On Happiness

Happiness is a strange thing isn’t it?

According to Merriam-Webster:

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Ahhh, so much information in just a simple definition.

Firstly, even though it’s obsolete, I think the definition of good fortune and prosperity is an interesting one. I’m probably misunderstanding this, but just hang with me here. I think we as a society tend to believe that people that are happy are just people that are lucky or rich or have everything they could possibly want. But actually, a lot of research has shown the exact opposite. More often, the happiest people are actually been people that to the outside world have much less. Maybe that’s why this became obsolete.

The second definitions also speak volumes.

I’m sure many of you (like me) have heard that happiness is a choice. Happiness is the journey, not the destination. Happiness is a mindset. Throw in more cheesy quotes here. I also like that the second part of that definition boils happiness down to an experience. A moment. Possibly fleeting. In which you feel that joy.

I’m sure many of you have realized by now (I’m not sure I’ve ever flat out said it) that my life goal is happiness. I just want to be happy. People often look at me like I’m weird when I say this. Isn’t that everyone’s life goal?! So what if it is?

These last few days I’ve started something new. Maybe I’ll go into more of it tomorrow (I’m a little fearful to share it with you because it’s kind of whacky), but all I can say is, for the first time in a long time I’m happy. Not every hour of every day. But I wake up and all the anxieties that usually fill up my head start up a few hours late and they’re quieter and some of them don’t even come around any more.

I can tell you, every day, when that happiness comes to an end. And sure, it may be a choice on my part. It may be the little scary things of the day building up to a point that they manage to knock the happy wall down. But I think part of it is just plain old exhaustion. My brain can only fight off the anxieties for so long right now. For the first time in my life I try to listen to my body and brain when they tell me they’re exhausted. I mean, I have my limitations. I can’t just get up from my desk and head home if my body decides it’s done at 11 AM. But I can acknowledge it. I can slow down a little. If I can step away for a few minutes and go read or walk outside or maybe to the coffee shop if it’s raining (like today, thanks Portland). But I know now, always, that when I get home I’ll take sometime to let my body and brain rest. Even if it’s just for ten minutes. I’ll lay down with no distractions (I actually put my phone on airplane mode) and I turn my body off.

I think too often we don’t do this.

I think too often we convince ourselves that we have too much to do to rest.

We’ll rest when we sleep.

We’ll rest when we’re dead.

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