Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp, but which,
if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

My African Violet is blooming again! It's been healthy and happy for a few years now, but I haven't been able to coax a flower out of it for a while. But today, there's a cheery little blossom enjoying the sunshine.

Diane, my friend and fellow Master Gardener, sent me the quote above, saying it was one of her favorites. When I asked what it meant to her, she replied, "We all have our 'to do' list of activities we need to accomplish in our pursuit of happiness. And perhaps, if we got off the treadmill, we could see that we are already... happy."

Isn't that the truth?

It sounds so corny, but I sure need to take time to enjoy the moments in my life. Not the big, 'this-is-so-fabulous!' kind of moments, but the tiny ones that added all together, equal true happiness. Like watching a bird having a great time washing itself in the birdbath the other day... or working hard to have the seams of my quilt block match up and being pleased when they do... or enjoying the feel of the sun on my face as I walked yesterday.

None of these things are life-altering, huge moments. But when I add them together, they show just how content I can feel when I become of aware of each small moment.

So maybe we all need to get off that treadmill Diane spoke of, and stop 'pursuing' happiness (even if our forefathers claimed it was an inalienable right!) Maybe we'd do better to just sit quietly and notice that happiness is already here.

Until next time...


thelittleenginethatcould said...

Great post! It's so true.
I am trying to find the joy each day in the little things. I will always have my to do list - the chores that never seem to end but you know there is a lot of joy INSIDE of my busy day. I just have to stop and breathe and then I can see it all in front of me!
I too love watching birds in the yard frolicking in water, our bunnies bouncing and leaping in the fresh air, the simple blooms of the Spring flowers,even the puffy clouds moving in the sky. It seems it's always the little things that make us happy! Sometimes we have so much going on we feel overwhelmed and forget what we do have what makes us happy and should be thankful for.
Have a great day!

HappyBlogChick said...

That is a wonderful quote. Thank you for sharing!

Ready Maid said...

Your friend has imparted great wisdom in her words, and because you were a ready student, the violet bloomed to confirm your new insight. Enjoy!

briy said...

Hi there!

I just joined the HYC, and this is such a nice post to read first. A nice little reminder that achieving weight loss goals aren't the only things that can make us happy. You're right--I know I sometimes get caught up in waiting for those big "Isn't life so fabulous?" moments that I miss the small stuff.

Anyway, good luck being "already happy!"

Hanlie said...

So true! I'm trying to implement mindfulness in every area of my life and it never ceases to amaze me how unengaged I've been with my life up to now... All these years I've been waiting for my life to start, only to realize that I was already halfway!

Kathy said...

There have been several times in my life when I've told myself that if I left this Earth right then, that I would have been content with all that I've been given. And those moments were not ones that were tied to huge celebrations or successes, but ones like sitting in my family room with the grandkids running around me or sitting contentedly with my husband. I am content and happy the majority of the time and that is a blessing!