Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happiness And Catching Watermelons

I feel like I have been beat up. I am sore all over. Why? I haven't exercised or done any manual labor in the last few days. I think the culprit is a little three year girl. Much of the weekend I was picking her up and down, playing with her on the floor, or sitting in my chair catching her as she leaped into my arms from the love seat next to my chair. Sometimes when I am with Chloe I feel like one of those old silver back gorillas on a Animal Planet special. Usually there is an old gorilla just trying to be still and take it easy. However, there is usually one or two young gorillas climbing all over him. Eventually the old gorilla gets tired of it and flings them off of him. Catching Chloe reminds me of an experience in my youth. I was a teenager and I had been out drinking with my friends. The next morning I didn't feel so hot but I still had to go to work. In those days I worked in a grocery store. When I got to work I tried to keep a low profile. Unfortunately the boss spied me and gave me the job of going outside and catching watermelons that some old farmer was going to toss me from a truck. I had to catch these huge watermelons and stack them outside the grocery store. A few times they were so big and the old farmer threw them with such force that he almost knocked me down! The whole time I was doing it I silently vowed that I would never drink again. Of course, it was a promise to myself that I didn't keep, at least not for a while.

The Sunday newspaper has an article entitled "Being happy can be elusive". It basically said that today's people, despite all their wealth and comforts, are no happier than people in the past with less money and fewer comforts. It stated that there are three types of happiness. There's the "good day" when you do not have to spend too much time in tasks of drudgery and you can indulge in some things that bring pleasure. Most of my worst days are "good days". There is "euphoria", which is an intense and fleeting state that involves some risk. An example of this for me is putting up with all the hassle of going to a concert and being rewarded with some great musical performances. Finally, there's your basic "happy life" which requires hard work, striving, nurturing, maintaining, mourning, and birthing. This is the ongoing and lasting happiness that requires some effort on our part. The article goes on to describe some "happiness habits" that we need to form in order to do the work of being happy.

Here are fa few examples....

Figure out what's important to you. Do you value a certain kind of job, material things, a relationship, time alone, time with others, time to relax, time to be creative, time to read, time to listen to music, or time to have fun?

To be happy you have to make happiness a priority. Decide to make more time in your life to do more of what's important to you and makes you feel happier. Start with little things and work up. Little things might be reading for 15 minutes, taking a walk, calling a friend, or buying a great smelling soap, shampoo, candle, tea, or coffee that you will enjoy every time you use it.

Focus on what is positive. In a journal write down as many positive things as you can about yourself, others, and life in general.

Appreciate what is working in your life. In the major areas of your life...your health, job, love life, friends, family, money and living situation...what is going well?

No comments: