“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
― John Lennon
Happiness is fleeting. I hate to disagree with a philosopher of Lennon’s stature but pursuing happiness can be a difficult journey. Spending my life looking for the next happiness can be a frustrating and hope-crushing proposition. And who can even say what happiness is, anyway? Perhaps happiness is nothing more than a pervading sense of contentment. Maybe happiness is found in the realization of what your life means, or who you are, or what you are about. For a few years of my life I know I was very very happy when I was high.
And ultimately that is the point. Happiness is, by its very lack of pragmatic definition, difficult to pin down. Often we only realize we are happy when we look back and realize that those days, the ones in which we were struggling and living day-to-day, were in fact our happiest times. Who knows, someday you may just look back and think these days, these stressed out busy days, were our best days.
For me, happiness is knowing I am doing something worthwhile with my life, with people I love. Happiness is making a difference. Happiness is holding my new grandson Angus. Happiness is hope, and laughing, and my kids and kissing Annette. Happiness is family. Happiness is… God forbid… am I content?
Happiness is less exciting than it once was, perhaps. Less exciting… but real.
George Bernard Shaw – This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown out on the scrap heap and being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”