A Garden of Ideas

to ponder and share

Why does Happiness elude us?

Happiness… It’ so important to us that America’s Founding Fathers included it in our  Declaration of Independence, “…that among our unalienable rights are LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS”.

I was trying to sleep this morning, but at 4am that was no longer an option.  It was bugging me that I couldn’t figure this ‘Happiness’ thing out. I wonder if we would all be happier just BEING with oursleves as opposed to DOING THINGS that make us happy for a while.

I love to get a cappuccino at my local Magpie Cafe because they make THE PERFECT CUP. The first sip is bursting with coffee bean goodness like nothing I have tasted anywhere, including many excellent coffee houses in Europe. I get happy just thinking about it. But the happiness is short-lived. I can only fully appreciate it while engaged in drinking the coffee, but have to anticipate that happiness the rest of the time.

Then (at 4:08am) I thought of a recent conversation I had with my sister. We were talking about keeping the kids happy when they run out of things to do. We both talked about making our own fun when we were kids and mom would lock us out of the house for our own good.

Then it came to me… If I can be happy with my own thoughts regardless of WHAT I am doing or with whom, I can be happy anywhere… even if I have to vacuum the dust bunnies under the bed or pull my incessant weeds (yes, they grow beautifully, while my flowers struggle… Didn’t someone once say that weeds are just misplaced or misunderstood flowers, or something like that?). This could even work when I need to do something inconvenient or a find myself sitting in traffic.

So, how do we stay happy with our thoughts? I figured that, like food for the body, if we put good stuff in, we can expect mostly good stuff out. To give that a try today, I played classical music (from Pandora) in the background while I did some writing. It added a sense of relaxation to the atmosphere. Then I lit a nice patchouli candle and put my laptop near a window with a pretty view. I suppose if I do this all the time it will give me something to look forward to like my Magpie cappo. Now I feel like I’m in a nice gift boutique instead of just working in my office. I read a few blogs from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project and I’m ready to write.

Gretchen has a lot ot say on this topic. I just ordered her book with the same title and can’t wait to read it!

Until then I am going to do my best to think well even in the midst of hearing depressing news stories. It helps me tremendously to have faith in God knowing full well that He is completely aware of all of the shenanigans going on down here. That does put things in perspective.

On the other hand, I am not oblivious to the pain and suffering that other people face. It’s just that I have an awful lot for which to be grateful, such as the gift of hope that tells me  that there truly is a light at the end of every tunnel.

What do you think is the key to happiness? I would really love to know… Drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter.


Karen J.