Going for Happiness

I love this Douglas Adams quote:

It’s so easy to look at my life and think, “This is not what I planned, this is not what I wanted,” and forget that in so many ways this is exactly what I wanted, more than I dreamed I could have, I just didn’t get it the way I thought I wanted it.  It’s not just “count your blessings,” it’s “don’t define your blessings by what you wanted last year” or, god knows, twenty years ago.  

Right now, in this moment, I am happy.  That’s a blessing right there.

Where did happiness need you to be this week?


35 thoughts on “Going for Happiness

  1. Well, I’ve got an easy answer–second son born early Wednesday, ten days ahead of his due date, with my sub plans unfinished and two big events at work that day (AP testing, and the big breakfast I make them ahead of time, and a meeting admin had been struggling to schedule before my maternity leave). When contractions started at 1 am, I was definitely annoyed! But babies don’t really care about plans or calendars, so…

    In the plus side, I got an easy (comparatively, of course) labor and delivery, smooth recovery, and lots of cute moments with his Big Brother. And now I’m living in the moment with a tiny newborn!

    1. Many congratulations on the arrival of um, the entomologist, I think? I’m too tired to go search.

      Just happy that you’re all well and happy.

  2. My happiness needed to be okay with a week of rain, but on Friday, youngest son got to play hooky from school on his sixth birthday and we went to the Spy Museum, just the two of us. Then we met up with the dad/husband unit for lunch. It was pretty successful and not something I could imagine attempting a year ago. I’m really enjoying these years with him.
    Even though he still acts like a complete turkey, sometimes. 🙂

  3. I went to Maker Faire yesterday and it was awesome and I saw and bought so many cool things.

  4. This coming week, happiness needs me to be on vacation from my job as an administrative assistant (I just read “Sizzle,” and I strongly related to Jane) for no particular purpose other than that I had plenty of accrued time and not much work to do at this point in the month/quarter, and I was bored, which is The Big Unforgivable. At this moment, it needs me to be on my back porch, AKA “Tranquility Base,” looking at the honeysuckle and trees and listening to the birds.

    I struggle with the “not what I planned/wanted” feeling and how to balance it with appreciation for where I am, since where I am is not bad at all. But how do know when where you are is where you’re “ending up”? Where I am is good, but where do I go from here? Do I want to change core parts of my life or just add to them? Is it bad form to end a comment on a blog with such open-ended philosophical questions?

    1. I think if you’re still asking questions, you’re not where you’re supposed to end up. Don’t rush it. Took me sixty years to figure it out. (Jane was the only good character in that book.)

  5. Someone once said to me “this is what it looks like when it’s working” which I have taken to heart. I think so often we have unwittingly taken on some picture from Hollywood or magazines or whatever, as to what success, or happiness, or a good relationship looks like. I have really worked at rooting those tropes out.

    This is what my happiness looks like. This is what my success looks like. Sure, there are things I’d like to change or improve, but that’s because I’m not dead. It’s all good here today.

  6. For some inexplicable reason I posted this in Cherry Saturday. So I will repost it here where it belongs.

    Where I am right now is in the breakfast room eating local strawberries from the farmers’ market and a croissant with honey and coffee with cream and a glass of juice. The sun is coming in through the window and I can see a big patch of vivid purple siberian iris with a nearby patch of a blooming cranesbill geranium “A. T. Johnson”. This is exactly where I need to be.

    Yesterday I needed to be watching the royal wedding. Much to my surprise my husband joined me and I could see he was really enjoyed it and was touched by it. After 48 years he still can surprise me.

  7. Our storms were not awful. Trees did not fall. It was good rain that we needed. Drought during climate change in a sub-tropical zone is confusing as all heck.

    I’m happy, I bit the bullet and bought an expensive phablet and it actually will help my efficiency. By limiting browsing, ebook and health apps to it, I will be able to control the amount of time I spend on-device. Which I have realized it one reason for my poor sleep quality.

    I also did a good bit of reading for research, now to type. All week, type type type.

