General chatter - What makes you happy?

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04-26-2011, 01:56 PM
I'm finding myself in the dulldrums here lately and for good reason, but I'm tired of it.

Here's a real quick run down because while I feel like laying it all out there, I don't feel like dwelling on it. Besides, it sounds like a real bad country song and I'm not sure you'd all believe all this can really happen in one year.

My mom is dyeing, basically literally starving to death. (Gastro-paresis) When she's not unintentionally dyeing she's threatening to speed things along on her own. My brother is a severe alcoholic and though he's been sober a month now his last bout turned him green. His liver is shot and I worry terribly about losing him. I am getting a divorce. While I was relaxing in FL I learned my grandpa suffered a stroke and wasn't discovered for four hours. In the past seven days he has had the stroke (with no response to anything), contracted an infection, aspirated and now has pneumonia and had a mild heart attack. Goodness. My husband officially moved out the day before Easter which was harder than I expected considering I WANT this and he's been living at his parents since mid-January. It shouldn't have affected me. AND, while visiting sunny FL my dad informed me that my mom cheated on him not just the one time I knew about but twice! :yikes: So once when I was ten and again when I was 12 with my band director. It was the second one I knew about.

So, I'm in the dumps and trying to pull myself out of it. I don't like being down, but I suppose it's normal to be. When you feel like this, it kind of feels like life is never going to get any better. I do notice that when I have something to look forward to I do better. Evenings are great because I look forward to the gym the next morning. (That in itself is sick! LOL!) Fridays are bad because I don't have the gym to look forward to. I look forward to going on hikes with a group or outings with friends. Accomplishing household tasks makes me feel good.

But you shouldn't have to WORK at happiness, right? Shouldn't you just BE happy? I usually am.

The real purpose of this thread, is What Makes You Happy? I used to love to randomly say "Happiness is ______" and I'd fill in the blank with "snow on my eyelashes" or "the sound of the creek" or "baby giggles".

Have I rambled enough? :^:

What makes you happy?

04-26-2011, 02:23 PM
But you shouldn't have to WORK at happiness, right? Shouldn't you just BE happy? I usually am.

I have a theory... I don't think anyone gets to be happy for free. I think some people have to work hard for it and the rest of us have to fight for it.

I am sorry about all you are going through... it sounds like you ahve a great attitude, though - looking for the little things that make you happy.

Things that make me happy:
- Coloring with my 2 yr. old son
- Clean sheets
- Flowers popping up in my garden
- New songs downloaded off iTunes
- A jog outside in the sun listening to the tweety tweety of little birds

04-26-2011, 02:30 PM
I think part of my problem is that I have always been the kind of person who just IS happy. I've never had to work at it and I know I can get back to that.

Clean sheets! :D I like that one! I could be like Oprah and have fresh new sheets every day! Of course, that would have to come with a maid.

04-26-2011, 02:34 PM
Basically you cannot find happiness by looking for it. Theres a quote I like

"The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness."
Eric Hoffer

Everyone goes through times like this where life just seems too hard. I'm not a religious person but I like the idea that God never gives you more than you can handle.

Do your best to accept and deal with what is happening. Engaging in pleasurable activities in an attempt to cover up what you are feeling will only make things worse. Try not to think of yourself as a victim, think instead this is life and I will get though it. Therapy would probably be a good idea. The best thing you could do is try and manage your feelings on a moment to moment basis. Try to stay as positive as possible.

Hang in there chica, good luck

04-26-2011, 04:13 PM
Reading my Bible makes me me something to look forward to (other than pain, sufferring and death);)

Sorry to hear about the rough time your having....hope things get better for you soon.:hug:

04-26-2011, 04:33 PM
Find something that you can do for someone else that is appreciated. Plan making some May flower baskets that you can leave unnoticed and make others feel special. It's hard not to feel good when you're doing for others.

Aunty Jam
04-26-2011, 05:05 PM
Watching my dogs antics make me happy... he's a happy go lucky puppy in an 8 year old dogs body. He's always doing crazy things and making us laugh.

04-26-2011, 05:28 PM
A warm ferret or four! Knowing I'm smaller, losing weight, seeing friends are all things that make me happy

04-26-2011, 06:19 PM
snuggling with my weenie dog makes me happy!

04-26-2011, 06:49 PM
Wow, that's so much to be going through right now. I'm sorry you're dealing with so much and I know how hard it is to see your mom starving to death (my mom had an unexplainable tumor in her jaw and she lost over a 100lbs before her heart failed in hospice)'s a terrible thing to see *hugs*.

