The World Happiness Report: The World is Happier Than You’d Think

The World Happiness Report is out, and the news is … cheerful. In spite of one of the most stressful years of our lives globally, people’s assessment of their own happiness didn’t change much. It’s not so much that all is well, one researcher says in the Washington Post, it’s that people aren’t giving up, our belief in the future remains optimistic. The takeaway? We are really, really adaptive.

How were you adaptive and optimistic this week?

56 thoughts on “The World Happiness Report: The World is Happier Than You’d Think

  1. I went for therapy. It was good. Enough transference has occurred that the therapeutic relationship has evolved and my therapist suggested that I don’t need to make and appointment for a session, I can just meet up with her. So, I’m gently being dismissed from care! I guess it’s because I have been identifying issues before they become serious and I’ve been coping healthily.


  2. I hate being told how I feel, so I assert that I am grumpy.

    However, snowdrops are finally blooming, as well as crocusses, a snake moved like an irridescent line across a rock, and the spring peepers are louder than car engines. A newly awake bear has started roaming the bird feeders in our neighborhood for a quick pick-me-up. Our local band of deer has been by.

    This week I visited a friend for tea — In Her House. My husband and I have resumed walks (our driveway is half a mile long). My husband gets his 2nd vaccine shot today.

    The snow is almost gone.

    And, Biden is President.

    But I’m a crotchety old bird. Don’t you tell me to be happy. No way.

      1. That’s nicer than the one I used to wear which said, “We don’t care hoe they do it in New York”

  3. Today I’m planning to continue to ignore all nagging-crap-I-should-do, only interact with DH and one zoom call (which I actually hope will be entertaining and productive), and hopefully get re-centered. I had a lovely moment of “all will be well” last week, which is where I would really love to be living for a while.

    And I bought a new peanut feeder, because a racoon (I assume) made off with the old one. Cheap, in case, you know, I forget to take it in at dusk and it disappears. You have to admire their ingenuity, really. And the squirrels aren’t far behind.

  4. Happy because my 90 year old parents got their second shots yesterday.
    Met up with a friend outside on a restaurant balcony overlooking the sea, for a fizzy drink and a snack, with giant clouds marching past overhead. Only needed two jackets!
    Adventures in sourdough. I’m confused.
    Some kids from our church delivered pretty little Easter treat bags. They’ve grown! (The kids.)
    Moving out of funk to just general sulks, which may blossom into action.

  5. I’m happy I finished minutes to a meeting yesterday and so I don’t have to think about that organization until Monday!

    Raked up some leaves yesterday, after the big windstorm. I was feeling bad about putting it off, but the windstorm would have caused double work. It’s proof that my procrastinating is not necessarily a bad thing. At least I’m going to stick to that reasoning.

    My dog is very lively today. She’s getting good results from her Cushing’s disease meds.

    Still content with all the social distancing, etc. Although there is one organization’s in person meetings that I do miss.

    The crows, cardinals and woodpeckers are around which is wonderful.

  6. Happy because we are definitely closing on Tuesday, and the container comes on Wednesday (in a related corollary, am freaking because we close on Tuesday and the container comes on Wednesday, but my bff is flying down to help for a couple of days, and she’s even more organized than I am, so happy for that).

    We’ve booked our flights to Lisbon (cats included) and a hotel for the couple of weeks we’re staying in LA post-sale.

    AND, DH got his 2nd vaccine this week, and I’m getting my jab on Tuesday.

    Nothing but good times ahead.

    1. Can you tell us a little more about your move to Lisbon? I’d really love to hear more. A friend is hoping to visit there this summer and buy a place in order to get in on the Golden Visa program before it ends at the end of the year. Are you doing that?

      1. We’re not doing the Golden Visa – it’s actually pretty easy to get a residency visa if you can prove a relatively low amount of income and you’re not going to take a Portuguese job. Naturally, there are hoops (FBI background report, among other things), but Portugal is very retirement/expat friendly, as well as being friendly in general. We’re really looking forward to traveling around Portugal and Europe once things are more back to something approaching normal, and Portugal is an excellent base for said travel.

  7. Mostly happy. The de-cluttering is s-l-o-w. Sun doing the usual “shine during the week, rain on the weekend.” Gdaughters coming tomorrow. More arts and crafts. They were here Friday afternoon. Painted wooden garden tags. Chatty Royal paints like an impressionist painter. Gray is so meticulous with her colours. Great fun.

  8. I keep planting things in the yard, so I guess that’s adaptive and optimistic. I mean, you don’t buy and plant double blooming irises unless you plan to be around the following year when they bloom after getting established. Gardening is very future-oriented, while also being very grounded in the present.

  9. It’s not so much how I adjusted past tense. It’s an adjustment I need to make.
    I have accepted: I will be in my super sucky unpleasant j.o.b for another 34 months – assuming I get everything in place to retire.
    The adjustment I need to make is to figure out how to comfort myself at work without food. And it has to be something that only takes a minute or two.
    Any ideas from the Argh community?

