The Happiness Window

I am on a quest for happiness.

I didn’t know that I needed to be on one, but during my holiday travel I was duped into the journey while looking for a snack to carry onto the plane. Here I was thinking that some trail mix with little chocolate M&M’s, a Diet Coke and an on time departure might just make me happy enough. But then I glanced at the book section. I fell for the happy yellow title of a book and bought it.

It turns out that even though you think you are happy, you’re not. I am paraphrasing. The book might actually say that there is always room for more happiness. To be honest, I got halfway through the book and then lost interest. There just wasn’t a connection between me and the author. It wasn’t the fact that her quest for happiness involved nagging less, singing more and generally having more fun. As Martha says, “That’s a good thing.” Anyone who knows me is aware that I probably sing more than I should. I don’t nag and God knows I have my fun. But my relationship with the writer ended at this sentence:

“Time spent with men doesn’t make a difference.”

It says this right near the end of page fifty two. I wasted fifty one and three quarters pages of my life searching for more happiness. It took me too long to realize that time spent with men was the one thing that would absolutely bring me happiness.

In the fourth grade Sister Mary Claire told us that a squirrel could cross the USA by jumping from branch to branch when the country was young. I used to lie in bed looking out of my window at those pine trees framed by a perfect Carolina blue sky wishing I was that squirrel; the lucky bastard. I could picture him without a worry in this world becoming a dot on the horizon as he made his way to some other part of the country.

Then one day, just like that squirrel I hopped from cloud to cloud and landed in another part of the country myself. I looked out of the window at the pine trees framed by a perfect New England blue sky. Did the squirrel feel as duped as I did when I bought the happy book? The world didn’t look any different through that window and I didn’t feel any different.

And then I discovered that time spent with men would make me happy in a way that I was never allowed to believe. I would like to say that this was an epiphany and that suddenly the world became brighter in an instant. But that is not the way that a quest for happiness works. There is not a clear path and unfortunately, each of us must find their own way.

But here is the amazing thing. When you find your way to happy land the view outside of your window changes in a way you cannot believe. When I look outside of my window from my little 497 square feet of space at the brick building next door, it is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. When I go back to North Carolina and look out of my bedroom I see the same trees and the same sky as my childhood and guess what? The same happy feeling is there too.

And so my quest for happiness has come back to me. I’m about as happy as I have ever been, but I can add some more.

So I'd like to ask, what makes you happy? I’d really like to know. Everyone looks at life through a different window. To get the ball rolling I’ll give you an example. This morning walking to the bus stop my iPod landed on a song by Kylie Minogue that I had not heard in a while. It was like discovering it all over again. That made me happy.

 If you are a parent, I’m going to absolve you from saying your children make you happy. That’s a given.

See that comment box below? Go ahead type in something that makes you happy, the more obscure the better. If you don’t see the box, click on the line that says # comments. And if you don’t have an account click “comment as” and select “anonymous” or Name/URL” and type in a name. Yes, I am talking to you Sam and Cary……And I am sure everyone would like to hear from you Paul....

What makes you happy?

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