On the topic of what makes me happy..hmm, I'd have to say my pets even though it seems like they spend all day annoying the **** out of me lol. I wish I got happy with the idea of working out (I get wiped out just thinking of it most days lol).

04-26-2011, 07:05 PM
I also am sad you're going through all of this. :hug: Sometimes you have to go through a serious hard, dark spell before it finally starts to turn in your favor. Maybe better times are just around the corner.

Things that make me happy:
1. Random hugs from my kids
2. Smell of a book (although lately I've been favoring the Kindle)
3. A glass of wine on the patio with my feet propped up - usually with #2
4. A good soak in a bath, then painted toenails, wax, exfoliate, etc. I'm not overly girlie but when I'm down, being fufu picks me up.

I hope things get better. Just keep hanging on and enjoy the little things.

04-26-2011, 07:13 PM
I'm just happy to be alive. . . . .

Life is good, enjoy!!! :wave:

04-26-2011, 07:20 PM
My 2 year old daughter.
My husband.
My parents.
My pets.
A clean house! A good movie! A good book!
Wine! (Although I don't drink as much due to the calories, but indulge now and then)

04-26-2011, 07:25 PM
(ilidawn and Eliana, :hug: I just lost my mom on the 15th, she had starved herself almost to death because she could not eat but didn't go to a doctor)

Eliana, you have a unheard-of bunch of bad, sad things happening around you now!! :( :hug: if you are usually a happy person then I am SURE with time (a few days?) you will feel a little better.

may I tell you that you inspired me to stick to OP eating for weeks now, with your 'commitment' thread?

And when I am not 'down' due to seasonable depression, things that make me happy are - riding my motorcycle; sitting on the deck, looking at and smelling the freshly mown lawn; clothesline-dried sheets; thinking of Simpsons references at the same time as my husband; getting compliments about my work. Oh and agree with Aunty Jam watching our dog being silly :D

04-26-2011, 07:32 PM
A clear night sky and a full moon
The ocean, I wish I could live by it
Greenery, landscapes, trees. I love the countryside and things like ancient ruins covered in plant life.
I think nature really makes me happy and being outside.
Sorry mine is kind of weird, going to the cinema also makes me happy :)

04-26-2011, 11:54 PM
Hot coffee and quiet mornings in the garden. My grand daughters learning all the new things. They are 8 mos and 2 mos.

You've got a lot going on sweetie. Any of us would be overwhelmed by all that, and have down days. Hang in there!

04-27-2011, 12:59 AM
Watch this ( It's nearly ancient as far as the Internet is concerned, but it warms the spirit...even for those of us who aren't particularly thrilled about squiggly baby folks.

Our world is a glorious place, in thousands of little ways. We don't always see them, especially when there are BIGHUGEUGLY things that we adult folks have to deal with. I'm glad that you're looking at the little things that catch the light of the world.

04-27-2011, 02:35 AM
Eliana, so sorry to hear about all the hardships your going through. It sounds like you are "hanging tough" that is so impressive.

Happy Things:
-my nieces
-my dogs
-funny movies and sitcoms(I find, too, they can really get your mind off things.)
-Anderson Cooper(I know that is odd but I think he is such a cool person.)

04-27-2011, 09:55 AM
Happy Things for me include:
Kisses from my fiance,
waking up to find my cat curled up against me,
a good cup of coffee,
doing a crossword puzzle,
laying in bed, knowing you can take your time getting up,
taking pictures of pretty things,
going into a used book store (I'm totally with the post a few above mine about the smell of a book).

certain songs also make me happy. I can't hear Mr. Blue Sky by ELO without getting a big grin on my face, and the song I Love by Tom T. Hall, this is the I love little baby ducks and old pickup trucks song (the younger ones may not know either of these but they are worth listening to on youtube).

04-27-2011, 09:59 AM
Eliana, :hug: sometimes that helps, sometimes not. I've lost both my parents now, it's so hard, and I'm so sorry!

My kids antics make me happy, finding a cool spot on the pillow, a nice breeze with the smell of honeysuckle tickling your nose, birdsong and flowers with dew still on in my garden, oh so many things.

But I too struggle to feel happy all the time. Life happens. I get angry and down just like everyone else, search for fulfillment, feel like something is missing, etc. etc. It's normal, people go through ups and downs. You'll find it again!

:hug: again.

