Today, August 8th, is National Happiness Day! Let’s take a look back at the history of the people who championed the holiday.
National Happiness Day started as “Admit You’re Happy Day” by the Secret Society of Happy People in 1999. It was created “to recognize and express happiness.” They encourage people to observe the day by recognizing moments of joy, pleasure, delight…basically those positive feelings that are under the term “happy.” Happiness is encouraged ALL. DAY. LONG.
But is happiness really that easy to find? I’ve asked myself this question many times over the last several years. I reflected on whether I was happy. Truly happy. Or do I just enjoy a few moments of glee from enjoying time with my friends and family? Just because I have a hearty laugh from a joke or a story told to me by a friend, it doesn’t really mean I’m happy…does it? What does it really mean to be happy?
I actually Googled the meaning of happy. Happy, according to the all-knowing Google, is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.” But isn’t it possible to be content but not happy? I always felt that contentment and happiness are two different feelings. To me, contentment can be just feeling enough and settling for what you have. But happiness is hard to find. Because happiness is more just feeling enough. It’s a mixture of a lot of pleasurable feelings that leads to this one indescribable emotions where you feel so much joy and positivity.
I don’t know if I have ever truly felt happy. Like really happy. Not content, but happy. I have felt joy, though; the kinds that you get when you grin ear-to-ear and laugh uncontrollably until your stomach hurts. You’re literally LOL-ing and ROFL-ing.
In my previous post, I mentioned (albeit briefly) that I went and seek help in the form of therapy. I started therapy because the minutiae of every day life became unbearable. I find myself wanting to cry every day. I tried masking it at work, put a smile on my face. But the harder I try to mask it, the deeper the hole that I dug myself into. I mentioned to my therapist in a couple of occasion that I believe I never truly felt happy in my life. There are definitely moments where I felt lucky, content, and joy. But happy? Happy is a term that seems so foreign to me.
But I also realized that maybe it was also because I was depressed and anxious for so long that I forgot what happiness truly feels. Maybe I was so down that the high doesn’t seem that high. That it was almost impossible to reach.
As I write this post, I reflect back on these little moments. And the thing is, maybe I am happier than I ever really let on. I mean, I have everything I need in life. Is everything perfect? No, of course not. But I have a family that loves me and supports me, as much as I love and support them. Do we get along all day every day? And is it all rosy and perfect? No. And I know that they will always be there for me, and we will do anything for each other
I have a full-time job that lets me pay my rent and my bills. Do I wish I get paid more? Sure. Do I wish I’m more passionate about what I do? Of course. Is this my ultimate dream job? Not necessarily. Do I get along and like every one that I work with? Not really, and sometimes even those that I’m close to, I’m not particularly fond of every single day. But I don’t really hate my job.
I have friends who loves me and whom I love. I enjoy their company and they enjoy mine. Yes, my circle of friends have gotten smaller over the last few years, but I’m satisfied with the relationships that I have built and I go to bed knowing that I have and will always do what I can for them every single day. We support each other and we want what is best for each other.
So maybe being happy is realizing that contentment is enough, and that even though things can be better, it will just be the cherry on top of a delicious sundae on a hot summer day. And as I continue to work on myself and my happiness, I can get to that high. So high that the lowest low doesn’t seem so low.
So, I urge you all today, dear readers, to go out there and take a look at the clear, blue sky. To take a moment and reflect on the good things in life. Share a smile with a stranger.
And if today is a bad day, try listening to one of your favorite song or that funny movie that you enjoy (side note: my recommendation would be White Chicks). But find that little moments of a bad day where you don’t feel crappy and realize that happiness can be found all around you if you just search for it.
In the words of the great Charlotte York when asked if she was happy with her relationship, “Not all day, every day. But yes, I am happy.”