What makes me happy?
Happiness is something I’ve thought about with increasing frequency in recent memory. Some say they simply choose to be happy. Is there a secret to happiness, a failsafe method one can employ to attain it? Are some people born happier than others? I don’t have the answers to these questions.
Truth be told, I’m not a cheerful, positive, optimistic person by nature. While I’m not the world’s biggest pessimist either, I do tend to assume the worst will happen. The list of fears and worries that keep me up at night is long. On an intellectual level, I know worrying is a futile endeavor. Still, I have yet to master the skill of controlling where my mind wanders to in the dead of night.
As a child, I was an observer of life rather than a participant. More often than not, I watched other children run around and play from a distance. I heard their laughter and saw the merriment on their faces and, in a detached almost clinical way, wondered how joy came with such seeming ease to them.
Now, as an adult, what makes me happy? Well, I woke up to a clear blue sky this morning. After days of staring out the window at clouds and rain, seeing the sun made me smile. I’m learning to appreciate and find joy in relatively small things – a piping hot drink on a cold day, the surprising burst of tanginess that dances on my tongue when I bite into a ripe tomato, settling into bed with a book I’ve read before and know I’ll enjoy reading again.
In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” I’m inclined to agree with that statement. That’s why I need to remember to keep appreciating the little things in life, enjoy them for all they’re worth, and not take them for granted.