Happiness...it's such a relative word, feeling, emotion. I know Kara has said you are only as happy as you choose to be and it is completely true.
In English, we are reading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury and there is a Happiness Machine in it that only makes people sad when they are away from it. It's like watching a romantic comedy that warms your heart, but then leaves you feeling lonely or wishing for that happy ending in your own life. We discussed if we each had our own happiness machine and what we found joy in. Do we need a happiness machine? Or are we already happy and content with our own lives? Even though pain and sorrow exist, there are still things that bring a smile to our faces.
The book also focuses on finding joy in the little things in life. In the book, the little boy revels in his brand new summer sneakers, the grandpa in the mowing of the lawn, and things like the strangeness of the night. Sunsets...if sunsets lasted forever they would lose their charm.
Often times in life, we turn to our possessions for comfort. Don't get me wrong...I love my technology, but sometimes doesn't it only add to our unhappiness? Catching up on emails cause we are so busy. Sending a text cause there isn't time to talk or we are afraid to have real human interaction. Or just surfing the Internet and seeing all of the things we don't have or reading blogs, wishing we could create something like "so and so" instead of just sitting down and DOING it or trying. Switching on the TV because it is convenient to get lost in it and waste time even if you don't really care about the program that is on. What happened to entertaining ourselves every now and then with something more worthwhile...something that gives us a sense of accomplishment...something that makes us genuinely happy?
My simple pleasures? The smell after the rain. The first time in the summer when I can drive with my windows down and the music a little louder. A walk on a fall day with the leaves crunching beneath my feet. My first cup of Starbucks hot chocolate in December. Staring into the twinkling Christmas lights outside my bedroom window. The first snow. Watching people run for the TVs on Black Friday. A spontaneous stop at a photo booth. Blasting music while vacuuming. Waking up to sunshine through my curtains. Paint under my finger nails. A handful of glitter. A shared glance with a friend during school. Late night phone calls. Sitting in silence with someone. Christmas music and a fire. Rain against my windows as I fall asleep. Waking up on a snow day. Driving home late at night in the darkness. Building a pillow barricade around me as I sleep....the list goes on and on.
What simple pleasures are you enjoying this month? What makes you happy? Give someone a hug...pick up the phone and call before sending that text to catch up. DO something that makes you smile...something that makes you feel accomplished. Buy yourself a small gift to symbolize your change or your new drive... a new mug, pen, or journal. Don't regret today...make memories.