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Happy In The Here And Now

I was out on a girl’s night recently and as we circled around the table catching up we laughed that every single one of us answered with some sort of variation of, “I’ve been so busy. Work is crazy. Life is complicated. Will things ever be simple?” The resounding answer was NO! Things will never be simple and that our happiness can’t be tied to the ideal that we’ll ever not be busy, that work will be totally calm and manageable, that there will be no drama and we’ll live happily ever after. I think that when we are young we hold this belief that life gets easier as time passes, but that’s not really how it seems to go. It’s been my experience that things tend to get more and more complicated with every passing year, but with that I’ve also gained this perspective that happiness isn’t about pretty pictures, milestones and the overall “big stuff.” You can have all that big stuff and be completely miserable. Happiness is about loving the way you’re living your life every day and finding love and joy in the everyday moments.

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The occasion for the girl’s night was celebrating a dear friend’s upcoming wedding but we all discussed (including the bride to be) that our joy on that evening wasn’t tied to the “big thing” (the wedding) as much as it was about carving out a Saturday night in our “busy” lives to be together and enjoy each other’s friendship, and how lucky we were to have friends of this caliber. Over the course of the evening I was catching my friend up on everything that I’ve had going on lately when she looked at me point blank and said, “Yes, but are you happy?” I paused and with a big smile, I told her yes, I was really happy.

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There are so many moments in my daily life where I feel really genuinely happy and fulfilled. And the majority of them feature pretty simple things.

– Walking outside into a beautiful day and feeling sunshine on my face.
– Coming home from a long day and having Sullie excitedly greet me at the door.
– Sleeping in and having a leisurely morning with coffee curled up on the couch.
– Teaching yoga, especially seeing my students breathe and flow together and then be still and at peace in savasana.
– Having coffee or wine with friends. – Making a cup of tea and baking.
– Telling my friends how much they mean to me.
– Sitting down to eat a home cooked dinner after a long day.
– Reading a good book or just having time to page through a magazine.
– Seeing a client achieve a goal or reach a new benchmark.
– Phone dates with my grandmother.
– Giving and receiving big hugs.
– Listening to music in my car with the windows rolled down.
– Performing or receiving simple, unexpected acts of kindness.
– Going for a run or a walk, especially if it’s with the pup.

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I could go on and on and on, but my point is that we don’t need new cars, vacations, weddings and all that big stuff to lead a really happy daily existence. Those things are amazing but they’re not the magic answer to happiness and bliss.

What are some of the little things that make you really happy on a day-to-day basis? 

This post is a contribution to the new Folgers online community, The Best Part. It’s all about spreading optimism and kindness one share at a time through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Stephanie November 9, 2013, 2:59 pm

    My amazing husband and my group of third grade students make me happy! Chocolate helps too:)!

  • 2
    Ashley @ Power, Love, and Self-DIscipline November 9, 2013, 3:03 pm

    I love this post. I truly believe that joy is not circumstantial. I have been battling an illness for a long time now and yet I still keep a smile on my face. And it is because my joy does not come from what is going on in my life.
    As I was reading your post I was thinking boy would I like her to be my yoga teacher πŸ™‚

  • 3
    colleen November 9, 2013, 8:15 pm

    Joy is definitely not circumstantial. Joy is based on contentment with your life’s blessings–and we are incredibly blessed. I have been going through a really difficult, challenging event for the past 8 years. Yeah, 8. That number still blows my mind, but I do not focus on the poor-me aspect of my battle. I realize that if that one battle is my biggest/only problem then I am one lucky girl.
    Congrats on your career change!

  • 4
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun November 9, 2013, 10:31 pm

    My husband, my animals, my family, and running. They all bring so much joy to my life!

  • 5
    Sarah H November 10, 2013, 12:52 am

    I loved this. Thank you πŸ™‚

  • 6
    Brittany @ proteinandpumps November 10, 2013, 8:30 am

    Well said! I learned this first hand after I reached a huge career goal but found myself miserable. Since then I’ve totally shifted my priorities to the smaller things and life is so much better. My dogs are definitely my biggest source of joy. Why do they make us so happy?

  • 7
    Linda November 10, 2013, 3:40 pm

    My husband, my dogs, my cat, workouts and of course, red wine!

  • 8
    She Rocks Fitness November 10, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Always a nice reminder! Your simple things are VERY similar to my simple things…I love sitting on my porch and soaking up the sun, taking Kala for a long walk, and phone dates with family and friends. Love how my simple things are materialistic things. πŸ™‚

  • 9
    Christa @ Sit-ups & Sequins November 11, 2013, 9:06 am

    Thank you for this post. πŸ™‚ It can be so easy to get caught up in life’s daily struggles or the material things, so it’s so important to remember what actually makes your heart happy! For me, that is quality time with my husband (both dinner dates AND errand running dates!), girls night in and a bottle of wine with my dearest girlfriends, good long phone conversations with my best friends who live out of state and time spent with family. I hope you have a great week!

  • 10
    ErikaMC November 11, 2013, 12:33 pm

    No – things do not make us happy. Experiences make us happy I think.

    I also really do not like the word “busy” – everybody is their own definition of busy and it seems like people are always trying to sound busier than the next. You are only as “busy” as you make or let yourself be. Or maybe I’m just not “busy” enough πŸ™‚

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