Not unlike others of my era, I left home at the age of eighteen with the goal of creating a life which would include happiness, something that I did not have at the time. Though I had no idea where this ambition of finding personal satisfaction would lead me, I knew it was time for me to go away from home and search for what I needed and wanted.
What little I owned fit into the back of my V.W. Gas was cheap and I had $1,000. I was young, possessed a morsel of hope, quite naive, but eager to learn.
Did I have to leave home to find happiness? I thought I did. But actually, I’d experienced some happiness even while living at home. At the time though, I didn’t know that enjoying the company of my grandma, sleeping in my own bedroom all by myself, or being employed at a job that I liked could be called happiness. I just thought of these things as life. And although I did not associate regular everyday living with personal satisfaction, I’ve discovered that delight can be found in ordinary and day-to-day living. “Can be” are the two key words.
We can find happiness in our circumstances. But circumstances alone do not make us happy. For instance, we could be on vacation, with our most beloved people all around us, and still not experience any feelings of delight. Or we could be all alone, driving to work on a dark winter morning and feel great pleasure.
How could we not feel gladness while on vacation or how could we feel delight during our commute to work? The pleasure we feel or miss feeling has much to do with what is on our minds. When our minds are preoccupied with futuristic thinking instead of the present, we will certainly miss out on feeling the delight that could be found in the moment.
We cannot conjure up feelings of delight just because we think we should be delighted, but we can be delighted when we notice what we can take delight in.
I am not sure that all simple pleasures are the best, but I have found much pleasure in the plain, the ordinary and the common.
The smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee along with the scent of the early morning air makes my heart glad. The sound of a friend calling out my name in a crowded restaurant or the constant cawing of the crows causes me to smile. Seeing someone who knows and likes me or noticing a colorful arrangement of flowers brings me joy. The smooth taste of a chilled glass of chardonnay or the tang of fresh blueberries gives me gratification. Feeling the damp warm grass under my feet or the soft kiss of my husband on my lips fills me up with contentment.
Why bother allowing ourselves happiness? Happiness exists in our world. It is here for us to be experienced. It only waits to be acknowledged and received.