Friday, October 02, 2009

Jet Packs and the Secrets of Optimism

I believe in all sorts of cheesy needlepoint throw pillow philosophies. "The greatest pleasure I find is in my garden," for instance. Not that I have a garden, but a metaphorical garden of sorts. OK, that was a stretch. So let's just admit that my worldview is populated mostly with Hallmark sentiments, squishy full-body hugs, and the air-raid siren that heralds my latest terrible idea.

If I had to pick a guiding philosophy, it would be, "Happiness is a choice." I'd also add, though, that happiness involves careful planning and robust organizational skills. My version of happiness is simple, but takes a lot of hard work: a well-prepared dinner, routines, the occasional surprise, people who pick me up when they hug me, long-term friendships, that look coworkers give me when they haven't yet realized that I'm kidding, a closet full of great (deeply discounted) outfits, and always having something to look forward to. I think that last one is the most important.

In the short term, I have a four-day weekend coming up, a new duvet cover, a hike with friends, my birthday, a Michelob the size of my head, Sundays slobbing on the couch while pretending to care about football, and wiping the dust off my Crock-Pot.

In the long-term, I have that point where I can finally get away with letting my hair go gray, a lifetime of love, dreams about everything from marriage and family to a trip to Buenos Aires, the chance to be a batty old lady who hands out stale cookies to the neighborhood kids.

And jetpacks. I'm astounded and kind of pissed that we don't have those yet.

In the comments, tell me what makes you happy.

25 comments:

restaurant refugee said...

A great cigar after a great meal, an elegant Red Burgundy in my glass, the good kind of sore after a long run, picnics by the Declaration of Independence Memorial, my Chef's Knife, silence at a dinner table save for visceral moans of approval, there really are too many things to list, but thanks for making me think about them.

J said...

I agree that happiness is largely a choice. For the most part. I say this in part because I'm doing things like fighting DMVs and health insurance companies lately...

But the things in my life I don't like, I work to change.

As far as what makes me happy, I think over the years it's largely become having good friends :) As I always make sure to mention whenever I drunk dial/email people..

J said...

I also like my car and card/board/video games, I think I forgot to mention.

Brando said...

Being around good people, nice weather, good food and drink, and no worries.

Dagny Taggart said...

It would probably surprise no one that Nutella makes me happy. A great workout, the smell of fresh laundry, and a bittersweet happy hour are all in the happy cards in the near future, as well.

Jetpacks WOULD be pretty awesome.

Shannon said...

Refugee - You're welcome! And 'the good kind of sore' just invites WAY too many jokes.

J - ah, the drunk dial! Personally, I love getting them.

Shannon said...

Brando - So you can control the weather?

Dagny - We'd have to get matching jetpacks, and ride around together!

Dmbosstone said...

Football makes me happy, I'm sad you only pretend to care about it.

Jo said...

I love this! Happiness is DEFINITELY a choice.

Cuddling up with a great book, a great conversation, getting ready to go out for a fun night, and really good comfort food all make me very, very happy.

Shannon said...

Dmbosstone - I like to hang out on a couch, drink beer, eat guacamole and hang out with my friends. Who cares if I don't actually watch the game?

Jo - Sometimes, the real fun of a night out is getting primped, listening to music and having a glass of wine with the girls.

lacochran said...

Ignoring direction from other people.

Dang.

Happy birthday!

FoggyDew said...

Bunnies, puppies and unicorns. Oh, and an industrial-size wood chipper.

Sunday morning breakfast, a walk in the woods with friends, Thanksgiving dinner and movies that make me laugh or think.

HP said...

Doing something that I'm not supposed to do, plum colored nail polish, men with accents, my apartment, coffee in a french press, good wine with screw tops, 120 film, alpaca yarn, ballet flats, cashmere sweaters, waterproof mascara, trashy novels from the 50s and 60s, sterling flatwear, antique dishwear, waking up on a saturday sans hangover.

Shannon said...

Lacochran - Not until November, but thanks!

Foggy - The shredder is to make perfect wood-chip beds for the unicorns. Right?

HP - I first read that as "alpaca yam," which I thought was some sort of trendy dish I'd never heard of.

Hammer said...

MAH TRUK!!!

Brett said...

Gilmore Girls and Boston Legal reruns. My crazy cat. Even crazier candidates and/or clients. Having both Diet Coke and Coke Zero as an option. Good popcorn, roast duck. A great Bloody Mary and/or bottomless mimosas. Really good kisses. Bear hugs.

Brett said...

Foggy- i think the industrial size woodchipper is for killing turkeys, not unicorns!

Shannon said...

Hammer - I have never seen this amazing TRUK, and I am beginning to assume it is mythological in nature. Much like Foggy's chipper-shredder unicorns.

Brett - Oh, never forget the power of a really awesome kiss!

Heather said...

A nice dinner, good friends, music I can sing to, and an extremely funny comedy series always makes me a very very happy camper :) Like the topic of this post.

zandria said...

"Always having something to look forward to" is definitely important. That's what keeps me going on the boring, or not-so-good days. This is why I always have to know that I have something coming up -- both in the short and long term. :)

LiLu said...

Taking f.B's karaoke cherry by RICK ROLLING HIM AT KARAOKE.

You shouldn't have left! ;-)

Jack said...

On the subject of 'happiness is a choice' check out this short video -- http://www.ahamoment.com/vote/angy -- about the 'aha moment' of a woman in a very tough situation who made the decision to improve things. If you like it, click and vote for it and her story might be an aha moment tv commercial next year.

All the best,
jack@ahamoment.com

Marissa said...

Sounds cheesy, but I'm happy just sitting and breathing and realizing that I'm on Earth surrounded by so much beauty -- in people, in nature, in the sounds of my own inhales and exhales.

God, I'm such a dirty hippie sap now...

Titania said...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings...

Puppies, bike rides, friends, wine, steaks and chocolate!

Happy birthday, dear...

Tina said...

The fall (when tere is not so much rain it ruins leaf viewing), my son, a good marinara, a great book (with plenty of free time to read it), dancing with my dh (or without him too - shhhh), other people's puppies or kittens (All the fun none of the messs), any time spent with good friends(including the family members who are also friends), and parenthytical qualifying statements.