Friday, February 20, 2009

Reflections on Happiness


I had a head on collision with my thoughts this weekend due to an unexpected situation. It led me to think about happiness and what it means to me. The obvious question being…am I happy? Short answer: yes, but it makes for a lousy blog posting.

I got to thinking how exactly knew I was happy and how did I measure the happiness I felt. I know that I don't feel happy all the time- it is more like a general feeling of contentment with my current situation- vague enough? I needed more detail. What specifically gave me happy feelings? Lily…yes. Work…sometimes. Chocolate…anytime! I think for me happiness is more of an ever changing continuum made up of a million small experiences every day. There is no true absolute happiness but I think I can come reasonably close from time to time.

Have you ever seen the Group Health ads on the sides of buses? Like "Smoking -20 points, Smoking hot body +10 points" or something to that effect. I think that is how I can show the measure of my happiness- on a small scale since I've already established that I am happy on an overall kind of scale.

This morning:
· Getting out of bed -100 happy points (I HATE getting out of bed in the morning)
· Getting to work on time because I got out of bed at a reasonable time + 25 happy points (they don't quite equal out overall- I need a coffee or something to really come out even!)
· Lily pees the bed in the middle of the night -5 happy points (not too much mess)
· She wants to cuddle on me to go back to sleep +20 happy points


Miss Lily the pooh. That child brings much wonder to my life. I can't say overall that she is an especially jovial kind of child- Her average mood range is probably more from "Doin' all right" to "downright enraged"- with the extremely happy times outliers on the chart, therefore not counted in the average. I think that's just her personality- which I have come to accept. Really I think our personalities line up more that way than I ever thought of before. I guess I tend to have more subdued excitement overall too.

Anyway, sorry about the little tangent. As I was saying Lily always brings a smile to my face- okay not always- but certain things that she does make my whole heart fill up- a feeling very hard to describe -other than like what happens to the Grinch near the end of the story- when his heart grows two sizes and bursts out of it's little frame with a twang. It is pride and happiness and love and joy all mixed together in a jumble of "I don't know whether to laugh or cry"- itis.

Last night…
Lily rubs her nose on mine.
Mommy: Wow Lily! What a great big Eskimo kiss!
Lily: (pause) Mommy, what's a "Neck si mosis"?

My heart fills and I laugh out loud and she realizes she's said something funny and repeats herself- I know she loves making me laugh. All I want to do is cuddle her and snuggle her and eat her all up at the same time and remember. And think to tell her future self "this is us- just the girls- and all our silliness."

I'm not sure where she got this next thing- I mean I pretend to eat her all up sometimes- but her new thing to get me to laugh is to "nibble" on me. She takes her little chin and tries to kind of tickle me on my neck with it. She thinks it is hilarious and the suspense kills her when she says "I'm going to nibble you Mommy!" I of course giggle and squirm as she does this and she loves it. It is then I think Lily is happy. We are happy. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
PS Pictures from Maddie's 12th Birthday Party this weekend.
PSS Welcome "Moki" to the Horning family, Miss Maddie's new puppy.