Happy is such an intangible. You hear catch phrases regarding happiness daily – “happiness is a choice,” “do what makes you happy,” “you can’t buy happiness.”
I am not so sure about those statements. I am not entirely sure if happiness is a choice – there’s been plenty of occurrences where I would have gladly chosen happy but didn’t see it listed as an option. I do try to keep a positive attitude for the most part. Doesn’t mean I am happy though in that given circumstance, I just try to smile and get through.
If I did what made me happy, I am fairly certain it would render some other folks very unhappy, because they would be poked somewhere delicate with a spork.
Instead of saying what would make me happy, I normally bite my tongue and don’t say what is running through my mind.
Again, it would make me delirious happy, but probably wouldn’t make the other person very happy. May make them cry a little.
As for money not being able to buy happiness, it may not buy the emotion but it could buy shoes.
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And shoes equals happiness. Or chocolate, or cheesecake, or makeup, maybe a Mercedes. All those things can be bought with money and they make me happy. At least, I perceive that they will.
“I don’t know if you have ever been happy,” Mama pondered one day.
Again, she believes I think too much.
“Even when you were a child, you worried about stuff. You over analyze stuff that you don’t need to. I just don’t think you had a happy childhood.”
I don’t know why she thinks that. I had a joyous childhood. I had a grandfather and uncle who thought the sun rose and set on my tater. Even though Granny was mean as a rattler, she made me good cakes. Those buttery layers made up for whatever vitriol she spewed the rest of the time. Frosting made from a can of Crisco can absolve the old woman from a dozen of her sins. And Mama loved me more than life itself. I was happy.
“I was happy, Mama. I just wonder why ‘happy’ is so hard to define and how we can know if it’s true happiness or not. We are told what happiness isn’t, and all these rules but what makes one person happy may not make someone else happy.”
“You are thinking too much again, Kitten. Why can’t you just be happy?”
“Maybe I am happy – and don’t know it because someone hasn’t told me I was yet” was my reply.
I knew certain situations made me happy – being with family, the dogs, extra-long bubble baths after a tiring day, good wine and cheesecake. My fuzzy robe fresh from the dryer, smelling of Snuggle made me happy too.
Catching reruns of my favorite shows in the middle of the night, heavy whipping cream in my coffee, heck, coffee in general made me happy, a favorite song on the radio I haven’t heard in a while. Those things made me happy.
Seeing Cole play, or bring me a flower he picked for me made me happy, as did all the pigs of Piglandia. For some reason, those pink plushes make me seriously happy.
It just made me wonder because we are always chasing happiness, that next big thing to make our lives better, more fulfilled, more complete. And we wait until we have confirmation from some external entity to tell us we’re happy.
“Mama, are you okay?” Cole asked from the backseat one day.
I nodded, deep in thought. The list of things going through my mind was long and varied. “You sure? You look angry. Do you need an angry wig?”
I assured him I was fine and didn’t need the angry wig. He sighed. He didn’t believe me. “What did Daddy do?” he asked.
Nothing, I mumbled, but I was sure he had done something. He had always done something. “I’m just thinking, Cole,” I told him.
“You’re forehead’s all mushed up like you are upset about something,” he continued. “That’s how I look when I am thinking,” I said.
“You need to get your happy face on,” he said. “This one is wadded up.”
I laughed. Maybe all this thinking was making me un-happy and wrinkling me at the same time. As he slipped out of the back seat once home, he leaned up and wrapped his arms around my neck and squeezed.
“Don’t worry so much, Mama. I want you to be happy. Because if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” he squeezed me again. “And that means Cole’s not happy!”
“Well, I want you to be happy, of course,” I said, squeezing him back. “So I will unwad my forehead.” “Yay!” he squealed. “Everybody’s happy – you’re happy, so I am happy. Being happy is contagious!”
Maybe he was right.
Maybe it was as simple as not worrying about the little things, but just being happy. Maybe happy was contagious. All I knew was seeing him happy made me happy.
And when Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.