Happiness is (Define It Yourself)

I was sitting here trying to come up with a  happiness tag and realized you probably. knew all the things that made me happy by now.  So it’s your turn.  How do you define happiness?  (This week I was happy because I didn’t have to define happiness.)

61 thoughts on “Happiness is (Define It Yourself)

  1. Happiness is a whole day spent with my family on the lake–celebrating Son turning 40, swimming and playing in the water with Son, DIL, and Grandboy, enjoying games and dinner on the screened porch all in absolutely perfect weather. I took the day off from editing gigs and writing and just enjoyed…it was lovely and restorative. I’m back to work this morning with a renewed heart.

  2. I spent most of the week in the mountains which has always been one of my happy places. Reconnected with a friend I’ve known for over 40 years and had a wonderful extended visit with her. Hiked in the Rockies with DH and DS before they set out on their own adventure. Today is DS’s 18th Birthday. Proud of my boy as he sets out into adulthood.

  3. Happiness is a puzzle of smaller pieces fit together to make a whole. For most people there’s probably a lot of hugs and love and laughter amongst those pieces, and animals and friends and family (biological or chosen), and memories and stories and shared experiences, and a variety of other colourful things that’ll make it a joy to look at when it’s all put together. And just as much a joy to look at piece for piece.

    Happiness this week was getting three unexpected but very welcome lodgers Thursday evening. My big brother and two of his friends were traveling by longboard from Brussels to Amsterdam and we’d agreed to have lunch Thursday because well, he’d be in the neighbourhood and thought it’d be nice to have a bite and chat. Buuut some unfortunate events screwed up their traveling schedule, so he messaged me to ask if they could sleep at our place so as not to have to illegally camp in a park or so. So instead of a lunch I got a big sweaty three-days-no-shower-longboard-traveling-big-brother-hug (luckily it wasn’t as horrible as it sounds), pizza for very late dinner and a lot of laughter with those three guys and DF. It was the best thing that happened to me the last month. <3 My big brother is the very best.

    I'm also very happy and eternally thankful that the 38C (100F) have given up and moved on. Today it's a mere 20C and it's possible to do more things than sit very still and rink water. Blessed!

  4. I think “happiness” is an umbrella term under which so many positive feelings fall.

    For me this week, happiness was spending time with my partner and his partner (my metamour)–they were dropping a present off and his car needed repairs and so she did them in the garage while I sorted through boxes that haven’t been touched in a while and kept her company. It was also making plans with my girlfriend to attend my friend’s pool party next week, which was originally for co-workers and now also has some of her nearesr and dearest invited too. Mingling of worlds–with catering, omni and vegan. Vegan chef is amazing so I am extra excited!

    It was also snagging a free shelving unit, my boyfriend moving and his wife sending videos of the cats discovering stairs (boy cat has a vague memory of them, girl cat is confused and suspicious), spending time with my kid and roommates, putting up fairy lights shaped like peppers in the kitchen, getting five boxes’ worth of trash out of the house, fun books, making plans for a full week of socializing after a few weeks of solitude, and


    You got me into that show, Jenny (while also spoiling me for it, was very mad at the time 😂)–are you watching the new episodes? My bestie, who I got into the show, and I will be watching Thursday night, so no spoilers please but someone tell me it’s worth it (since motion makes me sick so I limit the heck out of what I watch)??

    Also, did you stick with iZombie? Finale is coming, sigh. Will be forever grateful to the show for giving us for Ravi and being explicit about the “female gaze.” (Aka Jason Dohring in his underwear and often, so often, shirtless–not my usual thing, but I appreciate the novelty of the man getting this kind of attention for once).

    1. I sadly have no time to watch Veronica Mars before I dunno, at least next week. Everyone is going OMG THAT TWIST and….sigh. Seriously don’t have 8 hours to watch everything right now this week because I’ve been at a conference and then have tech week.

      I will miss iZombie as well.

      1. Only my roommate has watched it so far. And fortunately they haven’t been too terrible with spoilers. I just need to avoid most internets for a few more days…

        1. Stay away from youtube, the title of the videos are loaded with spoilers, the spoilsports.

          I never watched the tv series, but there were some fun videos shipping Veronica and Logan, so I did watch the movie when it got a theatrical release in the UK

    2. Haven’t seen either the new Veronica or the the last two seasons of iZombie. My TV watching went to zilch this year and a half. REALLY sorry about the spoilers.

