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.
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.
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.
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?