Monday, January 3, 2011

The Definition of Happiness

       With the new year rolling in and everyone I know making New Year’s resolutions, I began to wonder if I should perhaps be making a few as well. Making resolutions seems to cause me more anxiety than anything, so I actually stopped what I considered foolishness quite a few years ago.
       As I was thinking about resolutions, my mind was flooded with questions about this practice that so many observe. Why do we make these so called “New Year’s resolutions?” Do we make resolutions with the hope that they will make us happier? Each question seemed to prompt another question. What and how do we define happiness?
       When we think of happiness, do we think “big” or do we think “small?” After much contemplation and more meditating than I ever want to do again (meditating does NOT make me happy,) I decided to put the pen and paper down for a while, which it turned out, gave me insight into just what makes me happy.
       Going barefoot (all year long) makes me happy. Rearranging the items on my shelves (just because) makes me happy. Getting a text from my daughter makes me happy. Watching my husband peacefully sleeping in his chair makes me happy.
       Sitting on the front porch brushing my dog made me happy (she recently passed away.) Breathing the cool fresh air makes me happy. Drinking tea or hot chocolate from a different cup from my collection each day makes me happy. Hugs and kisses make me happy.
       Putting down the pen and paper led to the discovery that I do not need to make resolutions each New Year’s Day as a map to happiness in the New Year. I discovered that my happiness is in the small everyday undertakings in my life; or, these machinations, I should correct myself, bring me happiness, for happiness has already happened inside of me and that happiness allows me to appreciate the other.
       What are your thoughts? How do you define happiness? Do you really need resolutions to ensure your happiness or is your happiness all around you?


  1. Happiness is always found by stringing moments together that made you happy.

  2. I don't necessarily think that people think making resolutions will make them happy. Rather, I believe they think making and listing them will give them a certain incentive to get them accomplished.

    Every one of the past nine years except for 2010, I made writing goals/resolutions and posted them on my blog and shared them with my crit partners. Each year I accomplished 80-95% of them with the exception of the biggie - to get published. Then I realized that goal was out of my control to begin with when it came to traditional publishing. No matter how much I resolved to be published, I was still sitting around waiting for some publishing "god" to bless me. LOL!

    In 2010 I found a better way, and I thank God for putting me on the right path.

  3. Thank you all so much for your responses. I really enjoyed your blog on this Chicki ( I think the reason I do not set resolutions anymore is that I would always come up with resolutions and expectations for the New Year that I thought would set me on a happiness path and change my life. Truthfully, I think I knew it was reaching for the stars and next to impossible to obtain and that failure was imminent; what a vicious cycle I was in. Then, I stopped making resolutions altogether in the hope of finding a tradition that was better suited to what I felt was my calling. Lately, I find myself doing more contemplating and setting smaller goals within myself on things I would like to improve on personally and privately. I would like to think that if I obtain the goals I set for myself, people would notice because of the light they see shining from within.


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