Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happiness - How Happy Are You?

Last night while trying to throw away some magazines I'd collected for six months, I came across an article on happiness. Many surveys had been done to find out how happy Americans really are and what makes them happy.
We are a fickle group. On one survey we say that money is not on the top of our list of what makes us happy, but when asked to choose between winning the lottery, losing down to our perfect weight and keeping it off, or having the best sex possible for the rest of our lives, most of us chose Winning the Lottery. So maybe money is more important that we want to admit.

It is not hard for me to know right now what would make me happy, but it is not possible to bring my best friend back to me. But had you asked me three years ago what makes me happy, I probably would not have mentioned him because he was so much a part of me that I took him for granted just as I take it for granted that my hands will type the words on this keyboard. Be careful what you say when you talk about what it takes to make you happy.

I would not have said that being able to open medicine bottles, jars from the grocery, and being able to read small print would be among the things that would bring me happiness. A few years ago I took those things for granted, also.

In 1995, if I had been asked what makes me happy, I'd have said my move to these mountains where I'd always wanted to live. I might have also said that publishing my writing would make me happy. Happiness has never meant material things, luxurious living, fancy cars and fur coats and diamonds.

Happiness for many people involves their children. My mother said she was always happy because she had her children she loved and enjoyed. She was married to a man she loved and although they had hardships both financially and healthwise, those things did not marr her happiness with her life.

My pets bring a smile to my face and even more than winning the lottery, I think I would rather be healthy and strong.

What makes you happy? If you aren't happy with your life, why? What would it take to make you really, truly happy?


BeBold, BeFierce and BeWell in the mountains of WNC! ♥ said...

I saw an interview with an author the other day. The name of his book is "Happy". Great title! The interview was great and made me want to read his book. I like this entry. It's funny how for me lately, "safe" =s happiness. There is a lot to be said for feeling "safe" - and I don't mean physically necessarily. Trust and safety, esp among those close to us, can mean the world. Safe to write what we want. Trust that we and our words won't be harshly judged. Emotional safety can't be bought. Thanks :)

Glenda Council Beall said...

That is so true. Emotional safety is fragile and so easily shattered with a few words.
Be safe both physically and emotionally, my friend. Life can be dangerous as you will know.

Shen said...

I love this post! What a wonderful thing to think about not only how to answer the queston, but to look at how it would have been answered a few years ago.

My happiness has been wrapped up in my children, my home, my husband, for a very long time. Now, I am learning to find happiness in me. It isn't that the other things don't make me happy - I would certainly feel great pain if I lost any of the things on my first list... it is that I am finding out that inside me there is a connection to something bigger and that connection is always there - even when I can't find it. That is where I find happiness, now, and although I also would love to be able to read that small print and have the dexterity I used to take for granted, I know that if I can remember that connection I will find happiness no matter what.

This was a perfect reminder for me today. Thank you

Tipper said...

Much the same things as your Mother's list make me happy. Friends like you also make me happy : )

The girls loved loved the picture-2 cute Doggies will always make us happy!

Glenda Council Beall said...

Thanks Tipper,
I know your girls make you happy. They add to my happiness when I see them and hear you talk about them.
Friends are most important to happiness. People who have friends live longer than those who isolate themselves.

Glenda Council Beall said...

Chen, thank you for commenting today and I'm glad my post struck a chord with you.
Hope to do that more often.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

This is a terrific posting on happiness. Rocky sure is a cute dog. I can see how he brings a smile to your face. Many things, many people, make me happy. I just try to find one thing beautiful every day. I try to keep a positive attitude.