04-27-2011, 10:22 AM
Eliana, I am more sorry about what you're witnessing with your mother than I can say. I've mentioned before that my father died of gastrointestinal cancer in November 2008, and we spent that year in ****, as he, who'd once loved food perhaps a bit too much, & carried a big potbelly like Homer Simpson, gradually lost his appetite & like your mother, became unable to eat & finally even to swallow. He had an ileostomy & hated it & was ashamed of it, which also made him not want to take in anything. This is a horrible thing to watch. It takes so long ... it made me want it to end, just to have his suffering & misery all over with ... and yet of course, I did not want him to die, I wanted every precious minute that we still had left to us. At least we talked & talked.

I'm not sure I can help, because I just let myself be as unhappy as I needed to be. I didn't think it was realistic for me to be upbeat & energetic. I, too, took refuge in the gym. (With my phone turned on & sitting on the machine, always, just in case ... just in case ...) I watched my mother do the upbeat, I-have-it-all-under-control thing, which looked awfully like denial sometimes. It seems that, at least in part, because she wouldn't let herself believe that this could end badly, she had a greater shock than I did at his death & has a had a longer & more painful recovery, is still not recovered & still can hardly face the subject.

What makes me happy? I thought about that a lot during 2008 since much of it was unrelentingly grim. I decided happiness never was meant to be of long duration. If it goes on too long, we take it for granted & don't see that we're happy. Contentment or relaxing into a routine is one thing; happiness is another. It's a bit like joy. It's made up of passing moments. There were times in between grief & fear & pain when I felt myself breathe & kind of rested in the trough of the wave, before another strenuous period came. (Yes, it's like doing intervals at the gym.) Sunlight on my face; a forgotten well-loved song unexpectedly turning up on the radio; a cat on my lap. A cup of coffee, looking out the window, and an usual bird coming to the feeder. Laughing in a friend's car at a reference to something from when we were younger. Opening a book & seeing a gorgeous old house & garden, imagining it as a refuge. Smelling a freesia. Realizing that the world was going on anyway, beautiful & busy & noisy, completely oblivious to my own private unhappiness, and that I would step back out into it, eventually, though it might take a long time. Yes, there was a little bit of selfishness: Everything was falling apart & darkening, but I was going to get through it; I was going to live. Limping & wounded, but I was going to make it.

04-27-2011, 12:01 PM
The thing about happiness for me is that I wear it almost like a badge of honor. And especially right now it is important to me. My grandpa, who did pass on last night, has been the most influential person in my life. He is the reason I am like a light switch, able to turn my emotions on and off at will...most of the time. He heard about positive thinking as a very young man and he read everything he could get his hands on about it. He collected notes and kept them on index cards. And then in his 80's, he wrote a 750 page book about all of his observations, most of it much plagiarized. ;) So he couldn't publish it. He taught me that I had the power to "create my own world" and boy have I.

The draw back is that I don't know how to show proper emotions and I don't trust the emotions I do feel. I'm not feeling too terribly emotional about his passing and I'm not sure if that's right.

So, it seems odd to me that I'm seeking happiness right now when the man who taught me how has just died. I guess I seek especially to honor him.

04-27-2011, 12:18 PM
Being active and outside, enjoying the sun.
Reading my kindle in a coffee shop.
Being with my 2 best friends.

I am sorry :(. You might be having a delayed reaction re your grandpa. Or else it will hit you some days and not others. There's no "right" way to react. You're you.

04-27-2011, 03:18 PM
Eliana, so terribly sorry to hear about your grandpa. What a treasure having someone like that in your life who helped you shape your life in such a positive light. I don't think there is any right or wrong way to grieve I think you have to follow your heart.:hug::hug:

04-27-2011, 03:29 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandpa. :hug: I'm sending many positive thoughts and prayers your way.

04-27-2011, 03:49 PM
Delicious food in a restaurant shared with friends.
Sitting beneath grape plants, smelling the sea and avoiding the sun at the same time on my home island :D
Hearing the rain outside when I study
Losing a pound :p
Excersizing while watching documentaries.
Drawing my comic on photoshop
... and many more things like that make me happy

04-27-2011, 04:02 PM
Eliana, I do believe you have to "work" at happiness. I am actively telling myself that it's my choice whether or not I'm going to make today a good day. I remind myself to smile and be active and I try to make the most of everyday.
Things that make me happy:
*My boyfriend, he's so good to me and after a sting or crappy men in my life, I'm so thankful that I've found such a good man :carrot:
*My dog, he can be naughty but he's a great little pup
*My kitten, also naughty, but I love watching my dog and kitten romp around, they're in love!
*A good book
*A peaceful walk
*Blooming trees and flowers
*A nap on a rainy day

There really is a lot to be happy for :D

04-27-2011, 09:46 PM
Eliana, my heart and thoughts go to you and your family. Your grandpa sounds like a fantastic man and he will undoubtedly live on through you and your relentlessly upbeat attitude. I wish all the best to you and yours.

