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Happiness 2

I have gotten so many responses from my post yesterday. . . comments on my blog, conversations, and emails.  It makes me happy :-)

Hugh and I don't often have discussions what I write, but yesterday we had a dialogue about the differences between things that make us happy and making a choice to be happy.  Hugh really feels that happiness is a choice.  People choose to be happy and when we make that choice, we are drawn to do the "things" on our lists that bring us the most happiness.  So Hugh feels it isn't the "things" that make us happy, it is making a choice to be happy doing the "things" we love.  

I got an email this morning from my brother's girlfriend, Brittany, and she said, "Happiness is something that has always interested me because I think you have to work at being happy."  Brittany even took a quiz online about happiness.  This inspired me to take a couple.  I liked this one, because it talked about areas you could work on to increase your happiness and even resources available for each of the areas.  

I agree with Brittany and Hugh to a degree.  I think that our lives are full of choices and we can make the choice to put on a smile instead of sulking, but I question if that choice can ALWAYS be made.  I think, before losing Tripp, I would have fully agreed with Hugh and Brittany.  Now, I wonder, would I be able to will myself out of my saddest moments and be happy?  I have a feeling that I can't will myself to do anything in those moments, but maybe I haven't tried hard enough. I know that it healthy to experience a range of emotions and sad is just one of them.  It is healthy to be sad sometimes, but if happiness is something we choose, could I just choose to be happy, if I wanted, instead of being sad?  

There is something I like about being sad.  That seems weird, but it feels good to be sad sometimes and I am not sure I want to even try to will myself to be happy in those moments.  Hmm. . . 

Yesterday, I observed that the things on my happiness list didn't cost money, but I know that has something to do with how fortunate I have been in my life.  I have all my basic needs met and more, so I basically don't want for much in terms of material possessions.  This being said, I do have material possessions that make me happy.  I have a few pieces of jewelry that are very meaningful to me and they make me happy when I put them on.  I also love my digital camera and video camera.  It makes me happy to record moments.  I love my bike.  It is so pretty and comfortable to ride.  

I think what I am going to take from the material possessions part is to just try and remember to put things in perspective.  I am going to try and reflect more on items before I purchase them.  Do I want this, or do I need it?  This doesn't mean I won't purchase new clothes, or things that will help my life run a bit smoother.  I am just going to think a bit more about the necessity of making those purchases.  Then, once that "thing" is deemed to be a need, I am going to try and remind myself that I don't need the top of the line version of that "thing", I just need one that is good quality and will satisfy that particular need. Having the most expensive item won't make me more happy.

And obviously, the most important piece about material possessions is just remembering that, ultimately, there are more important things in my life that make me happy.

Thanks to all of you that responded.  After reading your happiness lists, I wanted to modify my list a bit.  You brought up things that make me happy that I hadn't thought of when I wrote that post!


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