I’m not that happy. There. I said it. I have been happier in my life. The last few years have been filled with changes and sorrow, and I’ve struggled to find my balance and my joy. I love my little girl, but I loved my life before her. I love writing and the publishing industry, but I also love reading, watching TV, and spending time with friends—all things I have to give up or cut back to find time to write.
But we aren’t guaranteed happiness in life. Even the Constitution only gives us “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” So we’re free to pursue happiness. But what does this mean? How do you go after happiness? Is it a tangible thing you can grasp? Is it something to be achieved?
For me, happiness is an ebb and flow. I try to find joy in the moment. Honestly, I can’t do it for every moment. But I won’t do it for any if I don’t make an effort.
And I find that some things make me happier than others. Routine and schedules make me happy. I do not like surprises and chaos. If I know how my time will be filled and I am able to control it for the most part, I’m happy. My husband hates having to have a plan for every day. That’s fine. I just make the plan and don’t tell him, so then it seems spontaneous to him.
I like accomplishing things. I like crossing off everything on my to-do list (I like making lists!). I like to feel that I have done something every day. I think that was one reason I didn’t find much happiness as a teacher. I never felt like I’d accomplished anything. Every year I’d teach the same thing again, and in my mind, I’d think, how can you not know this? I taught it already! But of course, the kids were new and the material was new to them. But I wanted to cross off commas and be done with them, not revisit them year after year.
What else brings me closer to happiness? Writing. Writing this blog is making me happy. I’m getting my feelings on paper. E.M. Forster once said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” Writing is a learning process for me. I learn a lot about myself through the novels I write and even these blogs.
Okay, so how do you view happiness? Are you happy?