“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
From The Old Blog, November 9, 2014:
Happiness encompasses so many different things: It can have different meanings for different people, and we all measure our level of happiness against varying standards. I like to think that my happiness is multifactorial and that there isn’t just one thing that ultimately defines whether or not I’m happy. With so many different pursuits happening simultaneously, it is often difficult to know (or define) a moment when you have achieved “complete happiness” in life.
In last year’s blog post I wrote about a recollection of a happy moment with a friend. It was a moment that I had forgotten about, likely because I have tried to stop thinking about this friend. As I read through the post and thought about how I was going to write this post, I though that there was no way that I could describe as happy of a moment that I’ve had in the last year. I haven’t come close to making as good, meaningful friendships in this new life that I am living. I am overworked and spread thin by my job. And, I hardly have enough time to spend with my family.
But, then I stopped thinking about all these “big” things and thought about all the smaller moments, like the other day when I woke up post call, sat on the couch with my kids and cuddled with them to watch a movie. I had one of them on either side of me, one arm around each of them, and their heads resting on my chest. I was happy. It was a relaxing, non-stressful, special, and enjoyable moment for the three of us. In that moment, I was happy. It’s so easy to forget about those small moments of happiness when we are always fixated on the bigger things in like that we believe are supposed to make us happy.
When I pause to think about more of those small moments of happiness, I find that they are times that are easily overlooked and sometimes missed. Another great example is from a few months back when I got my first positive pregnancy test result: I felt a fleeting surge of excitement and there was a smile on my face that couldn’t be stolen away from me. It only lasted for a few minutes before all my fears, anxieties, and irrational thoughts broke into my mind. Regardless, in that moment… I was happy.
Last year’s discussion of this quotation involved an important memory of an old friend, and that memory is no longer something that makes me happy. This year I’ve really come to realize that the little moments that cause me to pause and feel true happiness are smaller, everyday instances that mostly involve my family and kids. Despite the differences between this year and last, the end of last year’s post still stands true:
It is those moments of real, true happiness that remind us that life is wonderful. If we worry too much or we try to hard, it is easy to miss those little moments. But we live for those. We work for those. And, those are the moments that remind us to keep moving forward.