Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: My Toe-Tapping Happy Gene

Note: During this past “April A to Z Blog Challenge,” I decided to offer mini posts on the Sundays we weren’t required to submit. People liked it. After a couple of Sundays off, I decided to keep it up for every Sunday. Here is the first from this decision:

Our U.S. Constitution was the first in human history to mention the “pursuit of happiness.” I could easily go down the political rabbit hole and suggest being indentured to a joyless job to pay rent, buy food and slowly pay off student debt is no smooth path to the happiness pursuit. Ponder if you wish. This post is about happiness. Happiness is personal. Enduring happiness comes from within. Things and others can “make you happy,” but only temporarily. When generated from without, happiness is like romance – fleeting. Happiness is inner peace. Inner peace is happiness.Happy

I heard last week happiness might actually be a gene. I have it. Mom and Dad had it and I am sure HAVE it. It’s the core of the soul. I’m not sure most Americans do, though. If they do, they don’t show it much. If you do not, I am sorry. I’ve noticed how my joy can really bug those lacking it.

I remember first hearing this song on “The Wonder Years,” a show in the late 1980s. They played great songs from the 1960s that I had never heard before. This so speaks to the unwavering sense of joy with every picture it conjures. I relate to every word!

 

Happy: What Makes Me Happy #atozchallenge

H: Today’s Deb-Blog Has Been Brought to You by the Letter D for Delights and the Letter H for Happy: What Makes Me Happy

In most television series, there is a bottle episode, or a self-contained production to scales down costs. H BottleIf this Deb-Blog were a television series – and it is FAR from that – this would be my bottle episode, although it didn’t really cut costs. Anyway, I hope it’s still snarky.

Animals: Saving their lives and not eating them after they’ve lived a short, dismal life, abused in cramped surroundings. My tummy is quite satisfied without an animal sacrifice.

Belonging: Feeling like I fit where I work, play and live. Being accepted for who I am makes me a delight to have around!

Crying: A good cry over a great movie or just when I’m tired is so cathartic. But it must be spontaneous.

Deciding: I clearly have commitment issues but once I decide, I know it’s right. I can feel it.

Eating: Vegan: See “A” but it’s just so satisfying to live in that kind of harmony. And other species of “humanimals” can smell it on me!

Feeling: Pretty – whether it’s a new outfit, a new season outside or just that feeling within that can’t be knocked down. And here’s today’s ear worm. You’re welcome:

Gratitude: I feel it often but when someone appreciates what I have done is rare, so that kind.

Health: I never take my health for granted and wake each day glad I have my health and my feet to propel me through my day.

Intimacy: The real and safe kind, or so I recall.

Journeys: I haven’t been able to travel in many years for a host of reasons. Even those day trips are relaxing and exhausting.

Kindness: I practice it, even if it means leaving someone be, for good.

Laughter: It’s about second to needing air.

Money:- Not the love of, just having it.

New: Barbie doll smell: Takes me right back to childhood in a lovely way.

Obama: I love my president for his leadership, intellect, demeanor and for out-smarting the GOP. That last one isn’t hard but he sure is good at it!

Parents; No other human can hold a candle to either of mine.

Quitting and Quality: I’m torn between choosing which I prefer but both are enhanced when combined, anyway.

Reason: And that said reason shared with you that remains a life-long guide. I hope my blog reflects the reason I have gained.

Sweets: Just enough of a dulce, a sweet, to seal the meal. Nothing fancy. Just a normal-sized cookie or fruit-flavored morsel.

Thinking: I try to do this every day. I wish more people did.

Understanding: As Elvis Costello says, “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?” Am I right? Your second ear worm:

Virtue: But not how Republicans define it, the true definition of being good and moral, like “The Golden Rule.”

Walks: I have a 3.2 mile route I walk most days. It’s my time.

X: That taboo. Delicious.

Yearning: Wanting something so much is painful and life-affirming.

Zeitgeist: Because it’s a great German word, I’m half German and I am a particular fan of the mid-Century, “Mad Men” zeitgeist. Zeitgeist means the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time. And that “Mad Men” era is brimmed with conformity and non-conformity, seething sexuality, steamy fashion and hopeful, new horizons.

H Is For Happiness #atozchallenge

There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” – Theih Nhat Han

Life’s a banquet, and most poor suckers are staring to death.” – Auntie Mame

Or, as Mom said when I voiced disappointment in having to trade in my license plates with a “747” in the number to PHK, “PHK stands for ‘pretty happy kid,’” to which immediately stopped and smiled.

My childhood was happy. Mom and Dad were happy. We were all pretty much always happy. When I say my parents never fought or had a cross word between them, it’s the truth. We laughed a lot. We enjoyed things together. We were always kind to each other. I was honestly shocked when I learned a lot of other people didn’t live like this. Oh, everyone has days. We all have illness, disappointment and misfortune but our homeostasis was happiness. I was far from a perfect kid, either. I was selfish and a bit rebellious and entitled. That’s part of adolescence and our culture. But by my mid twenties, I outgrew most of that behavior.

Mom and Dad have passed but they live in here. Both lived through World War II. Dad served in it. Both were raised with limited means. After making it through the era and even the Depression, I imagine life after that felt pretty sweet, safe and blissful. I figure that is why Mom and Dad felt that way. I can assume we also got the happy gene.

If there is one, I inherited that happy gene. People generally like people who are happy so it helps in any collaboration in life. Being happy shows a sort of effortlessness with challenges, too. And it’s a heck of a lot easier when the treatment by others doesn’t get under one’s skin enough to shake the inner state. But I am not made of Teflon. I am not saying poor treatment by others doesn’t affect me but my inner contentment is pretty sound. Usually. But being happy can make people who are generally unhappy, full of regret or lacking inner joy very upset. Because it is true; misery loves company. I have had to maneuver around unhappy people who’ve made me a target of their hostility, especially in the unavoidable workplace situation. They can’t hide misery any more than I can hide inner peace. I chuckle counting the times I have worked with people who can’t hide that look like they smell poo – or like they are actually chewing their own faces from the inside. (You know who you are!)

Don’t mistake happiness for mindlessness, either. In fact, it’s the opposite. I believe happiness comes from having processed the externals and drawn a positive conclusion or a reroute. That’s how it works for me, anyway.

You can’t knock inner happiness out of people, You can shake it, rattle it and make it want to flee. But I have learned being around hostile, bitter and aggressive people is a great barometer of where I don’t want to be. Like attracts like. Fortunately for me, I am the product of two happy people who never needed to be jerks. I assume the face chewers were raised by face chewers who are pretty puckered by now!

George Herbert said, “The best revenge is living well.” (I always thought it was F. Scott Fitzgerald or Dorothy Parker. They probably said it, too.) Happily, I agree.

 

 

flower happy