    I’m considering buying a mic and Dragon home. Anybody have any opinions on speech to text? I don’t want to use the one from Chrome because it’s means I have to be online.

    There’s also a speech recorder by Phillips that comes with Dragon for it.

    (Testing my dragon emoji while I’m at it. 🐉)

    1. I use Dragon voice to text on my phone all the time, and I really love it. I got a swipe plus Dragon app for like a dollar, so it wasn’t too much of an investment , but it generally does really well. In fact, I am making this comment using Dragon’s voice to text feature ! I did not edit any of what it recorded . I did have to speak more slowly and clearly than usual , and it does make some mistakes, but overall I am very impressed with it.

      1. Ah, I found it. It’s called Dragon mobile assistant and it “is not available on your country.”. I think I’ll get the PC version.

    2. Krissie likes Dragon. I have it but haven’t used it. Maybe while she’s here in June, I’ll have her get me set up.

  8. Also, it’s a process, not an end goal. I thought I was going to be a perpetual academic, until I left that world and found myself in bookselling, and realised that that was my calling and my passion. And then fifteen years later something changed and I wasn’t where I needed to be anymore; I had my two boys and phased out to become a stay at home mum. And twelve years on, I’m starting to see something else on the horizon. I don’t know what it is yet, it’s still blurry and vague, and I’ve still got a lot to work out here and now, but I’m fairly confident that it will fall into place when the time is right.

    Each piece so far has been where I needed to be and what I needed to be learning at the time. But none of those pieces have been an end – that will be when I’m six feet under, and possibly not even then depending on what you believe.

  9. Happiness might well have been a completed bathroom. Unfortunately where I need to be is content to wait another six weeks (showering in the third world set up downstairs). Saddest part for me is not having a functioning bathtub when Pix gets home from University. That girl loves a soak.
    Bathroom will be complete and lovely, but not today!!
    I have replaced all bathroom happiness thoughts with joy in dachshunds. For anyone else needing a boost, I’ve posted a video on Instagram of Stella shouting at Steve because it’s dinner time (#dachshunddinner).
    Bathroom notwithstanding, I really quite like where I am.

    1. I meant to put in a second bathroom right away, and that didn’t happen, so I haven’t had a bath in five years.
      OTOH, my shower is quite wonderful since the whole bathroom is the shower. I love it.

      1. We’ve been in this house for 15 years, the downstairs bathroom started shedding tiles about 10 years ago, so we abandoned it to snowboard storage and assorted crap. The upstairs was tiny and poorly laid out, but functioning with a large triangular corner bath and nowhere to stand and (easily) dry yourself.
        The house layout means upstairs has to be done first and she’s really going to miss that bath!! Perfect world we’d be able to do everything we want, all at once….. in my imperfect world, stuff has to wait it’s turn.
        V jealous of a whole bathroom shower, I couldn’t make it work in the space.

        1. I didn’t have any choice. The only bathroom on this floor was 4′ x 7.5 foot. Once you put a sink and a toilet in there, there’s no room for a shower stall. And I like big showers. So I made it a shower with a sink and toilet in it. Works great.
          I still want a nice soaking tub, though. That’s the second bathroom.

          1. They’re in corners with the shower between them, so not so much. I put up a shower curtain that I could pull between the shower section and the toilet, but I never use it. I do have one of those free-standing toilet tissue holders that I put outside the door when I shower.

            I really love it. There’s so much room even though the room is tiny, and when it’s time to clean the bathroom, I just hose the entire place down with the shower attachment. I’m never having a bathroom again that doesn’t have a drain in the tile floor.

        2. I had to give up tub baths when I reached the point where I couldn’t get out of the tub gracefully. Joints and muscles were not working. So no more comforting skin softening bath oil. Now I have to be careful shaving my legs and pedicures. You know all those ads about falling and I can’t get up, well it’s true. I even have a hard time cleaning around the toilet. Might have to give Yoga a try. And that glucosamine better kick in soon. Wait, we have a shower in the upstairs bathroom that has seats, also there is a switch that turns on an overhead heating element for after getting out of the shower. I’ve just talked myself from complaining to happiness.

