If busyness made one happy I would be ecstatic…

I just got a book out of the library called ‘How to be happy, dammit’ – it appeals to my sense of humour, and also my mode of operation. I might request 'She was happy, dammit' to be put on my headstone, when I die. It reminds me of a wine-fuelled speech I made one New Years Eve, using our outdoor table as my soapbox. Surrounded my a few of my closest friends I was confident of a sympathetic audience, and challenged everyone that they had no excuses NOT to be happy and also no excuses not to do absolutely fabulous things with their lives. We were the most privileged people in the world I argued. We were young, financially sound, European (a sad, and unfortunate truth but one we should respond to appropriately), able bodied, intelligent, educated, free from oppression and war, mobile, fertile, the list went on and on. We had and have nothing to complain about. But I wonder if that also makes us complacent. To become a stunning butterfly the stodgey caterpillar has to struggle and fight to get out of the cocoon or else he would never be able to fly. Maybe life is too easy for us, maybe struggling some helps us fly. Maybe some of us are still stuck in the cocoon.

I tend to crowd my life I think so as not to think too much about happiness. How can you actually tell if you are happy? I am not unhappy – is that enough? Should I be expecting to be happy? Are the Americans who have the pursuit of happiness as a foundational right of all citizens, happy? I am content, I am enthusiastic, I have a sense of humour and enjoy life, but happy? I wonder if that is a personality trait rather than something we all can achieve. Can people make us happy? Can another person be responsible for our happiness? If another person makes us happy, is that accidental? And will that person always make us happy? Are we looking in the right place for happiness? Should happiness be a goal at all?

Helping C with her trig homework last night made me happy. I loved calculus at school. I loved how you could get the right answer, it was complete, it was right or wrong, it was absolute. I have always had the gift of the gab so subjects that focused on the written word were always my forte, but I found the absoluteness of maths very therapeutic.

Playing indoor netball yesterday made me happy, physically. Apart from the near heart attack I was having after 18 minutes of playing centre. My first game of netball in about 8 years nearly killed me, but at least I know I’m alive.

This piece of music I am listening to makes me enjoy this very moment, so I guess that is happiness. I am thrilled as I have always known I like it and now I know its name and composer.

Yesterday morning at church, the speaker tackled the enormous topic of ‘Christian Living’ in 45 mins. I had gone along with some questions in my heart and God met me. I am very grateful once again for his quiet reassurance. And that makes me very happy.


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