For me this is kind of a trick question. How many people are really “happy” a high percentage of the time? Happy, to me, means euphoric. It’s a very particular emotion. So, for those sun-shiney, smiling people who claim to be happy all the time, I would caution that I use the term to mean something very specific. Happiness is a rare and wondrous commodity. I may have moments of happiness almost every day, but I wouldn’t say that I’m happy every waking moment.
Now, lest some of you read this and automatically make an assumption, neither do I find myself very sad, very often. In fact, I’m sad quite a bit less often than I’m happy. I read somewhere a person saying that they wake up determined to be happy every day. This “positive affirmation” kind of attitude is fine, if it helps you get through the day. But, I have to believe that you are deluding yourself to think that you are truly happy every, single waking moment of every, single day. If so, I’d say you terribly undervalue the meaning of the word “happy.” Now, I’ll openly admit that, for the most part, I’m contented-but, I choose to save the word happy for especially exuberant moments.
Again, please don’t read the wrong things into this. This is meant to be a posititve piece. As stated in the previous paragraph, I’m generally content almost all of the time-and I think that’s a good thing. Let’s face it. Most of us, especially as we get further into adulthood, have a tendency to do pretty much the same things, pretty much every day. We wake up, go to work, see most of the same faces in the same places. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, does it make you particularly happy? I’m fine with it, but in order to feel especailly happy, something out-of-the-ordinary has to happen. In my line of work, getting funding for a family who’s been previously denied services gets me happy. It’s a little payoff for working especially hard for a cause I believe in. That’s where I draw the line. Happiness is unusual, because it is the reward for something out-of-the-ordinary and for a great effort. Happiness is truly something special.
So, how often do I find myself happy? Maybe not as often as most people, but I find tidbits of happiness almost every day-though, certainly not every moment of every day. However, for the most part, I do find myself content most of the time. And, hey, I’m okay with that.