Happiness: The Search for Silver Linings


Happy International Day of Happiness! Even though it's a Monday (which for some might actually be a very happy event, who knows?). After all, happiness is a very personal experience. What you define as happiness might be anything but for someone else. When you stop trying to force it, happiness is pretty achievable especially in fleeting moments, and that's what I hang on to in my least happy moments, and all I suggest anyone else do. Happiness for me might be going to the loo and finding there hasn't been a pre-schooler in there before me. Or it might be an unexpected cup of tea. Or my kids eating their dinner without making me feel like I'm poisoning them. It's the feeling of the sunshine on my face after several rainy days. Or the first croissant and café allongé once we hit France, ready for the long drive down to my parents. Happiness is finding a sneaky tampax in the bottom of my handbag when I'm least expecting to need it.

Happiness is not rainbows and butterflies and unicorns (for me anyway). It's not even an all consuming feeling of joy. It's just moments, here and there, when other things are slightly less shit. That's all. Something like "International Day of Happiness" would usually make me want to vomit in my own mouth. It's the images of smiling kids and the expectation that because my life is less awful than someone else's I should be grateful for it and therefore very happy all day every day. Could anything as naff sounding as International Happiness Day possibly be something worth getting into though? If you put the images and forced appreciation for your lifestyle to one side for a moment then maybe, yes.

I mean I for one don't tend to consider what actually makes me happy. As in day to day actual things as opposed to, you know, a bottomless bank account and children who can wipe their own arse's. The same silver lining's can turn a hideous day into a mediocre one, or a mediocre one into a good one. And THAT is the key to happiness- the silver lining's.

It's the nod to self that YES the kids have just eaten a meal without any major meltdowns or breakdowns, it's not the guilt that the meal was poorly constructed cheese on toast. Again.

Happiness is not sweating the big stuff and finding something, ANYTHING, even slightly positive in the small stuff. And that's it. But do we ever stop to consider the moments that have been successes, when we felt a twinge of happiness with ourselves or those around us? I rarely do, but I really should.

Happiness count for today (Monday 20th March 2017):

  1. I don't have a hangover even though I felt really rough last night after an afternoon drinking sesh with my neighbour's yesterday (as in, had to call for pizza and drink two litres of water before bed). So yeah, sensible me is like YOU HAD PIZZA AGAIN YOU MESS!!! But actual me is just pretty happy that I had pizza, again, because today I didn't feel like shit, so...
  2. I did a trip to IKEA this morning and both the kids went into the softplay. For an hour. There's a responsible mother in me appalled that we did no schooling today, and there's a meatball lover in me who is pretty smug that we have a fully stocked freezer again.
  3. Karl has a chest infection (not the silver lining) and really wasn't well enough to go in to work today, but this did mean that Finn got to stay at home whilst I took Clara to her swimming lesson. A 1:1 parenting ratio at the pool is MUCH more do-able. A vastly reduced chance of one of my children drowning is a definite silver lining.
  4. Dinner was moderately successful. I had planned on making a roasted veg lasagne. I didn't. I made literally the shittest lazy version going, and it was noted when we sat down that dinner was not exactly a lasagne. But you know what, it was still damn tasty, homemade and packed full of goodness. So I'm happy that we ate a decent meal. Finally.
  5. Homeland is on the TV tonight. At the same time at KUWTK (the Kim/Paris/robbery episode). And even though I realllllly want to watch KUWTK, we're going to watch Homeland. Because Karl (being ill) hasn't gone to basketball tonight, so I have TV sofa-snuggles with him instead of my favourite trashy American family.