For this past thanksgiving, though a quiet one, we kept happiness in mind. Like the shirt my second son wore, we all choose happiness. With so much going on in the world, so much to be thankful for, happiness is a necessity. The promise of happiness seems more urgent to me these days.
On the evolution of happiness, David Buss in a 2000 article for American Psychologist, once shared that ‘happiness is a common goal many people strive for, yet it is frustratingly out of reach.’ I agree. To improve on happiness, he shared that we should do certain things like increase our closeness with our family members especially those close by and those far away. If there is one thing I have learnt during this pandemic, my family is my happy space. I choose them everyday. Every joy, every peace, every heartfelt desire I possess, even every word spoken or unspoken, every moment, big or small, every significant thing that made me happy, begins with my family in mind and for them, happiness is a keep worth fighting for.
As if that’s not enough, David Buss, mentioned the need to form deep friendships, especially with those who are deeply engaged in your welfare. My dear friends know themselves. They give me joy every time we speak and I am better person because they choose to go on this journey through life with me. I spoke to one of them this past weekend. After catching up on everything, she shared that she had surgery just last month. I was aghast at first because I didn’t know. She didn’t tell me and I could have swore we spoke recently. When I asked what was the surgery for. She said I shouldn’t judge her, then she started to laugh. She noted that she finally got the liposuction she wanted and a butt implant. I couldn’t help but laugh as well. In the middle of a pandemic, I asked. She noted it was what she wanted and she is so happy now to have done it. I couldn’t help but be happy for her as well. It may seem trivial, but life is to short to not choose what makes you happy even if it’s an implant. She choose her own happiness and I support it 100%. Deep friendships are a necessary condition for happiness. Choose friends that make you laugh. Their happiness and yours is a necessity.
So also and according to David Buss, is reducing any distress you maybe experiencing, managing any competitive mechanisms you encounter and best of all, fulfilling whatever your heart desires. Fulfilling desires brings deep joy. And desires could be anything from attaining a health lifestyle especially with eating fresh fruits or helping your children master homeschooling in the middle of a pandemic or helping your friends and families or even feeling the confidence to succeed or fail with things that foster your growth. Success at satisfying whatever desires you may have brings deep happiness.
For me, seeing my baby finally poop after 3 days of no poop, is happiness to me. Listening to my 6 year old read a book with lots of word from the beginning to the end, is happiness to me. Watching my 3 year describe what he is thankful for especially ice-creams and lollipops, is happiness to me. Seeing my 8year old daughter blossom with everything she touches, and how she leads her brothers to be a better version of themselves, is happiness to me. Listening to my husband share a story of a 92 year old woman with stroke, who nearly 20hours after the stroke, came to his operating bed, and was still able to go home yesterday thanks to a successful removal of a blood clot in her brain and in the middle of a pandemic no less, is happiness to me. Every stroke averted and from his lens is pure happiness to me. For myself, making sense of writing, a long held desire, on a daily basis, one keep at a time, is happiness to me. Writing is happiness to me. Like my son’s shirt states, choose happiness. Happiness is all around you. However you define it, whatever way you prefer, choose to keep it in mind. It’s a keep worth spreading. Fill your lives with it.