Lessons for Happy?

Do we need a tutorial on how to be happy these days or how to achieve happiness?

I was in a store yesterday that is just all sorts of eye-candy in every direction. Or at least, my kind of eye-candy. It’s a beautifully presented store, for starters, blending elements that are both rustic, organic and utterly elegant. There are plants and gardening supplies, unusual foods, and piles of artistically arranged books that beg you to escape into them as you sit at their welcoming coffee and tea bar. I won’t even go into the jewelry that they stock. Rough chunks of natural stones that highlight Mama Nature’s handiwork at her best.

My kind of space.

While meandering through the rooms of this store, I came across one table that was stocked with nothing but books. There were probably a dozen or so of them in short little piles. A few familiar titles (Nora Ephron, a book of poetry compiled by Carolyn Kennedy) jumped out at me and then I stopped to peruse the others. There was a theme here, running as thick and sturdy as an old grapevine….


Books about achieving happiness. In big ways (volunteer), in little ways (always kiss a loved one goodnight and good morning and at every little chance you get throughout your day) and thoughtful ways (find five things each day to be grateful for). Books that will make you happy…poems that every person should read before they die…books about places to explore (before you die)…books filled with stories to make you feel warm and fuzzy (to keep you from dying).

Do we really need constant reminders about how to be happy?

We just might.

Life has gotten hectic and complicated and busy, busy, busy. Most people don’t have time to sit down at a table together and spend half an hour eating, never mind taking the time to enjoy the process of making the food or the conversation around the table. Is everyday chaos and errands and appointments eating away at our happiness? Has life become so fast and muddled that we are losing sight of the pure things and moments that make it truly worthwhile?

Seems to be if there are this many books about it.


But hopeful. There’s obviously a contingent of folks intent on keeping the notion of pure happiness alive and kicking and they want to work to keep it alive and kicking for everyone else, too. If we need a book, so be it.

I like that.

As I drove away from the store, the sun came out. It’s been raining here for about a week now and the grays were starting to get to everyone. Even my cat seemed a tad more sluggish than usual.

The sun emerged. Blue skies started to dominate and the orange leaves here and there on trees seemed happier about this new development, too.

I’m grateful for the sun today. And the cool leaf design that the barista put into the foam on my latte this morning. I’m happy about some amazing words that a friend said to me yesterday. I’m happy that another friend of mine has managed to stay so unbelievably positive in the midst of her chemo treatments. It made me happy this morning to hear my little one’s voice say “Thank You, Mama” when I handed her a muffin. There are my five for today.

I’m guess I’m on the road to more happy. How about you?

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