I once watched a documentary on happiness that cited several studies and interviewed various individuals who claimed to be truly happy. The film was cute and uplifting (and I believe the title is Happy if you want to check it out on Netflix). It emphasized that money can’t buy happiness. People who have strong family bonds, friendships based on respect and kindness, and rich spiritual lives tend to be the most happy. Occupation, income, and education level have little to do with happiness. And so we see that these things are possibly not as important as we have grown to believe.
It truly is the little things in life that make us happy. There is a Greek island called Ikaria that has the largest population of healthy elderly people (including many centenarians) in the world. People on this island live among family and friends, eat a Mediterranean diet, sleep in every morning then stay up late partying at night; they don’t worry about time–“I’ll get there when I get there” is their motto–and they spend lots of time walking, gardening, and cooking. Happiness could very possibly be the key to their longevity. How could anyone not be happy living this beautiful lifestyle?
As a young person just entering “the real world,” I find it difficult to feel optimistic when living is expensive, the economy is down, crime is up, and many people are unkind. I often want to frown, give up my endeavors, cry into a pillow, etc., etc., but something always stops me. A text from an old friend. A soothing cup of tea. My chihuahua doing something cute. An email alert that someone “liked” my blog. A good song on the radio. A cup of coffee. Chocolate. An upcoming family event. Church. A surprise bouquet of flowers. My favorite sitcom is on. A new blockbuster came to theaters. Perfect running weather. An excuse to buy a new dress.
I’m not a successful career woman (yet!). I don’t have any money. I’m not famous or popular. But what I am is happy. 🙂