in the grandiose or the large for the most part . . . it's in the small and simple things.
Simple things like . . . the feeling of Mitzie's silken ears as I rub them whilst we sit together watching something on the television . . . the beautiful smell of a small bouquet of sweet peas at the height of their summer beauty (Why had I never thought to pick a bunch before? Surely they were grown to give pleasure like this?) . . . the look of my kitchen after a thorough cleaning and re-organize . . . the curve of my husband's back when we pray together . . . the way the sunshine falls on the paving stones in our drive . . . the heads of the sparrows popping in and out of the hedgerow in our back garden as the day begins to break . . . the cosiness of lamplight at the end of a cold winter's day . . . so many small things . . . simple pleasures . . . small joys often overlooked, but which truly define what it is that makes me happy . . . truly happy.
Then there are the big things which make me happy . . . writing makes me happy. Painting makes me happy. Cooking makes me happy. Serving others makes me happy. Sharing makes me happy. Praying, thinking and daydreaming . . . they all make me happy. My faith . . . makes me happy.
It is not selfish to want to be happy yourself . . . to embrace these moments which bring joy into our own lives, and to give a voice to them . . . to recognize and count them. At the end of the day . . . "If mama ain't happy . . . ain't nobody happy." I do love to make other people happy . . . and that is something which brings me a tremendous amount of joy . . . but I do like to make me happy too, and you know what??? That's ok too.
What are some of the things that make YOU happy . . . the things that are just for YOU. I would love to hear about them.
A thought to carry with you through the day . . .
"Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile."
~Sir Wilfred Grenfell
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Blueberry Shortcake Muffins.
Happy Day to YOU!