Homemade Happiness

When it comes to happiness, we are in charge. 40% of our happiness comes from things we can do to keep it alive. I’m usually pretty cheerful but it has been a dire year. With some beautiful highlights, but no way 40%.

Yet, according to Barbara Graham, our culture promotes the idea that happiness is a given, and that most people believe there’s no reason why folks can’t be happy all the time–unless there’s something wrong with them.

I never believed that. When I was young and cynical I was taken with the idea that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation” and women got an extra spoonful. As I matured and designed life the way I wanted it to look, I figured I got it right about half the time. That seemed fair: 50/50 equal measures of suffering and joy.

Now math is not my subject, but if i automatically have 50% happiness and I can add 40% more, that means  the happiness in my life shoots up to 90%. Well, wouldn’t that be nice right about now? I really want to get off these crutches, stop dealing with medications and pain and sleeplessness, and just be ME again.

IMG_1631

UC Berkeley has an entire department devoted to the study of happiness (I think I would be 100% happier had I graduated with honors from that school) and they put together a sort of top ten list of things to do to increase the happiness quotient. Let’s see. Right now, honestly, I’m at about 30% (with zero being dead). This is up from 20% yesterday when I spent yet another day having blood drawn at the doctor’s office.

So here’s my plan. Do those ten things on the list and get 70% happy. I can totally live with 70% happy. The first thing on the list is to SAVOR LIFE’S JOYS. “Pay close attention to life’s pleasures and share them with others.”

condo2photo

All I have to do is look in front of me to see one of my favorite pleasures: my laptop. I don’t know what my happiness numbers would be without writing, oh wait, I do, because some days in the past couple of months I’ve been too sick to write. So here I am with my best pleasure. And next to me: a cup of tea. Nothing beats a cup of tea. I like Stash Black Breakfast with a splash of almond milk. And almond milk?! Thank you whoever thought of that stuff. Regular milk and I don’t agree, soy milk is just okay, but almond milk is like a sweet dream.

Seems I don’t have to reach far to get that happiness thing heading higher. Next up? DROP GRUDGES. Give me a few days for that one as I have a longish list. But I will be back and will send progress on my health and happiness for the next ten posts. Want the complete list now? I read it in the June issue of “Mindful” magazine. Page 49. And there’s another of the joys I savor, reading and sharing what I read:)

4 Comments on “Homemade Happiness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: