Friday, April 29, 2011

Are you happy?

Are you happy?

My daughter asked me that question last night after dinner.  I know why she did it.  We had just heard some news that upset us and we were trying hard not to let it show.

But it did.

And she noticed.

But it really got me to thinking.  AM I happy?  What defines "being happy?" 

You can be content but not be happy, if happy is defined as being peppy and perky all the time.

On the other hand, you can be peppy and perky all the time and not really be happy on the inside.

You can be resigned that this is the best that it gets, even if it's not very good.  Is that happy?  Being resigned to your situation so much that you don't try to change it?

What about our situation last night?  Overall I like my life.  I like the freedom I have during the day - freedom that's there because I am not employed.  I like being here when my kids get home from school.  I like being on PTA and going on field trips.  I like that I like the same leisure time activities as my husband.  I like that he loves me and I love him.

But that doesn't mean I display outward happiness at all times on all days.  That doesn't mean I'm not happy.

I think kids have such a black and white picture of happiness.  If you like what you are doing at any given time, you are happy.  If you don't, you are sad. 

Fortunately for us, it's more gray.  I like that one bad situation in life doesn't define my happiness.  It might put a damper on it for an hour or a day.  Then I remember how all the good things in life are still there and I choose to be happy.

What about you?  How do you define happiness?


  1. My daughter will say, "You OK, Mommy?"... so sweet that they notice when we are not "on"... not really sure I have an exact definition of happiness, but I love myself and my family and my life, so I guess that would be it.

  2. Wow Cathy! Challenging my thinking so early in the morning. I hate you had some upsetting news and I hope everything works out and is ok. Happiness is hard to describe. I think I can be happy in general but have things that are upsetting going on in my life. I like that I have a great job and it allows us to do things that if I didn't work we couldn't do. But at the same time I have some sadness that I am not home all the time when the kids get there and I try my hardest to make it to one field trip a year with the kids (or this year I went with Cody and Mike went with Haley). I would say overall I am happy. Although there are things that make me sad. I wish I lived closer to home to my family. BUT I have great friends out here. I guess I try to look at the overall picture. Do I like the direction of my life? Am I where I thought I would be at this age? Is there anything that I feel is really missing in my life right now? Overall I am happy but there are things I still want to work on. Ah to think simply like a child again, could be nice.


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