I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot this week.
For a long time, I thought my happiness was wrapped up in other people. And although I can find happiness with other people they are not the source of my happiness. For instance, I love going out to dinner with my husband. Simple conversation. Good food. A glass of wine or three. Lovely. And in that I find contentment. I love to FaceTime with my kids and my grandchildren. Pure Joy. I love enjoying time with friends (the good ones). The simple act of spending time with them. Laughing. Good conversation.
But is that the true source of my happiness? It causes moments of contentment and in contentment is happiness. But depending on others or things to give me happiness is a mistake. People can let us down. Right now as I’m typing, my old cat Oliver is sitting on my arms, purring. I realize that it is in the simple pleasures of life that we find our true contentment and in turn our joy.
And when it comes down to it – it is about taking the time to notice. It’s snowing today. It’s near the end February. So far there are 10cm. Yesterday I noticed a white bud peaking from the plum tree. Today there is a blanket of white. I could get upset. The cat disrupting my blogging time could bother me. Or I could make soup. Light a fire. Pet the cat and choose to live in and enjoy the moment.
My life gets so busy. As an independent artist, I’m a marketer, songwriter and chief bottle washer. I work long and hard hours. My husband thinks I work too hard. And in some ways I do.
But when you have a passion for what you do it’s not difficult to do. Balance is difficult and that’s where honouring my life comes into play.
But when pondering happiness again, as I have all week. I wondered over the last couple of years. I thought about when I was at my happiest. I immediately thought of recording. I was giddy. Childlike. I remembered the joy I felt performing during the CD release concerts. I felt I was home. Those are momentous occasions though. They aren’t repeated daily. So what else? I thought back to when I was off for ten days to recover from surgery. I chose to use that time to do nothing but create. No work. No marketing. No blogs. Nothing but create. During those ten days, I discovered painting. I played the guitar and piano. I wrote most of the lyrics for the Plush Red Chair album as well as a musical I want to produce. When those ten days were over I felt amazing. Rested. Full. Content. I loved every moment of being at home recuperating from major surgery. That is odd, isn't it? But it got me to thinking. I was born to create. I get so wrapped up in what I have to do that I don’t make the time to relax and do what I want to do.
So, as part of my year of honour, I am going to change that. Evenings are now my creative time. My time to relax and write, play, paint, create. Unless I’m performing of course, then I’m creating in a different way. I’m going to take the time to stop and notice more. More simple conversations with my friends and family. More playing with my grandchildren. More quiet paddles in my Kayak – if summer ever arrives. For in doing this is my happy.
So I ask you. What makes you happy? What are the things that make you feel content? Truly content. I think you’ll find that they are simple, everyday things. I challenge you to make sure you do more of them. Every day. Make the time. If we all did that, can you imagine what the world would be like? A much happier place I would think. And wouldn't that make us all happier?