I have found that happiness does not mean having everything perfect all the time. In fact, it seems when that is our focus happiness actually alludes us.
As I sit in my century old house with popcorn ceilings, an ugly yellow kitchen floor probably dating back to the 70s, and a grass-filled strawberry patch just beyond my window that needs hours of work, I could find things to be miserable about if I was so inclined.
Instead, I find happiness can be cultivated by finding and focusing on the little pockets of beauty and joy that surround our everyday lives. It is found when we have appreciation for these little pockets of perfection. It grows when we nurture little neglected corners of our space and bring beauty back to them.
When I look out my kitchen window or sit on my back deck I see the lilac arch. Lilacs bloom this week that were planted to border my property by occupants long gone. A path that has been worn through one section of these lilacs connects my little oasis with the outside world. Every time I return home I must pass though this lilac arch. As a writer I often muse what fairy tales I could create out of this lilac arch.
This lilac arch brings me immense joy. Today the air is heavy with the scent of lilac. Across from the lilac arch a robin has nested on the side of my house. Her babies arrived on Sunday. From a distance I have counted four young ones. Periodically mama takes a break sits on a lilac branch, watches me garden and chats to me. This is happiness.
Finishing my tea I will soon head out and spend just 15 minutes nurturing the strawberry patch. In time, that will become another pocket of happiness. What are your pockets of happiness? What space can you nurture to bring a little more beauty to your day?
We all have pockets of happiness surrounding us. The trick of course, with work commitments, busy families, health issues, money troubles and all the other ups and downs of life, is noticing these little pockets of perfection.