According to a happiness test I once took, I score highly on the “happiness scale.”
But I don’t often feel happiness. Rather, I frequently feel joy, which for me is a different and deeper emotion, and which can be evoked by the simplest everyday things.
There are countless notes in my continuing ode to joy; here are 10 of them:
1) The tick tock of the antique clock as a write (and when I awaken in the morning and doze off at night); the serial clickety clack when I wind it twice a day, and the magical sound of its chimes on the hour every hour, comforting and predictable.
2) Picking a plastic container (which once held delicious mixed olives) out of the dishwasher to find it bent out of shape and now perfectly transformed into a funky home for seedlings and cuttings this spring (pictured at the top of the post).
3) Sitting in my office solarium tap, tap, tapping on my keyboard and pausing occasionally to look up at the wind vane spinning or the hay growing or geese flying overhead or the sun setting.
4) Candlelight at every meal. Every meal because I eat good, wholesome, healthy food I prepare myself, and soft light of the candles enhances the whole experience of consuming it.
5) Cultivating alfalfa and clover sprouts, which I pull live from their growing vessels and stuff into cucumber sandwiches with Hellman’s mayonnaise (full fat thank you very much!) or use as an edible garnish for sharp-Cabot-cheese-and-mushroom omelets. Yummy!
6) My new Egyptian cotton sheets and the bed on which they are now spread. If one can love a thing, the one thing I love is my bed. I feel joyful every time I get in it. I feel joyful when I wake up in the middle of the night to find myself lying on its oh-my-God-I-didn’t know-mattresses-could-be-so-expensive-but-never-mind-I’ll-take-it-anyway Beautyrest Elite and boy am I ever glad I did because it brings me joy each and every time I have the pleasure of treating my body to its comfort.
7) I feel joyful, and my eyes do too, each time I look at my Persian carpets. Their deep, rich colours make my heart sing.
8) Eating my very-own-invented-by-me quick and easy roasted honey lemon almonds for snacks.
9) Spending time with my Mom who is dying of Alzheimer’s, but who still has good days, like yesterday when we had dinner together and she got to be with her beloved cat Pia Roma.
10) Waking up early to a damp and foggy spring morning to the sound of cardinals, chicadees, blue jays, starlings and more that sing just outside my window, and capturing the beauty in the backyard before a hidden sunrise.
Happiness? Of course it has its merits. I’m happy when I’m happy, and I’m happy when others are too.
But there’s nothing like deep, at-your-core, abiding joy to take living over the top.
Joy to the world, to you, to all those you love, and even those you don’t.