Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Day #42 & #43: the pursuit of happiness
I have been reading a book entitled, "10,000 Things to be Happy About." This is a book compiled by a professor who kept meticulous notes and journals throughout the years of all of the things that brought her happiness. What I find so intriguing about this book is that she really finds happiness in the most simplest of things. The finds happiness in the softness of a rug under her feet, junk in the attic, and, believe it or not, a clean litter box. I have been thinking about what are "my little things" that make me happy, and if the recognition of these "little things" only amplifies the happiness.
Happiness means many different things to every one of us. A beat salad with arugula may be the highlight of someones day, while another may struggle to get it down. This of course, is the subjectivity of life. The tricky thing is figuring out what makes us happy, and then sustaining that happiness for as long as we live. No easy task, but then again, nothing is life is ever easy. And, I can say for certain that a little bit of work to find my happiness sounds a thousand times better than a lifetime of misery.
Buddhism teaches that one's own happiness comes from forgetting one's individual happiness and focusing on the happiness of others. This is the path to self-enlightenment. Christians believe that following the teachings of Christ will bring every lasting joy. Judaism teaches that happiness is a state of mind, while Islam believes that complete surrender to Allah is the path to happiness. Whatever you believe, the core principal of all practices, beliefs, and life for that matter is the pursuit of pure and unending happiness. I'd like to try an exercise. Just like the professor I discussed above, maybe we all need to make our list of what makes us happy. Maybe it's more that we need a daily reminder to be happy, to look and see all of the things that make us happy, and realize that we are never without them. So, I will get started, and I encourage each and everyone of you to create your list, and follow your path to happiness.
What makes me happy:
1. my family and my friends
2. handing an airline attendant my boarding pass and getting on that plane
3. my furry little kitty cat curled up next to me under the covers, even if she is sticking her butt in my face :)
4. fresh homemade seltzer
5. buying produce from the local farm
6. mornings when I get to sleep in
7. real cream in my coffee
8. a shelf full of books
9. watering my plants
10. a good hair day :-)
11. fresh cleaned clothes that are folded and put away
12. getting real letters, not emails, in the mail
13. my soft sofa
15. pumpkin pie!
16. shoes ;)
17. rainy days where I can stay in my jammies and do nothing
18. a good book
19. shamelessly watching some reality TV show
20. NPR in the morning
21. old photos of family and friends
23. buying new running shoes
24. the Fall, and anything and everything associated with it
26. giving someone a hug that isn't expecting it
27. rare meat, yum!
29. a tank full of gas
30. an organized sock drawer
31. getting all of my bills paid for the month
33. getting my passport stamped
34. being on time for anything
35. this list
to be continued....
"Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness." Mark Twain