Surprised by Happiness, or How did I get from there to here?

“Writing your experiences and truths gives you a way to validate yourself and your life.” ~ Ami Mattison

I am happy this morning, and I’m trying to figure out why.

sunburstDon’t worry. I am allowing myself to feel and appreciate this happiness, and I don’t think I’m over-analyzing it. I’m just wondering where it came from all of the sudden, out of the blue on a bitter cold and snowy morning. Have I been unusually unhappy recently? Not really. But this good feeling has been missing in action for awhile, and I was beginning to become impatient for its return. In the past, I’ve found it helpful when I’m feeling bad to think back to what actions or thoughts led to the feeling, but I am not in the same habit of backtracking good feelings.

Let’s see:

  • I finished my grading for the week (midterms, papers, speeches), a task that never seems to get easier. In fact, our many years of homeschooling has made grading more difficult, at least for essays. Translation = Unwelcome to-do list items are checked off. (I’m still playing catch-up from being out of town recently, but for some reason the yet-to-answer emails and other unfinished to-do list items don’t hang over me today as they did earlier in the week.)
  • This afternoon I’m meeting friends at a paint-your-own pottery store this afternoon. I’m considering making either a cereal bowl with cow spots or a salad bowl/plate with chunky Van Gogh-like veggies. Translation = Camaraderie and creative indulgence.
  • This morning I’m planning to play with this blog a bit (look for an “am reading” book list on the side later), do some offline writing, and catch up on reading (both online and offline). Translation = Free, uninterrupted time for writing and reading.
  • My inbox is filled with delightful new blog posts from, among others, Magnificent Minimalist (you have got to check out this fun and funky blog!), Study Hacks (always smart and insightful), and Writer Unboxed (be sure to check out today’s post about a contest to win a Kindle or a Nook!). Translation = Connecting with and learning from others in my virtual sitting-room.

I also enjoyed and have been pondering Ami Mattison’s poetryNprogress piece this week, ‘Strong at the broken places’: Transforming Depression Into Writing:

“Write about what makes you happy. Focusing on what makes us happy really does help to make us feel less depressed. Sure, you’ve heard all about positive thinking. And when you’re depressed it’s really hard to think positively. Its uses seem so limited. But remember there’s no quick fix to feeling better. It all comes in small steps. So, try writing about happiness.” Read More

Is it mere coincidence that happiness surprised me only a couple of days after I resumed the practice of morning pages?

Enough ruminating. Let the morning and day commence!

What triggers your happiness?

2 thoughts on “Surprised by Happiness, or How did I get from there to here?

  1. Boy, when I am staying in the moment, I feel so much happier. Sometimes those “in the moments” are when I’m writing out my morning pages. Sometimes those moments come to me when I simply let go – of that recent rejection, of my fear that I won’t finish that writing I want to complete for tomorrow, of whatever – and sit in that space with my kids (who seldom worry about anything) 🙂

    Lovely post, Lisa!

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