I don’t trust people who are always happy. Contentment and an abiding peace should be the golden standard of daily living. However, life happens, and we all know that even in the midst of a joyous and full life we encounter moments that just stink. Family and career stress, trauma and tragedy, when it comes it disrupts our even keeled lives and can throw us for the proverbial loop. So when I see the inane smiles of those who insist that life is just peachy-keen 365, it’s a little disingenuous to me. A sneaking suspicion leads me to believe that often our loyalty to the image we have created keeps us from being authentic and honest about the ebbs and flows of happiness in our everyday living. Also, to be polite we don’t burden everyone who asks us, “How are you?” with the raw and unfiltered truth that things are a little sucky right now. Instead false platitudes become our saving grace to maneuver uncomfortable conversations. So it goes, Monday to Friday ho-hum to blah-blah and then while riding the PCH headed home you hear your song. That 90s jam that cracks your heart right open and lightness comes pouring in. Suddenly the day is a little brighter and better.
They can happen in the oddest of moments, these unintentional joy bombs that splash right in the middle of your day, bringing you a moment of pure unadulterated happiness. You soak it in and splash around in it like a little kid in their kiddie pool on the first day of summer. You dance with no hesitation, you sing at the very top of your lungs, you run the rest of the trail (that you would typically walk), and you just sink into the moment. You revel in moments like these because they don’t often come, these unplanned moments of happiness, and you should. These breaks from the monotony of everyday living are the bookends that house your daily obligations and responsibilities are the fuel you need to make the journey of each day easier to bear. In these moments, the weight that you carry (with no malice or resentment) seems to float away, and breath comes easier, and passions shine brighter.
“I have the happiness of a passing moment, and what more can mortal ask?” George Gissing
If you believe that happiness is a choice, one that is made based on our willingness to search each moment for every ounce of happiness that can be found, then the chances of experiencing these bliss-filled moments are bound to happen more often. This is not to say that we should be on an endless quest to manufacture happiness rather we should endeavor to change the filter through which we view our moments. Maybe this is the key to those above labeled seemingly disingenuous joy-pushers. Maybe they have adjusted the viewfinder through which they see the ordinary to find the beautiful joy that is found only by those looking to find it. Can we commit to the search for more of these moments of happiness? Can we search, find and share them with those we love so that these moments will become less intermittent and instead our everyday experience?