Five on Friday, Happiness Edition
Are you a happy person? I’d say that I am generally a happy person, but to be truthful, I don’t usually strive for "happiness" in my life. I think people (or maybe just Americans) are unusually preoccupied with being happy and forget that life is just life and you can’t be happy every single moment. It sure seems to me that a lot of Americans feel this overpowering need to be happy all the time and when they are unhappy, they think they’re doing something wrong.
Guess what. Being unhappy is okay. Being happy is okay. It comes and goes and you don’t have to place all your self-worth on the idea if you’re happy or not.
That said, I’m feeling pretty darned happy today. Well, maybe happy isn’t the right word really. Life is going well on the whole, my personal goals are either being accomplished or I’m on the path to accomplishing them. I feel needed and loved, and I have a passionate love for other people that makes me feel connected to the world. This doesn’t mean everything is coming up roses for me, but I do think that everything balances for the most part and tips slightly into the more positive side of things and I very happily accept all the "bad" things along with the "good."
I’m going to have a lot of smile lines on my face when I get old, and I’m going to love each and every one.
So here is my list of five things, a list of five things that gave me happiness this past week. And look, I even have a photo to share.
1. Out in Chicago, I finally met a friend in person that I’ve known online for many years. We got along great and it made me wish the world was a bit smaller so we could hang out more often. I loved that she planned some fun, crafty things to do and that we have so much in common and had a lot to talk about. It never felt awkward or weird, even from the first minute. In fact, I took that photo above when I was with her and then we huddled in the car together, shielding ourselves from the cold wind talking about just everything. When I think back, it felt like such a simple situation, but the memory makes me smile and feel warm. Thank you for a wonderful time, my friend.
2. I’ve had a chance this week to spend some time alone. I usually don’t like to have too much time alone, but every so often it’s a good thing to experience. Growing up as an only child, I was quite good at entertaining myself since I had no siblings and perhaps as an adult, I am overcompensating for my somewhat lonely childhood by constantly needing to be around other people. It’s been a bit tough trying to teach myself how to enjoy being alone again, but it’s a worthwhile lesson to learn.
3. Utter happiness to me is having people to look forward to. I actually look forward to going to work because I enjoy the people I work with. Most days, I chat with a friend or two on the train home, and sometimes I’ll text back and forth with friends about something completely random. And of course there’s that guy I come home to when he’s not on a business trip. Oh and also the cat (she counts as a person right?). I don’t see the same exact people everyday, but I have fairly reasonable consistency and I do look forward to it.
4. This is sounding more and more like a Thanksgiving list, but I must say that I am endlessly thankful for the friends who move in and out of my life. I may not be built for long-term friendship with others, but I really try to be a good friend while we are in each other’s lives. Please forgive me for being inconsistent at times, and remember that I have a very bad memory, so I often forget how thoughtless I have been in the past. I hope that we, as friends, have much to teach each other and that we learn what we can.
5. Of course I can’t get through a list about what makes me happy without mentioning the bikey life. It’s really interesting to me how a little physical activity can easily brighten my day, change my life so dramatically, and also change how I see others. I have never been a fan of intellectually lazy people, but lately I find that I am similarly turned off by physically lazy people as well. It never used to be an issue for me, but now that I’m more active, I want to find other people who are out and about and enjoying what their bodies can do, whether it’s running, rock-climbing, team sports, cycling, etc. Plus, aren’t people who are physically active just more attractive in general (fitter, not breathing heavy going up stairs, have a spring in their step)? Yeah, I have a weakness for the skinny boys and I can’t help it.
Most of my closer friends have a certain hum of energy to them. It’s difficult to explain, but they have a certain zest to them, a feeling like a lightly vibrating guitar string. I like to hear about what they’ve been up to, the activities they participate in, the things they’re doing with their lives. I don’t always have the most exciting news about what I’m doing, but I like to think that I have a fairly active lifestyle, and I try to maintain a certain energy level and enthusiasm. I attribute much of that to being more physically active myself, and finding others who share that same energy. So yes, I very much appreciate being active and finding others who have enthusiasm for being active. A little energy makes my day.
Wow, that was pretty long-winded. I don’t think I can ever really become a writer because I just have such a hard time being concise and effective. Ha.