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What are the little things that make you happy?

Posted Friday, February 5, 2010, at 7:08 AM

Have you ever thought about the little things that make you happy?

Personally, when I think of happiness I am reminded or rural remoteness, the snuggle of a dog, the position of your head as you bite into a taco, listening to a child explain something, busy times, being early, a roaring campfire, getting what you want and need at the same time, family, and a day without pain.

I think you get the picture.

What makes you happy?

We can look in history for a few definitions of happiness.

The beloved wife of the father of our country, Martha Washington, is quoted as saying "The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances."

German-French theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician Albert Schweitzer tells us that "Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory."

Dictionary.com defines happiness as good fortune; pleasure; contentment; and joy. Popular synonyms for happiness are: Pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment and satisfaction.

I believe happiness is an emotion and an attitude that is characterized by a feeling of absolute contentment. It is the feeling of being where you should be in life, getting what you want and needing little else.

Too many folks believe happiness is about money, health, travel or a good figure, but it's really not.

You can possess all the wealth in the world and still be unhappy.

Different people get happiness in different ways. For some, it comes from having a fulfilling job or a satisfying relationship. For others, it could be the ability to deal with life's challenges.

I recently posed the question to some of my Facebook friends: "What makes you happy?" and the responses were different and thought-provoking.

Brenda Combs, of rural Bloomfield, says the her happiness is "the innocence of a child's laughter. Sticking your tongue out to catch the winter's new falling snow flakes. To see an eagle in its own natural habitat and to be able to watch it spread its wings and soar in the sky. All the new that spring time springs and the smell of spring. The feel of grass between your toes in the summer. Old photos always make me smile because it is so funny to see how times have changed. There are so many little things in life that make me happy that I could never ever write it all down ! But the things that make me the happiest is being able to serve God, and have great friends and family! You can't ask for much more than that."

Heidi Woods Puckett, of Linton, defined her happiness as "peeking in on Brandon (her husband) and the boys when they have 'guy' time, watching the three men in my life smile, listening to the boys talk about things when they think mom can't hear them, watching Brandon play (his guitar) and me making eye contact with him and he winks ... the little things make me the happiest."

Rural Bloomfield resident Cheryl Helms says to her the little things that make her the happiest are "to hear my granddaughter say, 'I love you' and 'your the best grandma', to have my sons hug me like a teddy bear, hear my daughter say, 'mom do you want to hang out?', talk to my parents on the phone and hear they are doing well and the weather in Florida is warm, the sunshine on my back, the babble of a brook, and how I feel when I praise the Lord. Things that are simple yet profound. May I never take them for granted."

Amy Wilson, who serves as chief of the Owensburg-Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department, noted that happiness to her is "to still know and hear as my children get older that they still need their mom, the joy of knowing my children still enjoy spending time with me even when they have their own lives, the incredibly close working relationship with my firefighters and neighboring firefighters, the simplicity of life as you get older, the gifts that we are so blessed to have. May I always be reminded how fortunate I am and most importantly when I know I have helped someone within the community in their time of need."

As you can see happiness is defined in different ways for different people.

What are the little things that make you happy?

Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

What makes me happy is seeing my kids smile, hearing their laughter, hearing them say "I love you, mommy", and their hugs and kisses.

-- Posted by ISUgrad06 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 11:45 AM

Family. Family makes me happy. The laughter of your child and knowing they are happy is enough to bring a smile to your face!

-- Posted by arn83 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 10:19 PM

Family, definitely. And friends.

-- Posted by Blueyedame on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 12:46 AM

I am happy when I see others happy. I am happy thinking and experiencing the things I love. I love onions and garlic, cornbread, good home-cooked food, loyal dogs, fat cows, respectful teenagers, a good game of chess, the opera, peace and quiet, rain in the summer, Spring, fresh mushrooms and bluegill, a good book in front of the fireplace during a gentle snow, humility, unconditional love, my children, my family and friends my wonderful spouse, and most of all, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is because of Him that I have true contentment and joy.

-- Posted by cow rancher on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 1:17 AM

the laughter and smile of my son....family and friends....doing something small for someone and seeing them smile....there are so many things that make me happy....these are just at the top of the list....

-- Posted by sissy on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 5:37 PM

Actually your column made me happy- it is so nice to read positive articles..So many times all we hear is the negative. Thanks Nick!!

-- Posted by hotdogannie on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 9:14 PM

Watching and listening to my girls sing of their love for Jesus!

Spending time with good friends on the water, in the woods or just shooting the breeze.

Drinking a cold beer while laying on the beautiful beach at Anna Maria Island FLA!

Having some quiet time with my wife (which doesn't happen too often)

My quiet time with MY LORD!

-- Posted by on the Blood trail on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 2:47 PM

You ask, What are the little things that make you happy?

Tonight I had one of those moments.

My five year old grandaughter said, papaw, can I brush your hair?

I said sure.

She worked for about five minutes and said, papaw, you don't have very much hair.

Getting old isn't that bad!

-- Posted by Wiglund on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 11:54 PM

spending time with my husband, being loved, happy people, playful puppies, the beach, snow, rain, sunshine, full moons, birthday candles, sparkly things, the smell of coconut....and soooo much more!!!!

-- Posted by lilpatrietta on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 9:18 PM

Just enjoying a darn good cup of coffee watching the sun rise over the front range.

-- Posted by Lil' Hahn on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 12:56 PM

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