      1. But it was a hilarious post that I think got me into the show to begin with–the one with I wanna say caterpillars??

  5. Happiness is finishing the rose garden yesterday and then discovering that Lois Bujold had a new Penric/Desdemona novella out and being free to do nothing but read that.

  6. Hemmed in by work, the weather and the need to process allotment produce at the moment. So small happies: managing to stop for the weekend before any further nasty violence in the proofs – so nothing to prey on my mind; Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix (I’ve just started season 6; anxious to finish in case it gets pulled by ?Disney – someone, anyway, that’s setting up in competition and holds the rights); and this morning, after a hunt, finding Mum’s jelly muslins, which are a good size and have ties, it turns out, so it was a doddle to tie one to the stool legs. Two kilos of redcurrants are now dripping through. But should finish making the redcurrant jelly this evening, and then will be done with urgent fruit-processing until Septembers at least.

    1. I have been resisting getting Netflix because I am a dvd commentary kinda gal. Then they started with series and I thought I still can watch them on disc. But ST:TNG, complete? This might change my mind. I must away to do a costing.

      Star Trek: The Next Generation was a cause for happiness for many a year for me.

      1. Yes: it’s my third time around, although I’d have missed a few the first couple of times, when watching it as a weekly serial – I didn’t always have a recorder. I’ve also enjoyed watching ‘Gilmore Girls’, which I don’t think was aired in the UK – not on Freeview, anyway.

  7. I am at a storytelling conference this weekend and it has been absolutely lovely. I went to some excellent workshops that were very informative. Yesterday I heard some great stories about people having psychic voices in their heads telling them things and I was all “why don’t I get that happening to me that I’m going to find love and get another job?” (Answer: because I am not meant to have either of those things.) I did my crush story one more time here (and in my storytelling class, which went over better there!) and now I’m going to retire the piece, as it were. Hopefully I’ve worked out my ya-yas over that one. I wish I would be able to go to this conference every year, but it’s national and I’d have to fly to other states to do it again and it was $1000 just to go to a few hours away from home, so oh well. I wish I could figure out the life changes to get me into a place where I could do and afford those things.

    Crush news: only saw him twice this week. Monday went GREAT, he sat by me, had the warm eyes, showed him dog pics, made him laugh, and actually got up the nerve to text him privately after rehearsal about something he brought up and he was responding right away till midnight-ish. So, score! Tarot reading to ask if he likes me got the Knight of Cups. Score!

    Then the next day…not so much. He keeps coming in late so he has to sit far away, didn’t talk to me much, did not go to karaoke when rehearsal was running this late (GRRRRR). This does seem to be A Thing when I think about it, we have a great night and then the next time I see him, not much happens. Hot and cold. Not sure if it’s deliberate or circumstantial or what.

    This week I will literally see him for seven days in a row, as Tech Week starts tonight (yay). After that…not so much. No rehearsals once the show starts and it only runs two weekends. A friend is having a birthday party AT karaoke so hopefully he shows for that. Then it’s down to karaoke only once a week for as long as that lasts, if that.

    I wish I could spend more quality time with him to “bake” this friendship even if it doesn’t go into a relationship, but I think the opportunity for this is going away pretty soon and he’s into the group hangs more than anything else. I know I’m #3 on the affection list after the last ex and the unrequited crush girl, and I don’t want to be obvious or scary or what the fuck ever, since this seems to be a slow burn thing. I’m just not sure how to do that without forcing things or straight up asking him out for one on one time since lord knows we ain’t there yet and I’m not sure when that will be.

    Am also debating just telling him I like him (or at least I was after Monday, now I’m not sure) say, around the karaoke birthday party because tarot seemed like it thought that was a good idea. But I dunno. I don’t think I’m ready to in the long run and I sure don’t think he is, so… Maybe just let it lie and die, you know?

    I dunno. Anyone have any thoughts on how to develop a friendship (at least) once the circumstances that bring us together end?

