How to measure happiness

 

Happiness used to be measured by the size of the ice cream I held, by the ribbons of raspberry sauce looped over the top, the chocolate flake pressed into the middle. By watching the toy ballerina in a jewellery box twirl, imagining myself wearing the same pink tulle, spinning like a dainty top on pointed toes. It used to be Tiswas and squashing Jelly Tots together to make burgers and colouring in my poster of hot air balloons, keeping within the lines.

Now I know more.

I know sugar should not bring me happiness (though it still often does), I know I will never wear pink tulle and that the Royal Ballet rarely accept clumsy forty eight year old dancers with knock knees. I know Tiswas wasn’t as good as I thought it was and that keeping within the lines in life will not necessarily bring me the rewards I think it should.

The weight of all this should bear down on me, should press the happiness from my cynic’s heart.

But it doesn’t.

I am happy with what I have, with who I am and with the people who love me and who I love. And that’s enough. That’s everything.


To understand the nonsense that were Jelly Tots and Tiswas, see here andΒ here.

 

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21 thoughts on “How to measure happiness

  1. Those all still sound like good things to me, especially the ice cream and Jelly Tots — in moderation, of course, which I didn’t have much of as a child. But I hear you: our tastes and priorities do change over time, and now the people I go out for ice cream with are more important than the ice cream itself.

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  2. I was just thinking about this, Lynn. I mean that literally. I was upstairs thinking about happiness and came down to turn on the computer and saw your post here. I’d been thinking about what we call here in the U.S. “our founding fathers,” anyhow they got it just a little bit wrong when they stood up for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” There is no happiness to be pursued. If we are constantly seeking happiness in things, whether those things are homes, cars, careers, Jelly Tots, or Tiswas, then we can never be satisfied, because none of those things last, and when they’re gone we have to pursue something else. You’re right: this, or it, or whatever, is enough. It is everything. And there is no such thing as coincidence! πŸ™‚

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    1. Very true! I know a few people who always feel they would be happy ‘if’ – if they could have a different house, had a different career, had a studio space on their house (!). And although all of these things can affect your mood, I feel that with a few of these people anythign they have will never be enough, they will always be searching for the next thing and the next, because there’s a hole inside them that they try to fill with ‘stuff’ and that just doesn’t work if they’re unhappy with who they are. Sad, because one of the people I’m thinking of is elderly and it’s clear they have never been and will never really be happy. Look for pleasure in each other and the little things – what more is there?
      And coincidence is just hanging about, taking the mickey out of us! πŸ™‚

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  3. At 48 Lyn I think you’ve come round to the same philosophy of the toddler for happiness it’s what’s in front of you, what you can smell, what you can eat and who is close to love you. It’s about now and the present it’s all you need. Beautiful written and taylored by the way.

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    1. Thanks pet. Yes, enjoy the littlethem cos it’s all soon taken from you. Hope year 8 started okay. We must have coffee and cake soon – sans pouting teens. If you fancy coming to see the house sometime … πŸ™‚ x

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  4. Ooo, ice cream cones used to be the best as a kid, right? My favorite were the chocolate dipped ones, where they dropped it in melted chocolate but it was hard by the time they handed it to you. πŸ˜€

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    1. Never had one of those, but it sounds amazing! Still have a soft spot for ice cream, I’m afraid, though I’ve left the gooey sauce and hundreds and thousands behind me πŸ™‚

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