Happiness is finding a pencil,
Pizza with Sausage,
Telling the time.
Happiness is learning to whistle,
Tying your shoes for the very first time.
Happiness is playing the drums in your own school band
And happiness is walking hand-in-hand.
Happiness is two kinds of ice cream,
Knowing a secret,
Climbing a tree
Happiness is five different crayons,
Catching a firefly,
Setting him free.
Happiness is being alone every now and then,
And happiness is coming home again
Happiness is morning and evening,
Daytime and nighttime too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you.
We often speak of happiness as being elusive, as being something we need to pursue, to find, to grab hold of when we can because it will slip away again so quickly. We can know we are happy without always feeling it. This is something I've discussed with my book club before - everything is good, everything is happy, but where is that sense of euphoria that we associate with happiness?
When I look around me, at my children, at their friends, at family parties, at the lambs, at the dog - well, the truth is, they are all the epitome of happy. They don't find happiness elusive or hard to find. They just are happy.
It made me wonder, what do they know that we adults don't?
As many of the wonderful comments on Christine's blog point out, happiness is a state of mind. It's never about the big things in life, though they can make us happy (think a wedding, a baby's birth). In fact it is often the smallest things that bring the most happiness to our lives. And I think where kids (and yes the lambs and even the dog) have the edge on us is that they are not trying to capture happiness. It's like sand, the harder you try to clench your hand around it, the more it escapes.
Perhaps in our adult world where (let's face it) there are so many other things to think about - what's for dinner? did I sign those forms? why doesn't he want to go to music camp? how can I squeeze in a trip to the dentist between school and karate? - it's easier to lose track of the present moment. And happiness is all about being present in the moment.
Think about the moments that have truly made you happy recently? For me it's not the raise at work, or the editing contract I got. It's not paying off the car loan, or even the new windows I'm finally putting in my ancient farmhouse. Rather, it's other smaller, more important things:
- the sun that streams through the window in the morning;
- the single cup thermos of coffee my husband always leaves for me next to the bed despite the fact that he gets up and leaves at 4:30 am every morning;
- saying good morning to the cows, sheep, llama and sheep dog as I cross the field for my morning run;
- getting morning hugs, kisses, artwork, from the children, and those moments when we amuse ourselves so much that we fall over in a big laughing heap together;
- watching the kids play and laugh and run, all long limbs and smiles;
- watching the lambs skipping, seeing the daffodils poking through the dirt, and feeling the breeze blow gently across the veranda.
- the taste of a glass of shiraz on a Friday evening; the pleasure of a new book and a weekend ahead
- brushing my children's freshly washed hair and telling stories together before tucking them into bed
- the quiet of the house when everyone is asleep and safe and together