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Defining happiness

If you're a dog, that's not hard. I took The Dude to the back trails around Lake Padden today so he could run free through the trees. Happiness? Exploring things. Smelling things. Romping through unexplored areas. Peeing on things. Happiness. See for yourself.

As I was watching The Dude exhibit his version of joy I couldn't think about anything other than joy for me. What's happiness? How do I capture that happy feeling in the moment as much as possible? What about others? How can I make others happy? Is that even possible?

After getting divorced I convinced myself that it's not possible. I can't make other people happy. My mere presence is never going to be enough for someone else. We all have negative thoughts. I can't delete the negative thoughts in someone else's head. The things I choose to do may bring someone else moments of joy, but it's not me alone that's responsible. I work now under the concept that I'm responsible for my happiness. If i'm fortunate, I'll have the opportunity to share that happiness's with others. I've enjoyed sharing that happiness with Aiyun over the past two months. I miss her and look forward to seeing her again in a month.

A random list of things that bring me joy.

  1. Hearing Moira laugh

  2. Watching Duder McGruder be happy

  3. Seeing a great sprint car race

  4. Dealing poker for my friends

  5. Cuddling with Aiyun and watching a movie

  6. Standing on the first tee knowing I'm about to have a ton of fun with friends

  7. Enjoying a meal with family or friends

  8. That satisfying feeling as a teacher knowing I've made a difference

  9. Cribbage with my guys

  10. Being trusted enough to have someone share with me and knowing I've been a good active listener

  11. Feeling loose and flexible the next morning after a yoga class

  12. Laying my head on the pillow and reflecting on my daily intention

  13. Delivering apple pie to show someone that I appreciate them

This could be a long list. Mom? Arthur? Brothers? Odd how I've convinced myself that I can't make others happy but a lot of my list centers on other people. Hmmm. Better stop here and get my teeth brushed. I'm super tired still. Wondering if it's normal for jet lag to have a full week impact.

Happiness? It has to vary from person to person. Love? Passion? Security? Laughing? Family? Friends? All of the above? I don't know. Can we really define a feeling? Perhaps not. What is love? Baby don't hurt me, baby don't hurt me, no more.

Added note: Lunch with my soul-sister Marni. Great talk. Much love and respect. We're a lot alike and it's good to have someone to help keep me accountable. I hope I can do the same for her.

Added note 2: My list of plans and responsibilities the next two days are limited. Maybe some golf. Maybe some laziness. Certainly some extra cleaning around my house. Moira and Kaleb have a different perspective on what clean looks like. Not judging, just acknowledging it and I'm willing to invest my time into it.

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