Happiness is a cup of coffee on a slow Sunday while watching sunset. Happiness is leaving office early on a Friday night. Happiness is watching T.V. on a non-busy Saturday afternoon. It is gardening at 5:00 A.M. on weekends and taking a leisurely walk with my family before breakfast.
Did you see what’s wrong there? I realized my brand of Happy have requirements now-a-days. Perhaps the responsibilities and the challenges I have to go through on a daily basis have raised that brand of happiness and made it more difficult to capture. It had more pre-requisites and I ended up becoming more and more dull and lifeless. Unhappy, to say the least.
It maybe started to ebb out like foul stench of a decaying carcass as people started noticing my slowly growing indifference. My wife noticed, my friends noticed. And no matter how much I try to keep it at bay in front of my kids, they too, noticed.
One morning, my 4-year old daughter, Iya, asked me why I was so unhappy. I said ‘Because the house is so messy. Your toys are everywhere. You don’t return them to your playroom anymore and the more toys we get, the more mess we make. I will start throwing out your toys so that the house is not messy anymore’. Of course I only said that in hopes that she’d be more responsible in cleaning up after her mess. She loves her toys. But what she said after that gave me a new perspective. After hearing my answer, Iya thought for a moment and then said, ‘Ok, you can throw all the toys, but please let me keep Wally (her Walrus puppet), and Puppy (her babysister’s stuffed Akita puppy keychain). You throw all the toys so you can be happy.’ I smiled at her.
She was willing to let go of all her other toys just to make sure I’m happy. She’s happy to see me happy even if that means she only gets to keep one toy – Wally. She also made sure her baby sister, Ivi (read as E.V.), gets to keep a toy as well. She’s very thoughtful and very sweet.
In that short conversation, Iya reminded me that happiness is not gauged by a number or achieved by completing a set of conditions. Happiness is being content with who you are and where you are currently in life. It is enjoying and savoring moments no matter how small. It is having satisfaction and gratitude for the people and things that surrounds you.