Perhaps if one really knew when one was happy one would know the things
that were necessary for one's life -
How happy are you right now? Do you even know? Most women know what makes
their parents, partners, or children happy. But when it comes to an awareness
about the little, specific things in life that brings a smile to our faces and
contentment to our own hearts, we often come up short.
In 1926 a young Englishwoman, Joanna Field, began to feel that she was not
living a truly authentic life, that she did not know
what made her truly happy. To remedy this she kept a journal in order to
discover what specifically triggered the feeling of
delight in her dailylife. The journal, A Life of One's Own, was published
in 1934. It was written, she confided, in the spirit of a
detective who searches through the minutiae of the mundane in hopes of
finding clues for what was missing in her life.
What is missing from many of our days is a true sense that we are enjoying
the lives we are living. It is difficult to experience
moments of happiness if we are not aware of what it is we genuinely love.
We must learn to savor small, authentic moments
that bring us contentment. Experiment with a new cookie recipe. Take the
time to slowly arrange a bouquet of flowers in order
to appreciate their colours, fragrance and beauty. Sip a cup of tea on the
front stoop in the sunshine. Pause for five minutes to
pet a purring cat. Simple pleasures waiting to be enjoyed. Simple pleasures
Joanna Field discovered that she delighted in red shoes, good food, sudden
bursts of laughter, reading in French, answering
letters, loitering in a crowd at a fair and "a new idea when it is
Let us each grasp a new idea this year. Let us grasp the awareness of what
it is that makes us truly happy. Let us consider our
personal preferences and learn how to recognize, then embrace, moments of
happiness that are uniquely our own.