Friday, November 8, 2013

Happiness - How To Be Happy

We've now shared with you a little about the house, what it looks like, some of its problems and some of its whimsical charms.  We wrote that we would like to have more balance and serenity in our lives, and some of the things we find important in order to find that balance.

As we go along we will continue to share:

>>different projects around the house that we have undertaken (and will continue to undertake).

>>steps we're taking to create more balance and serenity in our lives.

>>obstacles and blessings we encounter along the way.

In each post, we plan to either focus on what's been happening with the house OR finding balance in our lives, but we will also include a short blurb about the other topic.  One thing I've been thinking about when seeking balance is happiness.  What does it mean to be happy?  It's interesting to read about different perspectives on happiness.

Wikipedia defines happiness as:
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

And they have this popular image on their "happiness" page...

I've read there is an epidemic of depression in the United States, and looking in bookstores and online there is a plethora of books about happiness - how to get it, where to find it, why it's missing, and on and on.  Type "happiness" in the search bar at Amazon and there are 159,888 results.  Google it and there are 197,000,000 results.  To borrow a saying from one of The Big Bang Theory characters, Penny, "Holy crap!" That's a lot of results!

I sometimes wonder if we have a false expectation of happiness.  I have been reading Dr. Andrew Weil's book, Spontaneous Happiness.  I find it interesting, as I have many of his books.  He writes that we all have our normal ups and downs, but the trick is to not get stuck there. I believe we should not dwell in a negative mode -  that thinking positively and have optimism are very important, but I also wonder if happiness is the same for everybody.  You see people in the most dire situations that seem to be truly happy - smiling and joyful. 

He also writes about serenity.  I think I have experienced serenity (if momentarily).  It was different from just everyday feeling okay.  It felt like true peace, as if I was exhaling after being tense for a long time.

At any rate, I'm look forward to reading more about happiness.  Not necessarily to learn how to BE happier, but just to contemplate what we, as a society, believe happiness to be and to draw my own conclusions about happiness, emotional balance and serenity.

There are several books I want to read. Here are some of them:


This is the one I am reading now by Dr. Andrew Weil:

As we start our new life here at Huckleberry Hill, we are trying to lighten our spirits some.  Things were hard for a while (with Rich's treatment, financial and work difficulties), so now we are trying to shift gearsThinking patterns that are created over a period of time don't just go away. One of the things we love to do is watch something funny everyday, and preferably right before bed, so we go to bed with lightness in our hearts.

Two of our favorite laugh 'til you cry shows are:
The Big Bang Theory (My uncle introduced us to this show. It's hilarious!)

Some of our favorite belly-laugh movies include:
Date Night
Galaxy Quest
50 First Dates
Blast from the Past
Sex in the City  

Rich worked on the foundation of the house with my dad.  They needed to replace some rotten beams on the northwest side.  What an awful job.  He had to crawl under the house along with our spider population.  We have a ton of spiders - yuck, but the house is fixed.  He needs to button-up the side a bit.  Otherwise it is strong and stable.  He will be replacing the floor in that back corner, but that will wait until next spring.

He had to replace the section all the way from the left to the bay window on the right.  He also put in the new French doors to no where at this point until we get deck rebuilt.


Until next, smile, smile!



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