This is a big question for a simple blog prompt, but I am going to accept this challenge.
Webster’s definition of happiness is:
1) a: a state of well-being and contentment: joy; b: a pleasurable or satisfying experience.
2) Felicity, aptness// a striking happiness of expression
3) obsolete: good fortune: prosperity// “All happiness bechance to thee.” -William Shakespeare
Happiness, to me, is a state of contentment and calmness so pure, all senses of stress, anxiety, and depression melt away. Perhaps not permanently, but those feeling sure aren’t at the forefront of my mind when I am feeling so calm and so content. Some examples of those moments in my life everyday are: taking a hot, bubbly bath; reading a good, page-turning book; spending time in my kitchen or craft room creating something unique; snuggling with my kitties and/or partner; driving around the countryside at my own pace, watching the wildlife and the sky for the vastness that they are; getting a letter or a package in the mail; experiencing live music or a play/production; hearing from an old friend; having one of those multiple-hour conversations with my mom or dad; completing something challenging at work and getting a ‘good job’ from my boss or from a reader; accomplishing something at home, as small as it may be (dishes, laundry, sweeping, putting up a new wall accent, etc. It doesn’t have to be ‘chores’ but they certainly help me feel accomplished)… the list goes on, but these are the most frequent.
Happiness, these days, seems to be misunderstood. Happiness is sometimes posed as a permanent state, and I really don’t think it is. I think happiness comes and goes as much as the sun itself does. Happiness can be very evasive sometimes, too. There have been months, perhaps even years, where I did not feel happiness enough to say, “why yes, yes I am happy.” Happiness is fluid. Happiness comes in spurts. Happiness not the end point of all of your hard work.
Happiness is in the moment, and if we are not mindful of those moments when they come to pass, we can miss them entirely. And then, you’ve missed out on the potential of feeling that feeling of well-being, of contentment, of joy. It is truly up to us how much we want to focus on happiness.
I also believe that far too many of us depend on others to provide for our own happiness. This is false. And, it’s not fair to whoever you’re pointing at to give you happiness, whether it’s a partner or a boss or a friend. You should not be dependent upon others for your own happiness. It’s up to you. Just like keeping a budget, or eating healthy, or exercising, your happiness – your tranquility in your own life – that is on you, girl.
Happiness can be a struggle, and that cannot be denied for so, so many folks. But it is not unobtainable. It can be found. You just have to be aware of your surroundings at all times, and when that happiness comes to you, be open enough to recognize it.