    1. Date someone else.
      You know, somebody you really like that you’re not crushing on.
      This has two benefits: you will no longer be thinking about Crush all the time because you’re having a good time with somebody else, and it’ll either give him a wake-up call or he’ll move on to somebody else for his Third Girl.
      Says somebody who’s been there. Third Girl is just a lousy place to be. Plus if you’re in an Agatha Christie novel, it gets you murdered.

      1. Good point. Sadly “Operation Find Somebody Else” has been an utter failure this month despite all the new activities and trips I went on. But that is how my life goes. I’ve known since age 5 that I wasn’t meant to be with anybody. That is just me.

        1. For what it’s worth (very little, probably), I decided a long time ago that it was better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship. Yes, I’ve been single for 17 years. No, it’s not my preference. But I stand by my original decision.

  8. I hope you find someone with good advice — I’d love to hear it. I did not have romances develop through friendships like most people have. I did a lot of stupid things in mid teen years, then didn’t know how to have warm friendships with guys after that. Fortunately, my mother and future sister-in-law set me up on a date with the guy I married two years later.

    Good luck!

  9. I was talking to my sister last week about this and that and her starting radiation therapy after surgery for breast cancer. She’s always been an upbeat person where I am more laid back. Movie musicals came up in the conversation and I thought of the old Busby Berkeley movies of the thirties and the crazy outlandish dance numbers that were created. (she took dance lessons well into her sixties) The next morning I’m looking them up and ordered several. One she mentioned was Yankee Doodle Dandy, it was in a bundle with Singin’ in the Rain and an Elvis Presley (her favorite) and another was 42nd Street. And to top it off she told me one of her granddaughters had never seen Jaws and she bought it for a movie night to watch with her so I’m also sending King Kong the original. Maybe they can have a creature double feature. Anyway I just received the e-mail that they have been shipped and will get to her tomorrow.

    1. That’s wonderful! Laughing really does help with chemo (so does pot, but that’s another story).

      My daughter keeps telling me that my grasp on reality is not strong (have you seen what I do for a living?) and that I’m basically Pollyanna, but so far I’ve been right on everything, so go Pollyanna, that’s what I say. That great attitude is doing a lot to help your sister stand chemo and recover so good for her.

    2. Nothing better than laughter anytime, but especially after radiation.
      I love Singing In The Rain, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. Also Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and The Harvey Girls. I just started the series Fosse/Verdon and it made me want to look up Sweet Charity and Kiss Me Kate cause Fosse dances in that one.

      1. I love musicals. When my daughter was 10 i decided to watch some with her. Okahoma; Curly tries to talk Jud into suicide. Grease; girl decides key to happiness is skin tight clothes and smoking. Cabaret; just no. Seven brides for Seven Brothers. Cool. Great dancing. My kid thought kidnapping girls to marry was inappropriate. She was right. She liked Singing in the Rain. Arsenic and Old Lace was her favorite. I found rewatching some of my old favorites with her had some really uncomfortable moments. Cary Grant still makes me happy.

        1. Amyll — Yep, there are many uncomfortable musicals, but some were meant to be. The drug bit in Oklahoma. Wife abuse and suicide in Carousel. Dumped heroine in Showboat. It helped me to talk with my kids about what is being put out there to think over. Some things have meanings in context. Some don’t. It’s always fine to like the songs (PAL Joey) but not the plot.

  10. I’m happy because I got to spend time with some of my favourite people. It was wonderful.

    I’m happy because the chicken soup seemed to work. Today it is ginger tea. I peeled fresh ginger, bashed it up with a rolling pin, boiled and then simmered for an hour. Then added to cup, drizzled in some honey. It is helping stave of this cold. So far, so good.

    1. Sure Thing, I make miso soup with a LOT of ginger grated in when I can feel I’m getting a cold. Sweet potatoes, choy sum, spring onions, and frozen edamame will turn it into a complete meal, but in a pinch just the miso and ginger (and some garlic) will do the job.

  11. Happiness this weekend is cooking with my son, who heads off to grad school in the fall and needs to expand his repertoire now that he won’t have a meal plan. (Repertoire so far–pot stickers, scrambled eggs, pasta with pesto and beans, stirfry. He won’t starve, but he won’t be happy.) So last night we made noodles and chicken in sesame sauce, tonight lentil and rice salad, and we have chicken over arugula and pasta with fresh tomato sauce and gazpacho on the week’s meal plans. He’s not a red meat eater.
    Also, the garden is looking good, and I got four giant buckets of weeds out of it (I’m very good at growing weeds.)

