Is Happiness a Choice?

A few months ago my mom asked me if I was happy and to me it seemed like the weirdest question. I even got a bit annoyed! A simple question like “are you happy,” yielded confusion and momentary paralysis, followed by thoughts such as” how dare she ask if I’m happy?” and “what the hell kind of question is that?”
In theory happiness seems like a simple enough thing; yet, many people have no idea what it means to be happy or even how to achieve it.

Growing up, adults made happiness seem like a state of perpetual perfection, ergo, no one was happy. People cheated, they lied, they hated their jobs, their partners, their kids, their neighbors, their fellow church members and they all seemed miserable. They went about their daily lives in a manner that made it appear as if they were waiting for a magical chime that would signify “happy time!” Or, they just wanted to hurry up and get through with this life so they could get on to that life with the guaranteed happiness. Some people got the chime and some didn’t. As far as that other life goes, the jury is still out.

To me, it’s easy to spot a happy person; happy people smile and mean it. They give openly and love freely, they want to nurture things, they are curious, they skip at random times and they hum! If you are around a happy person you know it, because either you “catch” the happiness or you want to kick their ass because they are messing with your “misery index.” A happy person can be a sad person’s kryptonite or their can of spinach.

Some people make happiness seem like a pie in the sky, some kind of impossible high. The thing that you can only achieve if you get to that certain level of wealth, perfectly balanced with the right level of beauty and adoration. A friend told me that happiness starts with a decision and right now I choose to believe that. So I made a decision to be happy, I started looking at the glass half full, I got a pair of shades with one rose colored lens (pacing myself.) I will give more and expect less; I’ll do what I love and love what I do. I’ll even try to be nice to those people who try to steal my joy. My “everything” doesn’t have to be perfect. If I wait for everything to be perfectly aligned, my happiness will be fleeting and will occur about as often as a complete solar eclipse.

So to my Mom, yes, I’m happy and the plan is to remain that way.

Posted on December 10, 2013 .