How would you describe happiness ? To many people buying a new anything is happiness, that is until they go on to want the next object. Starting a new love relationship is another happiness. Getting a new bathroom or kitchen could make a person happy but after awhile one can get used to that object/room/person and then it is back to normal. I call that fleeting happiness.
True happiness can be misconstrued as you being deemed mentaly deficientt. Your not suppose to smile all the time and have a ‘sunny’ disposition. That was me and is me most of the time. My family thought I was oblivious to world events and even the events happening around me. That wasn’t true but none of them ever had a deep conversation with me to find out different. I was deemed the flower child and everyone knows that they don’t have deep thoughts.
I never gave happiness much thought until the last twenty years or so. I do recall walking around the big business block to work every morning and smiling at any cat that was sitting on their doorstep awaiting the front door to open and let them in after a night of hunting and carousing . They made my morning.
Now in later years where I am noticing so many sad/grumpy/negative people I’ve started analyzing what makes a person happy instead of being in that miserable state.
First of all when I wake up i’m very grateful to be waking up. When I was so sick a few years back I grew scared to sleep in case it was a permanent one. It took me awhile to figure that one out. It took another heart patient to explain it to me as he had the same problem.
It all comes down to being grateful. In the last year there was a book I read on self help and it said to write down one hundred things you are grateful for. Wow. That’s a lot and I have to admit that I only got to twenty-five. I am a grateful person but lets get serious, after covering the big things, I didn’t think I would list dust bunnies and dish detergent. I listed my health, good friends, being able to read good books, having the ability to think and rationalize and so the list went on.
The book said to write the list in the morning in a journal. I don’t have the umph to do that in the morning but I did it just before going to bed. In fact I did the list in my journal sitting up in bed. I’m not a frequent journal writer and i don’t put everything in it. One day going thru it I realized that the bad things that have happened in my life are not in there. I did not write about my mothers death or even more recently my kid sisters sudden death. It doesn’t mean I don’t think of them, in fact I do all the time, but I just don’t write about the bad things. Is that a form of putting ones head in the sand? I’d like to think not.
Back to your list of gratitudes. The night I wrote out that initial list, I had the best night’s sleep. It was a wonderful surprise.
A friend of mine who doesn’t have mental problems like depression called me and said that he was felling funny and not quite with it. In the end he was a bit depressed from the description that he gave me. On the off chance he may do a list , I suggested writing down the list of things he was grateful for. Apparently he took my advice, (this was the first time in 13 years so it was a shock,) and he called me in the morning to thank me. He had had a deep nights sleep and awoke feeling great!
This is sound advice but many who are miserably negative will choose to stay that way. They willing wallow in their misery and love to share it with anyone who puts up with them. On the other hand there are some people who are temporarily ‘down’ and these are the people who can truly benefit by doing a list everyday. The really miserable can benefit too but they chose not too. Misery becomes their personality and they are comfortable in that skin.
Give this a go especially when life isn’t going the way you want it to. I don’t write my list everyday but then again I feel that I have been grateful my whole life. It is only now that I can identify what has made me so happy. Just think, it can’t hurt and costs nothing except the ink from your pen.
Be Happy Your Senior in the Kitchen