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Because I’m Happy…. sometimes, not really but I can fool myself

I’m listening to a TED talk about Happiness. Less is more, slow down, be in the moment. Blah, blah, blah. Especially scaling down to the tiny apartment where you live alone  will make you happy, that drove me crazy. I say, try living collectively, you might be more happy.    There is NO FORMULA for happiness, sadness, success, failure.  For me, I like living with other people. I would love to have 10 kids. I’m sure some of you would not want to follow my formula! I don’t have 10 kids but I’m still happy. That makes sense because the brain can accommodate and learn to live with just about anything. It just requires getting unstuck from the old goal and finding a new one.

“Have great stuff you really love,” “space efficiency”, “sinks which double as toliets”. Oh please, mr. Gearhead. Shut up! I read between the lines, don’t buy cheap stuff, buy the best ( more money). Why would I listen to this person?  He advocates “digitizing”. Take a picture of the shirt your mother gave you.Throw  away the shirt . I, on the other hand, advocate not spending any of your life taking photos, it takes you out of the moment.   I also advocate not listening to TED talks.  I would rather read a good in depth article than hear a motivational speaker any day. It comes from being an entertainer. I see how they are keeping things moving, using sound bites and anecdotes.   And don’t even get me started about the “research” and numbers.  I’m pickier about my research than I am about my friends!


What really matters is memorable “experiences.”  or so he says.  You would think I would agree with this. This is the part I really hate. Spend all your money on travel and classes, parties and fun.  I’m for finding fun in washing the floor, singing while I try to fix my bike.   Call me crazy but I find that addiction to “experiences and travel” is all fine and dandy but why is that better than just sitting alone reading if that’s something someone wants to do? Are people who don’t have the money to travel or jump out of airplanes less happy? I doubt it. Perhaps they travel in books or by walking down the same path everyday but looking closer each time. Perhaps there is joy in knowing that you don’t know anything, like even how to make yourself really happy, let alone everyone else.

Maybe I’m just unhappy. Perhaps I’ve worked in psychology too long and feel that lots of researchers and TED talkers are just talking out of their butts to justify their existence, their fees.

I suppose  these folks do not have depression.  We can create our own happiness. I know that, but everyone will have their own formula and that formula may change as life goes on. I need to have hope that happiness will return even though it may go away for a time.

Here are some photos of times when I was happy,


visiting my friend Rose Anne at Christmas time.



visiting Provence with my sister Beth


visiting my sister Ruthie




visiting my brother, his family and the town I grew up in.



It doesn’t always make me happy to look at the photos because then I always want to be on vacation and that is not a realistic goal.  Realistically, happiness is having the freedom to write this blog, Happiness is not being allergic to chocolate. Happiness is snow and  a good night’s sleep.   Happiness is shoveling.  Let me know what makes you happy.


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

8 responses »

  1. Oh I love your ‘Happiness is not being allergic to chocolate’! It’s a natural anti depressant by all accounts, so yeah, I’m mega happy about that.
    Our lives are full of happy moments. My happiest are those I’ve been able to share. I have no middle level, I am either Happy, or Not. It’s the Not days that aren’t nice and I had a whole 6 months of them years back. Luckily they are few and far between now.
    My world is Hubby and the Dog. I’m happy in my world. It’s the other swines that try to screw it up.
    Oh Happy Day (wasn’t there a song about that?) 🙂

  2. I like the idea of walking down the path and seeing something different every time. This matches my sensibilities. You do embody the “personal” approach, Joan! Inspiring to me! Be here now and all that. I’m trying to do small, helpful things for others. I keep forgetting, but I’m remembering, too. That makes me happy.

    • have you heard about the Anchorage Remembers project – for people over 50 to write a 1000 word or less piece about their intersection with the history of Anchorage? You or Brian must have stories!


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