  12. Big happiness this week was the healthy birth of the eighth!! greatling.

    Ongoing shits & giggles (literally) from the puppy.

  13. For me, happiness is crossing things off my list, that and not being around people. I love having quiet time by myself. And today I’m able to do that. Unfortunately not many things are getting crossed off the list but a few are so that’s making me happy.

  14. Happiness is the anticipation of spending four and a half days with Daughter, Son-in-law and granddaughter next weekend….also of celebrating 40 years with my husband next Sunday. Two of the days next week will be sitting for said grand-daughter while her Mom starts her new routine of commuting into Boston on the train (she had been driving to the intersection of the Mass Pike and I-95, but that office is closing). Normally the other grandmother (who lives much closer) does the Monday and Tuesday sitting, but she is out of the country on vacation.

    Happiness was camping for eight days in Grand Isle, Vermont with husband’s family. Just planned meals, did camp dishes and sat back and read for eight days. Returned to the mess that is the day-job on Wednesday and found it as crazy as expected. REALLY thinking about retiring within the next nine months. The day-job IS NOT fun anymore.

    The joy that is celebrating 40 years with husband is not only is he my partner and lover, but that he is here to celebrated with at all: last summer we discovered that he had an aortic aneurysm. This summer, two major surgeries later, the issue is completely corrected and he was out doing 14 mile bike-rides again. He’s still recovering strength and stamina (heck, I’m still recovering strength and stamina from the medical adventures I started going through 2.5 years ago), but something that could have suddenly killed him is no longer an issue.

  15. Took youngest grand daughter to nephew’s wedding. She has not met many on that side of the family. She met a lot of people for whom I am their auntie or great auntie. (Mama had two families. I was a auntie when I was 2. ) We had lots of fun. Watching an almost 6 year old, very smart one, interact with all the new relatives was a delight.

  16. Happiness was 3 days with my sister who lives in Virginia, a great carnitas dinner at the local Mexican restaurant (family owned), and a turtle sundae. It was a relaxing, fun week.
    Next week everything from meetings to doctor and dentist to dog grooming and hair appointments. So happiness will have to be, “I accomplished a lot!”

  17. Happiness this week was human connection.
    – A social event for writers/photographers
    – A dinner with our book club (which started years ago as a playgroup)
    – A delightful Skype to see our daughter’s new haircut–super short on one side, shaved on the other, long floppy bangs. She looks awesome, and my husband suggested I get something similar. I told him people would think I’d had a medical emergency.

  18. Spent a very happy 4 1/2 days in NYC for the RWA Conference. Lots of well-filling (Oklahoma!, To Kill a Mockingbird, Leonard Cohen exhibit at the Jewish Museum) and good things (I stepped waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone to “speed pitch” to 6 agents, and got requests from 5 of them, and didn’t get a good vibe off the 6th so was perfectly happy not to get a request from her), and had great hang out time with friends I only see once a year or so.

  19. Happiness this past week or so has been chewing through the project list without killing ourselves. Yesterday it was supposed to rain so before it started we pulled out the frame of the old raised bed. That was a job and a half. Most of the rebar supports were 3 feet, two of the pieces were 5 feet and we had to pull them out with the truck. We managed to get to it all out but that was pretty much it for the day. It was 17 + feet long and from 8 to 29 inches deep. Today we started putting the new frame together and it looks really nice. It’s cedar and ties and will weather beautifully.

    In general, I don’t think happiness is an if/then statement. There are exceptions, of course, because sometimes your immediate happiness does depend on something external like a good check up or not losing your job but the kind of life happiness that most people want comes from within. It’s augmented by being healthy and able to pay your bills and having a passion but it’s not dependent on the outside world.

  20. Happiness for me at the moment is a sunny winter’s day, and being able to walk as far as the woodshed and back without my hip biting me. Plus my cat’s tummy. That’s always good for a bit of happiness.

  21. Another extended weekend at the cape with my bff. Sun and sand and swimming in the warm ocean. Too many people, but I just ignored them and kept my eyes on the water. Got another good contract and it’s mystery. Yahoo.

