What is happiness, really?

Today my Dad and I were talking about true happiness. I posed the question, “Do most people find true happiness or do most of us spend our entire lives striving to be happy but never really getting there?”

Neither of us knew the answer of course but Dad doubted that people actually know what will make them happy. I disagreed. From conversations I’ve had with friends, associates, loved ones – we do. We may not know how to get there but we know where we want to be and how we want to feel.

Most of the people I’m speaking of are in a similar age bracket – around their early 40s to mid 50s – but I know several younger and older who are working to find their happy.

As stated in the Declaration of Independence, all human beings unalienable rights are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And as Will Smith says during a moment of doubt in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, “Maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue. And maybe we can actually never have it no matter what.”

Is happiness really just all about the journey?

For some, happiness may be having no worry, being in control of all of the things in their life, freedom to do what is necessary, having good health. Others may view happiness as feeling good about who they are, being successful, living up to their full potential, spending time with family and friends, being able to do what they love every day, getting to know and love themselves for who they are.

For me, it’s balance.

Balance in my eyes is being fulfilled and at peace in every aspect of my life important to me. My marriage, my household, how I’m handling being Mommy, my relationships, my career, my health, my personal interests, my personal life and my finances.

I did not include my spirituality because that is the one thing that is constantly growing and a strong presence in my life.

I said to my Dad, “Why can’t I have a happy marriage, feel great about my household with my children, have a personal life and be successful in my career?” He didn’t have much of a response but just minutes before, he had communicated to me that he is usually unhappy.

Are we asking too much to be completely happy? Not just “I’m happy today,” or “I’m not unhappy.”

At times I think that asking to be happy in every area of life is asking too much. But I’m trying to believe that having it all is possible and that I’ll get there instead of always being in pursuit.

So, it is our unalienable right to live, be free, and pursue the life that would bring you happiness but happiness is not a right. Of course that was in 1776. A lot has changed since then.

The fact is, I refuse to accept anything less. I wake up every day and choose to be happy. Some days life comes and rips that happiness right out and replaces it with frustration and heart-ache but still, the next day, I wake up and choose happiness.

While we are on this journey of pursuit, there’s always a tall glass of wine, great music, toes in the sand, ice cream and a good foot rub.


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