Happiness isn’t expensive

Google happiness and see what comes up.  Everything from books, DVDs, websites and counselors. Apparently our world can’t get enough of how to be happy.  Oprah, in her prime, often talked about that feeling of “true happiness and fulfillment” where you are at peace and content with yourself and your life.  A lot of it centered around self-visualization, self-discipline and self-enlightenment.  Quite honestly I find most of that to be a bunch of bunk.   The idea that getting your life in order will somehow propel you to utter peace and contentment is silly and near-sighted. Not to mention self-serving.  Let’s face it: life isn’t perfect, it won’t be and it certainly isn’t void of stresses and failures.  And not only that but I find it really disturbing how much time and effort people spend on bettering themselves to somehow become happier people.  The weight loss program epidemic~TV shows, books and an entire industry~ are proof positive that you have to do something to your body to be happy.

Even the Home and Garden Network portrays elaborate lifestyles that we all love to drool over.  “If only I could have a house like that , I’d be happy.”  Bigger houses, newer furniture, better TVs, fancier vehicles, nicer dishes, matching bedding, $500 end tables, more square footage, gold-plated cutlery, clocks, shelves, desks and more!!! When will it be enough?  Never.

And then there’s vacations.  Every year, more and more Canadians are flocking to warmer climates. We simply cannot be happy in our four-seasons even though we lived here our entire lives.  In the winter we have to go someplace warmer, in the spring we have to go to Disneyland, in the summer we need an adventure or two and in the fall we have to just get away from it all.  Sound familiar?  We all know people who frequent Mexico, Vegas, Florida and California.  It makes them happy~ right?  They’re happier when they go away but sadly, not so happy to come home. 😦

Contentment is what we’re lacking.  Gratitude. Not happiness.  Appreciating that which we already possess and being thankful for what we already are experiencing is the true path to happiness.  As I was pondering this the other day I started to make a mental list of those things that make me happy.  You know, the stuff that puts a smile on your face and makes you *sigh* out loud.  Here’s a few of the things that I came up with(and none of them require weight loss , a plane ticket or a big bank account….thankfully!)

1. Bubble bath at midnight

2. Watching a sunset

3. Cheesecake(oh ya baby)

4. Storm clouds brewing

5. playing the piano when no one is home

6. watching a baby sleep

7. campfires

8. letters from sponsor kids

9. a phone call from a friend

10. Rollkuchen and Watermelon for supper(mmmmmmmm)

11. Sleeping in.

12. family reunions

13. reading the Psalms when life seems hard(it’s never quite as bad as when David writes about his life)

14.Picnic by the river

15. Sleigh ride

16. Christmas dinner

17. Fall leaves and warm sun

18. Standing in the summer rain

19. A juicy peach

20. Freshly painted toenails

21.conversations with a 3 year old

22. Scrapbooking with a friend

23. Holding my husband’s hand

24. Singing a hymn in 4 part harmony

25. thinking of Heaven.

I could go on….and on….

Try it. You’d be surprised and what REALLY makes you happy.

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4 thoughts on “Happiness isn’t expensive

  1. I can relate to number 5! My husband has been away working in the states these last couple of weeks so the kids and I are fending for ourselves, something I don’t really enjoy but what can you do? I have found myself a few nights after the boys are asleep, playing on the piano. I really do not play at all anymore and I am more likely to play when no one is here, not because I think I sound bad, I’m really not sure why! It does kind of make me happy though! It reminds me of my mother who played a lot when I was a kid, I think she was happy when she played (she suffered from depression all her life) I open all the windows and hope that someone walking by at night might be there at that exact moment, needing to hear whatever hymn or song I happen to be playing and that might make that neighbor or stranger happy. I remember one Sunday when playing in church, a stranger who happened to be there, sitting in the front row nonetheless came up to me afterwards and said that ‘For the Fruit of All Creation” hymn was one that his mom used to sing to him years ago but it was ‘all through the night’ I believe, a children’s lullaby sung to the same tune.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately and how as parents say all the time – I just want you to be happy. Do I really? What about sadness at someone’s loss, our own loss? Anger at injustice? Disappointment when we don’t get what we want? Frustration with a sibling?
    I don’t just want happpiness for my kids. For in sadness they learn empathy, in disappointment they learn persevernece and patience, in frustration they learn how to deal with life. It’s messy when my kids deal with these things but it is good! I pray contentment and gratitude for them, that they will not get caught up in all the new things and thinking they need newer and better things. And I pray that I will have the wisdom and encouragemnt for them when they go through these times.

    • So true. You can’t really experience true happiness without knowing sadness and pain. What’s that saying? We can’t know joy without the rain? It’s true though. We live in a world hell-bent on obsessing about instant happiness, joy and success. None of them mean anything without experiencing the rough times.

  3. Pingback: Happiness isn't expensive « Little Juan on the Prairie | HappyTipsDaily

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