Thank you, thank you for all your heartfelt comments on my Happy Poll post (below)! You filled up my comments section and I got some responses via email, too. A few lurkers even came out of the shadows! Feel free to keep commenting… I’ll keep reading!
Your answers were all interesting. I didn’t want to define ‘happy’ in my question, as it’s quite a subjective thing, isn’t it? I didn’t want to qualify it or quantify it in any way for you… I wanted to see how you would define it; what it means to you. Many of you described it as a general feeling of contentment or satisfaction punctuated by moments of sheer joy. That’s a definition that works for me, too.
Several of you commented that you choose to be happy. I found that especially significant, as the book I read (and loved) recently, The Traveler’s Gift, by Andy Andrews, deals with that concept. The book details the main character’s (fictional) meeting with Anne Frank and the bit of wisdom she passes on to him, which is about choosing to be happy, regardless of what is going on around you. The ability to do that is something I admire greatly… it’s something to which I aspire… but I do think it’s easier said than done. And someone quoted Maya Angelou (one of my favorite women on the planet) regarding changing one’s attitude if a situation cannot be changed. Again, the ability to do that is something I admire and to which I aspire, but again, easier said than done.
A few of you asked if I’m happy. Well, you see my quote of the week? “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” I live in a constant state of tension. It’s perpetual. There is an epic battle going on in my head and my heart at all times between the person I think I should be and the person I am. The person I am (who certainly has her good qualities, I know), is very good at fighting the efforts of the person I want to be (which is probably why I find choosing to be happy and choosing to change my attitude so difficult to do… I am, as the Republican tells me nearly every day, an incredibly stubborn person and easily my own worst enemy). The constant combat makes me tired. It makes me sad. In many ways, it keeps me from being truly happy… content… satisfied, with my life and the person I am.
So, my happiness goal is twofold: I want to figure out how to, 1) choose to be happy in spite of what’s going on around me, and 2) change the situations I can change or change my attitude when the situation won’t budge. Basically, I want to stop standing in my own sunshine. I’m trying. We’ll see how it all works out. And maybe I’ll bring the subject up again in a few months…