Happiness…


If the last post was about depression, this one can be about happiness. I’ve started to think that for me happiness is not a permanent state of mind, but an emotion, like anger, sadness or annoyance. It’s passing, and that’s fine, I can actively try to get myself a bit of happiness by climbing a hill, cuddle or go for a wild swim. I won’t feel happy every time I do it but the chances are definitely a lot bigger than when I go to Tesco’s, sit in a doctor’s office or stand in line at a Starbucks (not so much because of the line, but because it’s Starbucks and I actually like coffee).

And sometimes they hit me by surprise, when seeing a little girl playing with a puppy, getting caught in an epic downpour, or sitting on the veranda at 7 in the morning with a particularly well made coffee.

I had a chat with Joe once about 2 years ago, outside the front porch of a small hostel on the Isle of Skye. We talked a bit about happiness and I wondered at the time if it was just contentment with what you have at that very moment. I had felt euphoria when on the top of a mountain or when swimming in the Scottish sea but never did I feel completely like that for an entire week, or day even, and very rarely for an entire hour. I’ve thought about it since, a lot. It’s the ultimate goal in life isn’t it? Happiness… but what the hell does it mean? How would you describe happiness?

So building on that old idea, maybe contentment or satisfaction with who you are, who you are with and what you are doing and where is sometimes described as happy. Lines like “I’m happy with my husband” “I’m happy living in this town” or “I’m happy to stay at home watching tv” come to mind. Maybe it means something like “I wouldn’t want to change anything”. Which is fine, it’s good. I think it might be the best you could hope for. I’m wondering though if that should be described as happiness.

In the old fairytales they would end with ‘and they lived happily ever after’. That sounds rather boring I think… Maybe, if I go back to wondering whether happiness is ‘just’ an emotion, the best I can hope for is to feel this emotion often and purely. I feel pretty happy waking up in a cuddle, or when walking on an epic Australian beach, but it does pass, and other emotions come up, and that’s totally okay. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy that day, it just means that I wasn’t entirely completely happy for the entire complete day. There wouldn’t be room for other emotions if I had been and enough stuff happens that calls for other emotions in the span of a day. And that’s fine.

When in love you get heaps of feelings of happiness, when being kissed, being looked at, being touched, but (at least after the first few weeks of euphoria) these emotions pass until you are kissed again or even just think about the other person. If someone makes me happy it doesn’t mean that I won’t feel any other emotions or won’t have any days of feeling like utter gloomy crap.

For me it means that he very often gives me little moments of happiness. It means these moments are very pure and he hardly ever fails at making me feel them. And I also think it means that I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the world. I don’t know what you would call this feeling, but it makes me feel comfortable, at ease, excited, loved and happy. I guess the closest thing that comes to mind is not necessarily the word happiness though, but simply the word ‘home’.

 

Jude


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