    1. Oh and even though the icon is weird I am happy I figured out how to relace that mean looking thing that always appeared by my name in comments before.

    2. Subscribe to a daily comic for a laugh
      Buy excellent mini chocolate for emergencies
      Buy excellent quality beverages to make hot drinks (really good coffee can make a difference)
      Start a list of what you can do when you retire (add to it every time you feel frustrated)
      Is you are into schadenfreude (my sister is) there is a couple of forums that people post their misfortunes, to make other people feel better about their lives

    3. Doodle with a cool marker or pen? Tennis ball foot massage? Shoulder rolls and stretches? I get up and do cat/cows, but that could be tricky at work…

    4. Make a playlist of your favorite songs. Play a random song off it.

      I must do this myself 😊.

    5. Start a list of things you want to do when you retire, and occasionally check in with related websites or blogs.

  10. Took 3 boxes of movies (small boxes) to Zia and got rid of 2! Am happy, but barely a dent in the things. Certainly have accumulated a lot…

    Instead of buying tunisian crochet hooks, I think I found the right one for a blanket I’m picking up, so thats nice!

    Otherwise, same old, same old.

  11. Rough week for me. The administrators for my college program made a change to the summer term which has put my coop assignment at risk. I’m supposed to start on May 10 and have had this lined up since Oct. Not resolved yet and college is no help. Friday afternoon developed a UTI that got nasty fast. Managed to find a walk-in clinic with no line up and get antibiotics.

    Flowers always make me feel happy – I saw some crocus is my garden earlier this week and my hopefully-soon-to-be employers dropped off some gorgeous tulips for me. Grown in the ground in their hoop house. DH brought me vegan date squares (no sugar/dairy) from the only bakery in town that makes them. I cut them into small pieces to make them last longer.

  12. As noted earlier in this thread, planting is optimistic. This year I am trying to grow two varieties of heirloom tomatoes from seed, which I’ve never done. Yesterday I finally got the seeds in special soil.
    Also optimistic is getting the second Pfizer shot.
    And went with a friend to an art museum that’s recently re-opened, riding in a car together for the first time in more than a year.

    Last Sunday my church adapted to in-person worship, but without including anything deemed dangerous. I miss singing together, but just being together, even six feet apart, is wonderful. Today we adapted to outdoor (brief) Palm Sunday service, even if it was chilly and windy, before entering for the rest of the service.

  13. It’s been a cold, rainy, windy and miserable day. Hubs had to get a fire going in the fireplace to chase the chill out. And then I looked outside and noticed there is more green to the grass than yellow. Yay!

  14. I enjoyed my holiday (= mental health day) on Monday, when I went for a wander with my camera, especially spotting seven newts in a hilltop pond. Was disappointed to be banned from Wales for yet another two weeks; but this afternoon made tentative plans to go and visit an old friend in Oxford, stopping at some good nurseries on the way back, around my birthday in May (staying away from home should be legal from 17 May; at least, you’re allowed to stay in a b&b, so I trust also allowed to stay in a friend’s house). My friend also lives alone and is a keen gardener.

    And on Tuesday, when there’s supposed to be a heat wave, am going to visit a friend I haven’t seen since last year in her garden! (Which is allowed from tomorrow.)

  15. Got my first covid vaccine shot, didn’t feel too terrible (mild fever on day after, and I REALLY hate fevers, since I hardly ever get them, but it was brief), and scheduled the second one, so in about 6 weeks, I’m fully immunized.

    Planted tatsoi too early, but they sprouted and are green and adorable, but now I’m going to have to insulate them three or four nights in the coming week when it goes below 30 degrees at night. They could handle merely freezing, but several degrees below that, not so much.

    I’ve been enjoying the By the People transcribing, even as I loathe Prez Garfield more and more, as he opines on the inferiority of BIPOC and suggests letting prisoners, of all races, starve to death, until I pretty much felt a lot of sympathy for his assassin (I know, I know, he didn’t deserve to die a painful, lingering death, but Garfield was a horrible, conceited, bigoted, misogynist, empathy-less person).

  16. I had a 3 day weekend off from work this weekend, and the weather has been mostly lovely. Too windy to be out pleasantly on Friday, but has been great for outdoor basking on the patio the other two. Also, shouldn’t all days off be on Friday rather than Monday? I feel like I had two Saturdays and a Sunday and I’m not even off on the schedule.

    I got the Krispy Kreme free vaccination donut. It’s the first outside food I’ve had in over a year and it was delicious.

    Everyone loves the rainbow unicorn sweater:

    I have an audition tonight, wish me luck.

    1. That sweater is fantastic! If you’re even half that fantastic at your audition you should get the part.

  17. My vaccine was effective this past Saturday, so I am free to venture out (with mask, of course.) What a sense of freedom!

    I talk with my financial advisor tomorrow about how to handle the remainder of my inheritance, and it will be good to take care of that. I don’t wanna think about it! (She told me “oh, you will be one of my Launch and Leave customers!” Got that right; I firmly believe in investing and leaving the money alone, unless something totally crashes, and I’m not expecting that.)

