The Secret to a Happy Life

I have been giving some thought to the word happiness. I started off thinking of it because I had one of those days of being quite a Grumpy Girl. You know, one of those days when just every small thing goes wrong, or at least gets on one’s last nerve. I imagine you have experienced those days. If you have not, you are a saint and have no need to read my thoughts on happiness.

Anyway, it  was at one point on this day of grumpy thoughts that I heard quite clearly the question: “Do you really want to be happy?”

Well. There’s a question.

A few more came after it: Why is it that so often I am doing the exact opposite of what will bring me happiness? What am I actually willing to do for the state of a happy frame of mind? And what, to me in particular, does this happy life look like?

Those are questions that have occupied me, and I offer them to you.

I am not speaking of continual bliss. When you think of it, continual bliss would certainly be abnormal and wearing. I’m speaking of a happy frame of mind that weathers the continual wear and tear of day to day living.

I had been driving and shopping when these questions came to me. When I came home, I spied the potted amaryllis we’ve all been watching grow like a monster. I shoved the grocery bags on the already messy kitchen counters and proceeded to photograph the bloom in progress.

Then today, I was washing a glass in the sink, and I suddenly realized that I liked the feel of the new dishcloth I had bought. Silly, I know, but pleases me. My particular form of happiness. I became aware of the delicious feel of the warm water, and how lovely the view out my kitchen window.

Something the creativity teacher Julia Cameron said floated up in memory: “The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”

I had begun paying attention.

Now that I have seen this, I have decided to make a point of paying attention all through the month of February and to record what I find that brings me happiness. I invite you to join me. If you feel you can leave a comment about what you discover of your own happiness, please do. It should be great fun to find what brings happiness to others.



13 thoughts on “The Secret to a Happy Life

  1. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention – – – I just have to say that again 🙂 With what seems to be a “fast forward” pace of the world, we tend to oversee things. Just thinking right now, there are lots already missed!

    I’m joining in on the fun! Now, what makes my wee heart hop hop hop with delight lately . . . . . 🙂

    Crochet! 🙂 By the end of the year I promised myself that I’ll be crafty this year. Oh nothing major just bits and bits of projects. And I really find myself smiling while doing my projects.

    Seeing the puppies every morning makes me happy too. I’d go say good morning to them and they’re so noisy with their small voice and faces!

    Oh and Miss Linda’s happy book I would like to try too!. It sounds like an excellent idea to write things that makes us happy that day or that moment. Maybe when we feel down, when we get to read our list, it’ll make us smile too! Now I am more convinced to do this. Thanks to both you ladies. Linda for sharing this wonderful idea and you for paving the way 🙂



  2. On my refrigerator I have a quote attributed to Iris Murdoch. “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” After reading the book “14,000 Things To Be Happy About” by Barbara Ann Kipfer, I began writing my own happy book. There are now 907 entries in my own happy book and I really enjoy adding to the list often.


  3. This is exactly how I came to find true contentment in my life, Curtiss Ann! I would take my camera around the house and yard, and just stare at little pleasing objects or blades of grass or budding blooms. And I found such beauty in those simple things. The senses come alive when we notice how things really look, the textures and vibrancy. How things feel or sound, etc. It was the turning point in my life.


  4. Like you, I had to make a choice to be happy and look for the good. We see what we want to see. I’m am totally blissful when gardening. It satisfies my every need: need to be creative, need for variety, need for exercise, need to focus on positive, need to be surrounded by nature, need to learn something new, need for beauty, etc. I like the way you look for pleasure in the simple things. Have a beautiful day.


  5. My daughter’s laughter, my husband just being in the room. Looking at yarn over at Michael’s. Holding my dog, Spike. The way the morning light shines into the living room. The mermaid pictures and wish board I have hanging on the wall of my office. The tiny stuffed donkey sitting on top of my computer monitor with a “novelist” pin attached to the bandana around his neck. Watching Pride and Prejudice…



  6. Words make me happy; reading a well-crafted sentence –or better yet making one myself. Laughter makes me happy, when I can laugh myself– but better yet, when I can make someone else laugh. It is my mission to entertain the troops.


  7. It sounds like Marilyn Morse above and I have the same thoughts and feelings about our happiness.
    I’m just happy being alive another day, able to put my feet on floor, anxious to see what God has planned for me!!! God is not finished with me yet!!! Tomorrow I’ll be 69, so happy and blessed. So much to be thankful for!
    Enjoy your blog writings CurtissAnn…Keep’em coming!
    Hugs, lots of love, and many happy days,


  8. I am happy just to get up and be able to make the bed and do small chores around the house instead of being in assisted living or a nursing home like some of my friends.
    Just a new magazine coming in the mail or getting a new book to read, dosen’t really take anything big to make me happy. Enjoy life while you can.
    Marilyn Morse


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