          1. One very good reason to practice yoga: so you can get up from the floor. Also balance and it’s good for pain.

      2. When I moved into my house 16 years ago, it had a giant cast iron tub and no shower. That wasn’t going to work (you can’t wash long hair in a tub or a sink well) so I hung one of those suspended shower circles over the tub and it has worked fine. Except when I hurt my knee a couple of years ago and getting in and out of the tub was next to impossible for months.

        But when I bought the place, I was told that the bathroom used to be upstairs (in what is currently a storage closet) and I have been seriously considering putting in a second bathroom ever since. Maybe this year…

        1. I think a second bathroom is essential anywhere. I’m fine with a shower in the guest bath (the current bath) and a tub in my bath (future bath).
          But I want that bathroom.

          1. Yep. It wasn’t that important until one of the artists at my shop started staying over for a day or two every month (she moved out of town, but still comes back to work her hours at the store and make up hours she missed during the year she was getting chemo). She’s also my cat sitter now, when I go away for long stretches, so the guest room is semi-permanently hers.

            Having another person in the house, even a couple of days a month, has definitely moved the 2nd bathroom project from “someday I should do this” to “getting a quote this month.”

  10. It’s gardening season, so for the foreseeable future, happiness will find me in my backyard or my neighbour’s yard, converting his wild jungle into a vegetable garden. The tulips I power-planted on a wet November afternoon are blooming, so I get to enjoy a riot of colour in my back and front yards, as I work.

    After a busy week at work, I had a wonderful dinner with a friend at my favourite local restaurant. Our waiter paired our delicious meals with wonderful craft beers and we waddled out very happy. The next night, my husband and I went out to dinner with another couple – also a lovely evening. First time we’ve been out to dinner with these friends but hopefully won’t be the last.

    DS wanted to go to the book store today – always fun. I’m happy my kid reads.

    1. My yards are a mess, but I’ve decided to take it one bed at a time. I won’t have it all done this year, but if I keep steadily working on it, I’ll have raised beds and wildflowers plantings ready to go for next spring.

  11. Happiness yesterday was watching the royal wedding (which I hadn’t planned on, but since I woke up and turned on the TV just in time to see Meghan get out of the car, I got hooked and then spend the next hour and a half watching). I wept lots of happy tears and it seemed like a much-needed break from the real world. Then I got some cleaning done (the micro-stuff, like taking everything off my display shelves, dusting it, getting rid of acres of cobwebs, then rearranging it back) that had been on the list for a while. I love being able to cross things off the list. I’m in the middle of a massive fibro flare, so I’m getting less done, so everything counts more as a win.

    Today’s happiness was watching yesterday’s horse race with best pal Ellen (our tradition is to watch the big three together and play Scrabble), even though I’d already seen online who won.

    And seeing that my friend Bethany had completely her 5K run for cancer event. Her team was last, but she finished, which considering the chemo, was never a sure thing. It meant so much to her, so it made me really happy that she pulled it off. Definitely a win.

  12. Happiness is having my garden almost complete planted (in a couple of weeks I will stick nasturtiums in all the bare spots and move all the stray zinnias and four oclocks to one location for each.) Also the really unusual lilies I bought at the Philadelphia flower show are coming up after all’s

    Happiness is having my son home between college and summer job.

    Happiness is a sunny day after what I think was a couple of weeks of rain.

    And happiness is nearly being over with six years on the Board of the youth theater camp my kids loved so much. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad I’m done.

  13. Happiness this weekend was all about right place/right time.

    One of my brothers was in town for a softball tournament about a half hour from my house. I drove out to watch him play, and I put a picture of us on the family text thread: “Look who’s in Milwaukee!”

    Another brother responded that at first he thought I meant his daughter, who’s also in town this weekend – “I wondered how you managed to run into her.”

    So of course, two hours later, on the last leg of the half-hour drive home, I was cruising along the lakefront and saw her (with her brother). By the time I found a place to turn around and pull over, they’d also spotted me. Her first words: “So you DID run into me after all!”


Comments are closed.