Some time ago I was doing my housework and had just completed the vacuuming part of the dust and vacuum routine. I looked across the room as I was stowing the machine’s cord and broke out into a big smile. I found my happy place. A happy place, not THE happy place. There are several. A quiet spot with a book in hand. On the edge of a lake watching turtles swim by. A freshly vacuumed room with exposed vacuum wheel tracks running through the carpet nap. A mid-1960s standard tells us happiness is different things to different people. And happy places abound, even in the fast paced, hectic life where we too often find ourselves longing for even just a moment of happiness.
There is no end to the things that can bring us happiness or the places where we can find respite. A newly mowed yard, a bathroom faucet free of visible fingerprints, a sandwich cut on the diagonal, the feel of a pillowcase under your head the first night out of the dryer. These are not the pillars of happiness, the really big life changing events that come to mind when you think life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness type happiness. These are the little things that are part of getting us from one hour to the next, the things that turn drudgery into if not joy, at least something faintly tolerable, the things and places that barely register to the rest of the world yet bring you profound happiness.
We each are unique and we each have our unique ideas about happiness. The differences among people are what make us collectively great. Appreciating those differences and encouraging others to pursue the different things that bring them happiness are what make us collectively awesome! We find happiness intuitively, ourselves, not relying on anybody but ourselves because nobody but ourselves can control our happiness. Even people who grow up together, live together, and love together, don’t have to love everything about each other. Somewhere in your psyche is some quirk of life that brings you immense joy. Relish in the quirk and savor that joy. Don’t give it up for anybody! It won’t solve all of earth’s problems, but it is possible that if we spent more time enjoying these little things that make us happy while getting us from one hour to the next, and less time becoming frustrated when we can’t figure out why we don’t seem as happy as others are, we might all end up happier.
So if somebody should ever admit to you that they get untold happiness from sitting in a dark room listening to the creak of a rocking chair, encourage them to creak all they want, and hope they someday will encourage you to continue chasing your dream of relishing in lawnmower tire tracks in freshly cut grass. Never discount the power of the things and places that make you smile at the enjoyment of living life for there is your happy place and that is happiness.
Where is your happy place?