Been a little glum these past few days, autumn, son gone, this and that. So I woke up this morning to focus on happy. Prone to analysis, I started to think about ‘how-to’s. Then I realized I didn’t have milk for my tea. Can’t possibly be happy, or think, without milk for tea.
I walked to the store, still considering happy. I ran through what I know, that people feel safest when they look out over a vista, that the truly random movement of nature calms us more than anything human-made. I considered endorphins from exercise and dark chocolate. I might have thought about meditation, but didn’t.
At the corner store, which also serves hot food, I got my milk from the glass-fronted cold cabinet, and brought it to the counter to pay. As a favor to someone else, I asked the guy, “Do you serve hot and sour soup?” He cocked his head, and looked at me funny. But in a nice way. “No,” he said, crinkling his eyebrows a bit, not wanting to offend. I laughed. “No problem,” I said, “Just asking.”
I remembered that acts of service are also a pretty good route to happiness. Then I walked home. Made my tea. Sat on the sofa, started to make a mental list of what else to do today, for happiness.
Then I noticed a warm sensation in the vicinity of my left breastbone. Almost like a little creature stirring from furred sleep. “I’m happy,” I thought. Apparently the simple act of carrying the concept around was enough.
Had I written that list of ‘how to’s, and begun to check them off, walk – check, scenic view – check, om – check, I probably would have worried all day that I hadn’t done enough. Or done the right things. And might not have had the perspective to find my own worries ironic.
So hello, little furry thing. Funny how you’re located plainly in my body, not out there. But, just in case someone does need a horizon, here it is.
I wish for all the happiest possible weekend. To anyone who lost loved ones in the events of 9/11, I can only imagine how difficult this time is, and that you too have found happiness somehow, perhaps right nearby.