  22. Binged on Person of Interest, made many crafty things, and JUST finished my latest cross stitch project. Fun week!!

  23. Not much family around, so a looong visit with nephew, his wife and their two sons, oldest just headed to high school, was heart-enriching. Nothing compares.

  24. Had a lovely quiet morning reading and then went for a dip in sister’s pool, so feeling quite lucky and relaxed.

  25. I have a maybe happy. A “hope it turns out to be a happy, but worried I’ve screwed up and it won’t.”

    The local rescue organization where I got one of my cats (Harry Dresden) and where I have volunteered a few hours recently put out a call for a foster. They had a mama cat and her kittens, born three days ago, who had been taken in off the street by a good Samaritan who couldn’t keep them. And it being kitten season, they are full plus all their usual fosters are full.

    I have a room upstairs that is just used for storage, and I had already cleared it to maybe do this sometime, so I said I’d take them. That was a big happy. Picked them up this afternoon (and helped out with an emergency at the shelter since the woman who runs it was on her own). Mama is clearly not feral…she must have belonged to someone at some point. She’s very sweet and friendly. The four surviving kittens (one didn’t make it) seem healthy.

    But mama has been really restless since I got them settled. Yowling upstairs on and off, and trying to get out the door. (My four cats have been fine with the whole thing until she starts that. They’ve basically ignored her. They all came from multi-cat rescues.) I’m hoping she is just unsettled from all the turmoil of the last few days, and that she isn’t going to be so problematic that I have to take her back to a place that has no room.

    So maybe not happy. I guess we’ll see.

    1. Just a thought re mama cat. May want to check her for mastitis to make sure she’s okay.

      While she may be howling at being upstairs, she may also be signalling a problem and mastitis after birth can be serious. I mention because most mama cats I’ve known stick close to their babies at this stage and as long as she’s got her necessities in there with her (food, water, etc.), her desire to leave the area would likely be minimal without good reason. Most animals I know have good reason for the actions (even if we don’t always understand them), which in this case may be physical or emotional, especially if you say one of mama’s kitties didn’t make it and she may not get that and still be wanting to find him so all her babies are accounted for.

      1. It seems to have been adjustment issues and a rough couple of days. Plus, I put her and her kittens in an open box, which clearly made her feel too vulnerable. When I went up this morning she had hidden them under at low shelf. So I built her a “cave” by placing a card table over the box and hanging a cloth over three sides. She seems much happier today. And so am I.

  26. Happiness is Irish Dancing!

    Doing something you loved as a kid, just because you want to. And how lucky am I that my daughter’s lovely little ID school has adult classes? So much fun, really, I need more fun.

    And then, you cool down on the drive home, so you get that blissful hot-shower-when-you’re-cold-after-exercise happy I talked about last week, plus you’ve been dancing up a storm for an hour, so guilt free ice cream. My god, there’s no downside here.

    Yeah, OK, to be 100% honest, my Achilles (pl) are not happy AT ALL. I’m not 14 any more, but hey-ho, that’s what Voltaren is for, and they and I will get stronger.

  27. Happiness is… whatever. I’m darned if I can pin it down to any one thing, nor set of things.

    I finished a DVD marathon. I was going to say, “A kid’s movie and…”, but a lot of people classify Harry Potter as kid’s movies. Young Adult, anyway. For my next marathon, I have the entire set of Babylon 5 including the movies. I’ve never seen them all, so that may be interesting. Same with Farscape and Star Trek: Enterprise. I could easily OD on SF&F. Happy.

    The dotter and I have had our weekly outing, Golden Corral, Publix, Walmart, Target and home again. Happy

    I ordered and received a case for my new cell phone, a CoolPad. It’s a big sucker (model 3507?), 6.3″. I am not accustomed to carrying it everywhere, yet. It is not an extension of my arm, yet. I love the case. Everyone at work assured me I will drop it and a case is a necessity. But I haven’t, yet. Happy.

    Last night I ate a package of Nature’s Place All Natural Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon Fully Cooked. (They should pay me, or at least send more for this product placement.) It was excellent. No bread, tomatoes, lettuce – just bacon. Happy. No, ecstatic. 🙂

    I finished Rising Sun and I’m Not A Hero by Mia Archer I have the next four or five books in that series, I just need to sort them and read. Happy, of course.