Things that make me happy...
-Taking a total break from life and getting lost in, even obsessed with, escapist literature/media
-Allowing myself to enjoy nice weather, thinking as little as humanly possible while doing so
-People watching at international airports/the excitement of sitting in the terminal on my way to somewhere cool
-Dancing to music I love
-Running outside and watching the sun set

04-28-2011, 04:39 AM
Eliana, hugs to you :hug:. Everything that you've been through recently is so much to deal with, especially all at once. I hope that you are able to find your happiness again very soon.

Things that make me happy:

The smell of the honeysuckle vines
Standing outside on my porch after dark and listening to the sounds of the evening.
Waking up before the alarm goes off and realizing I still have an hour to sleep.
The sound and smell of the ocean.
Tending to my rose gardens

Arctic Mama
04-28-2011, 08:35 PM
Oh no, what a terrible time you've had! That's a lot for anyone!

What makes me happy?
Thinking about God's unfathomable love for me, and sacrifice on my behalf.
Hugs from my girls.
The smell of my baby son (babies smell SO good!)
Warm sunshine with a light breeze.
A massage.
I hate to say it, but tasty food makes me happy. I would be a total foodie if I could!

That's my short list, anyway!

04-29-2011, 02:15 AM
What makes me kids, having a grandbaby is the best! reading a good book. Stepping on the scale and seeing a loss, music and so on...lots of things but I have to say mostly my little grandbaby Lily...she is the GREATEST!

04-29-2011, 02:18 AM
Warm clothes right out of the dryer!! Having my hubby, step daughter and cat all home together. Just two of many that make me happy.

04-29-2011, 02:22 AM
Right now a hot shower, hot towels out of the dryer, a cup of peppermint tea, clean sheets and my puppy before bed would make me infintely happy.

04-30-2011, 03:20 PM
I'm so sorry to hear all that you're going through. Maybe for now, it might be useful to just let yourself be sad. I know that sounds awful, but you have a lot of stresses right now. In trying to force yourself to be happy, you're adding more stress to the pile, possibly making the situation even worse.

I guess what I mean is that--you're down for a reason. Many reasons, in fact. And as horrible as it is, it's part of life, and you need to let yourself be sad. As a culture, I think we pressure ourselves and each other to be happy. But you don't have to be happy right now. I'd suggest seeking content moments. This will pass, things always do.

Things will get better, you'll feel better--but maybe not just yet--and that's okay.

04-30-2011, 07:43 PM
Basking in the sun...don't know if it's just the nice feeling of being outdoors or the Vitamin D boost, but it almost always makes me feel content (I just have to remember to snap out of it and put on sunblock or get inside before it makes me feel like a lobster).

05-03-2011, 09:41 PM
So normally I believe that happiness is a choice; we can't control all the things that happen in our lives, but we can control how we will react to them and how we will frame them. However, I think that given everything that's going on for you, it would be an impossible time to 'choose' to be happy. That said, I see that you already are reframing some of what's gone wrong -- when you describe what you've learned from your Grandfather I see that happening -- you are finding reasons to celebrate his life. I'm very sorry for your loss.

I hope you'll be able to take some of the favourites people have listed here and make time in your day to make yourself happy. Here is my list:

A shower before bed
Clean sheets
Listening to a book on my ipod
When my DS comes to my bed and snuggles up to me
Sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee on Saturday/Sunday morning
Singing along to songs in the car
Wearing a dress
Getting a pedicure
Going to the hairdresser

05-06-2011, 07:25 AM
So, it seems odd to me that I'm seeking happiness right now when the man who taught me how has just died. I guess I seek especially to honor him.

You know, my tendency has always been toward the maudlin -- I historically have wrung my hands and really carried on over everything remotely upsetting that has happened in my world. You aren't that type, and I've read where people with your penchant for turning the coin over to find the brighter side actually live longer.

In a grief situation, where I've lost someone close, I've always gravitated toward the feeling that smiling, or God forbid, laughing, would be a betrayal of the person's memory. GUILT for being okay. And I have carried on with this self-imposed misery for WAY too long several times. Which of course is ridiculous, because my beloved gramma, for instance, would wish that I experience joy and NOT suffer over her passing.

I'm rambling now, but :hug: to you for all you are going through, and try to keep that guilt over living well at bay.