    And I am cautiously and quietly making plans for when my son finishes school, in one quarter, and moves out. I love him, I love having him here, he is very helpful and very funny, but he puts the S in Slob. I would like to have a clean kitchen for longer than the couple days after the housecleaners come. (I hate housecleaning, so I hire it out.)

    1. Got my first shot yesterday and did a zoom seder with my kids.
      Decided to take the weekend off—usually I to either get a lot of chores done or catch up on work, but not this week.

  18. Got my first Pfizer shot last Tuesday and my housemate got hers on Friday. (We spaced them out just in case one of us didn’t feel well, especially after the 2nd one.) Many friends and family have either gotten both shots, the first one, or will be getting the first one within the next couple of weeks. That definitely makes me happy.

    Had crazy writing deadlines (April 1st) for the manuscript for the 3rd cozy and the proof edits for the next Llewellyn book (an illustrated Book of Shadows). Sent the first off last night at 10PM and the second tonight at about the same time. Exhausted but happy. Now to tackle the housework that hasn’t been done in weeks because I was swamped with writing…

    Spring is springing, which is lovely, even if the weather is going to be really up and down for a bit.

  19. Our son built DH and me new desktops to replace our 2014 Windows 7 workhorses. I am adapting–feels like I jumped from a Model T to an Indy car.

    I moved my old desktop into the art room and perched it on DH’s childhood desk, which I painted white to go with the other reclaimed furniture.

    You know, I have as much fun furnishing and organizing that room as doing art there.

  20. Happy that I weeded right after the big rain and pulled out grass with a three foot root.
    Happy, SO HAPPY, that series 7 of Brokenwood will be premiering tomorrow.
    Optimistic that I’ll be able to actually get some work done tomorrow instead of binge-ing on Brokenwood.

    1. Ooooh, ooooh, Brokenwood.
      I haven’t watched TV in months, but I’ll go back for that. Such soothing murders, plus New Zealand.

  21. I saw my cousins today and we watched MISS SCARLET AND THE DUKE, first three episodes. Guess we’re detail critics — she noted that Miss S should have been wearing mourning — not sure she was even in black at her father’s funeral, but she was certainly in colors immediately afterward. I noted that in the second episode, the innocent victim is marched to the gallows, the noose is dropped around his neck, and they have the wrong knot on the rope. It should have been either a simple slipknot or (later) have had a metal eye spliced into the rope. The one they used looks like the Hollywood Old West.

    However, I’m happy to have completed the March logic puzzle — my cousin has spent two days working on it and pointedly suggested that they’re supposed to be FUN, not genius-level challenge! She rewrote a couple of clues to make it easier to solve, and if she can work it straight through again in the morning, we publish it.

    As a passionate lover of Northern Renaissance art, I am also happy to learn that the Ghent Altarpiece has finished its current major conservation and 1) has been restored to St Bavo’s in a new $35 million case that opens and shuts it, and 2) has a fantastic website.

    AND happy that April 22-25 will see the virtual ARCE (American Research Center in Egypt) annual meeting (see In 2010 I came home from an afternoon session and when my mother asked how the day had gone, I told her, “Great. King Tut may have been killed by an angry hippopotamus!” [Genuine theory, no kidding, and based on his cadaver.] I don’t see anything this exciting in this year’s program, but who knows what might turn up?

  22. I got to thinking… So many people are looking forward to when we can throw away our masks, breathe in each other’s faces, and share influenza, rhinovirus, and so on again. I think I’m going to keep mine, just to be contrary.

    1. I started this job in September 2019. Between then and when we all got remoted six months later, I was sick twice with horrible lingering colds. Since we got remoted I have been perfectly healthy. Don’t wanna go back to ‘before.’

    2. Lots of people I know agree with you. They point to the ridiculously low flu numbers for 2020.

  23. I am happy that I finally watched Ted Lasso. If you have Apple TV, it is worth 5 hours of your time. You don’t have to like football/soccer to watch. It’s not really about sports despite being about sports.

    Also, it is spring in the DC area, which means that everything is beautiful and will get only more beautiful for the next couple of months.

  24. I am so happy I got my new flowers planted on the 22nd. Now I basically have nothing to do in the front yard for the rest of the year except occasional weed management & regular watering.

    Plus grapevine management … they are starting to leaf out. Last year I let them sprawl but this year I’m going to start trying to train them into a more tree-like configuration because they are really there for bird-perching purposes and right now they are too short for the birds to feel comfortable. Too many neighborhood alley cats.

    The back yard is another story and is a problem for another day (year).

    Happy/optimistic: finished revising a WIP (first 1000 words cut, new 1000 words written, tweaking/polishing) and submitted it to a publisher.

  25. I am soooo not a joiner. But last weekend I joined the local climate action group. (Because there’s a limit to how long I can convince myself that I’m doing something while actually doing nothing.)

    The group is pretty nice. Mostly people in their 30s – I’m the second oldest at 70. And the young women are dynamos. So impressive.

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