Happiness After Irene
Well, gang, it appears that we made it through Irene and the freak east coast quake that preceded it. We got pounded here on the Connecticut shoreline, but I'm pleased to say, our home sustained no damage and our power never failed (thank you, CT United Illuminating!). It was a long night and I'm still catching-up on sleep, but besides getting in a lot of Netflix viewing, I also spent time contemplating the value of simple pleasures in life that were threatened by the storm, such as the miracle of running water that comes to my house every day, and the lights that make it possible for me to read at 4AM when I'm not sleeping, not to mention the giant box in my kitchen that keeps food (and the occasional beer) cold and ready for easy consumption. Wow, it's actually a pretty miraculous life for so many of us. Hence, the subject of happiness is on my mind.
Happiness often seems so darn relative, doesn't it? When we're in a job that doesn't thrill us, we complain and often simply hate everything about it. But have the threat of our job being lost, and suddenly that job seems pretty darn good. It pays the bills and allows that big cold box in the kitchen to get filled up regularly. Yup, our perspective certainly changes things. That's not to say that we should stay in sucky jobs, but it does illustrate how relative happiness can be.
I often think about how happy my dog is about simple things. She's thrilled when I open a can of dog food to mix with her kibble. Oh my god, you would think prime rib was being served. Or there's her perpetual joy in greeting me at the door. "I'm so glad you're home, Fran. You're the best, most wonderful thing in all the world...and so is my bone." You just can't beat a dog for happiness training. She's still trying to teach me her Dog Zen ways, but Irene helped give me some perspective.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, give happiness a little face time. Give it some attention. Perspective is everything. If something in your life sucks, change it, but in the meantime, give it another look from a different angle. Maybe you'll see something you didn't notice before. Just sayin'.
Smarter people than little ole me are doing good things on this subject (pretty funny, too!):
Happiness Before Success
Okay, now Happy Dance with me. Come on, you can do it. I won't tell!
Note: Thanks to The Hub at the Monroe Institute for the TED Talk link!