- “Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.” – Buddha
- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Gandhi
- “Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller
- “There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” – Carl Jung
- “If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.” – Edith Wharton
Happiness. Happier. Happy, happy, happy.
There’s a lot of talk about happiness.
What makes you happy?
What makes people happy?
It’s hard to define because we all have our terms. Happiness means different things to different people. The above quotes attest to that.
Happiness. We’d all like an Everlasting Gobstoppter of that, right?
Sign me up.
I don’t mind the ups and downs of life, yet I do appreciate, and prefer, happiness.
So, how do you grab onto happiness?
When I’m feeling blue, I make a list of all of things that get me going. It’s a lifeline up. When I’m feeling happy, I do the same. Remembering the good, even when I’m in the groove is one way that I practice gratitude.
It’s a reminder of what matters to me. It keeps me strong.
Often, I create a mental Happy List as I’m holding my girls’ hands at bedtime. As they are drifting to sleep, I’m walking through what made me happy that day.
Here’s what made me happy today.
15 Moments of Happy Today
- The surprise of waking at 5:30 having slept through the night. Usually one of the girls comes into our room to potty, or it’s me needing the loo.
- The first sip of coffee while the rest of the house was in la la.
- The first hugs and kisses of the morning.
- Stella calling to me, “sit by me,” as I puttered around the kitchen. Taking the time to let her snuggle on my lap under a blanket as she ate her cereal bar.
- Pajama Day. Not worrying about the girls getting dressed for school because it was Pajama Day! at Stella’s preschool. Since there was no school for Veronica, she spent the day in the school-age program at Stella’s school, also in pajamas.
- Traffic flowing, coffee in the cup holder, and the girls and I rocking out on the way to preschool to “Pump Up the Jam” (“getchar booty on the butt tonight” aka Stella’s version) and “Jump Around” (On Wisconsin!)
- Dropping the girls off and heading to the gym for a 9:30 a.m. workout class. Parent-teacher conferences equated a late start for me. My school day started at 11:30 versus 8:30, which meant I got in a heart-pounding, bum-tightening workout.
- Meeting with Veronica’s classroom teacher. Hearing about her celebrations and 4th-quarter goals. Seeing friends and knowing we are at a school that is a good fit for our daughters and our family.
- On the flipside, having parent-teacher conferences at my school and getting the chance to talk to parents about their children, life, and French!!
- The XO on the end of my husband’s emails and texts to me.
- Hitching a ride home from school with my school roomie (aka the Italian teacher) and chatting without interruptions.
- Knowing my parents, my sister and her family will spend the night with us on Saturday.
- Reading Sight Word Stories in bed with Stella and Veronica sliding in before her read with daddy just to “hear Stella read.”
- Having an incredible husband who finishes the bedtime routine on Thursdays so I can get a jump start on writing. (Thursday is my writing night).
- Writing. Grabbing a Lagunitas IPA from the fridge and sitting down to write this piece on Rudey’s Room. Thanks for reading 😉
It’s these moments strung together that have me dancing in the rain.
When I read my list, it’s clear what happiness means to me.
It’s in the moments. It’s the simple, the everyday, the connections with others that lift me up. It’s the love.
Here are a handful of my most recent happy times with my family on Spring Break in Florida.
Boogie boarding in the ocean.
Ready, set …
Swimming en famille.
Easter mass on the beach at sunrise.
Beers on the beach with my guy.
What’s not to love about this happy hour?
And any extra time with my crew.
What makes your heart happy? What made you happy today?