    I need to figure out how to feed audiobooks through Joe into the car’s “entertainment system.” Listening to A Civil Contract during the daily commute might make me happy. er.

    Reading about all the folks here being happy, or at least Dealing With It falls under “This communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half.” – Francis Bacon, Essays

  28. A Youtube ad is informing me that, apparently, today (or maybe tomorrow, my laptop clock is time zones ahead for reasons so sometimes I get updates for things past “midnight”) is National Lasagna Day…

    Yeah, lasagna makes me happy.

    Huh, given that indian-fusion pizza is already a thing (masala/curry pizzas), I feel like indian fusion lasagna could be good stuff. Goat or chicken for meat, riced cauliflower and/or peas, masala or saag for sauce, paneer crumble for cheese. Hrm.

  29. I love reading everyone’s happies. Our minister this morning talked about making great choices. Only at one point, he said Joices instead of choices.
    The word caught my fancy. I spent the day making great joices.
    I finished a jigsaw puzzle, made cold cucumber yoghurt soup, dined with a friend and watched the first episode of Fosse/Verdon. Then my air BnB guest, a fellow actor, came in and we chatted about Books, Burning Man and Boston. Now I’m off to my favorite reading chair and Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn. I am not sure how I feel about this one.
    On the writing front Happiness is Jenny saying I could have an author spot for Irish magic and finding out my second book, Maybe This Time is a finalist for the 2019 Raven Awards in Contemporary Romance. The audiobook is a finalist for Audiobook General in the RONE awards.
    On the acting front, a casting director asked for my reel. I’d written off that particular audition, but maybe it’s still a possible. Happiness is being seventy five and doing what you love.

    1. Ooh, I’ve heard good things about Fosse/Verdon. (mostly that Michelle Williams is possibly the greatest actress of our time)

  30. Happiness was starting my leave today. I have had precisely four days off work in the entire month of July up until today, so some heavy duty recreating was called for. I made real food involving actual vegetables, saw Yesterday with a friend, and walked to the National Film and Sound Archive to see the exhibition of costumes from The Dressmaker. On the way home I called my Mum for her birthday, and found out that my parents are planning a trip to South America next year for the same time that I will be there!

    And tomorrow, I get to sleep in and do more not-work things! So much happy today.

  31. I read this as “happiness is defining yourself”. It made me think that how people define themselves if lost is cataclysmic So much women’s fiction is based on trying to redefine yourself and all to often the definition segues from being defined as “ex-wife” or “ex-lover” “mother who children have grown and have their own life” to “new wife” and “new lover” of “new mother” or to the potential of being a new wife, mother or new lover. Because it’s easier to let someone else define you.

    Then I look at Argh and so many have succeeded in defining themselves on their own terms, despite being someone’s wife, someone’s lover or someone’s mother. Or are actively in the process of defining themselves. And happiness really is defining yourself and not letting someone else define you. And it is really hard for some of us to do but it is really the basis of true happiness.

    1. that is “new lover” OR “new mother”. I am going to blame that one on autocorrect.

  32. I’m finding as I age that happiness is a composite of ordinary things: everyone (including the cats and myself) well, not getting up to an alarm most days, having enough, reading a good book, planning weekends with friends, the writing going well (which it’s not right now, but it will at some point). Also dark chocolate. And a sense of accomplishment over a committee meeting I’m “convening” at church, which went very well.

  33. Lately, happiness for me is:
    Having a nice dinner with my kids.
    Figuring out why my cat has not been well (even if it cost $500+ to get there).
    Getting my first tattoo (sorry, no available pic for you). It’s a stack of books with the following acronyms on the spines: HEA OR GTFO. It’s my mantra these days. And I get to decide what my Happy Ever After looks like. (I know for damn certain it doesn’t look like my not-quite-ex.)
    Hanging out with friends who make me feel so blessed!

    Oh, and good reads to keep me busy, too.

  34. Happiness is finding another job to apply to today, and leaving it up to fate whether that leads to an interview.

    Happiness is also quite a few days in a row when I haven’t been desperate to a) turn on the air-conditioning b) drink.


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