I often puzzle about what makes me happy. What do I enjoy, what do I find to be fun, what conditions make me stop and think, almost with a start, "I am happy"?
It's surprisingly difficult to discern. So what I'm going to try to do this year is make a note of those moments, and the circumstances under which they occurred. It goes without saying that many, more fundamental factors undergird this happiness, but what I'm seeking at this point is the extras that bring the joy bubbling to the surface.
Today, for example, I felt the surge of joy for "no particular reason" My father-in-law was reading contentedly in his recliner chair; my husband working away in his office (perhaps not so contentedly, but without obvious signs of discontent); I was unhurriedly working ("labor without perturbation") on bringing order to the house and organization to the New Year (activities I always find quietly satisfying if I am not under time pressure); there was good music playing in the background, including recently (thanks to the random selection of our music player) a selection from the soundtrack to Local Hero, which always makes me smile, because it makes me think of my brother and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family (even though it's a bittersweet joy as I grieve once again that we are so far apart); and I smiled again at the memory of a three-way phone call with our children.
A full cup of quiet happiness is hard to beat.