I was asked the other day if I was happy. Odd question, I thought as I quickly responded that of course I was happy. Interestingly enough after commenting, I keep playing that question over and over in my mind. Am I happy? I think I am, but what is happiness anyway? I tend to randomly attempt to put definition to most things, but something that is as subjective as this, has me befuddled. I think I’m happy, I’m not sure I’m unhappy, how do I know?
When we laugh are we happy? When something makes us smile, are we happy? When we cry, are we unhappy? All these quandaries and absence of concrete evidence continue to lack answers. How is happiness measured? Is it quantitative or qualitative, and then, who decides?
We each have things in our lives that make us feel comfortable like a fuzzy sweater or a special pillow. We have favorite songs and sensual smells and stimulation that make us feel pleasant sensations. We all use what we feel comfortable with to complete our daily existences. We eat what we like, we like being with people that we care about, we surround ourselves with what we enjoy, but is that happiness or mere physical comforts?
Is happiness the same thing as joy, excitement, or pleasure? How do we know that what we are feeling is happiness, not just a fleeting pleasantry? The silly tingle of first love often is replaced by complacent feeling or familiarity later in life. Should that be considered a loss of happiness or is it simply a mature transition? Should the excitement of winning, which is quickly replaced by memory of the topic, mean happiness only lasts a few minutes? The vague unobtainable nature of the term is fleeting in and of itself.
So, I looked up the definition of happiness. It reads "happiness is the state of being happy". Hmmmm . . . well now, that sure sums it up!
Every day each of us juggles life. The delicate dance we do from sun up to the time it sets again, we struggle to be happy, only to do it all again the following day. Is happy achievable, or are we all chasing an ideal that we admittedly cannot define? Are we then disappointed repeatedly when the elusive happiness evades us yet again? Are we settling for a snippet of what we think is happiness instead of aspiring to find the real thing? Oh so many questions!
In this age of diversity that we are trying to maneuver through, is it fair that I am happy and you are not? With that question, we have now gone full circle. Is what is happy for me, happy for you? What is happiness?
I am hereby proclaiming that adjectives like happy or sad, good or bad should no be longer used. Vague descriptions leave us pondering their very existence. Instead, I have decided to accept that each day will bring some pleasant, comfort, and delicious. Those same days might also include sadness, pain and frustration. I won’t be yearning to be happy, whatever that is. I will begin to appreciate that I am just alive today and will feel the adjective of the day. If I don’t like that one, I will focus my energy and creativity into changing it to be one I do.
To me, that is individual happiness.