Within or without?

Where does happiness come from?

Do you make your own or does it arrive as a gift from others?

These days I’m a relatively happy person. But then I’m lucky – a roof over my head, a partner to share life’s ups and downs, enough food on the table and no financial worries. It’s a good start and it means I don’t wake up every day fretting about the practicalities of life. But after that, I think it’s probably more about attitude than anything else. We all know that waking up feeling cross or sad or scared (for whatever reason) sets the tone for the whole day, whilst starting out feeling positive generally results in a much better day.

So, with my positive hat on (ooh – perhaps I should make one), here are some (simple)things that have made me happy recently…

Gosh, I realize now that my ‘happy’ certainly originates close to home: eggs from our hens and things made from them (ice cream and French toast), a spot of mending, some (British wool) knitting and a jar of honey from some friends’ bees. The preserved fruit that went with the French toast came from further afield, but I did bottle it myself… only the maple syrup was not a product (at least in part) of my own work.

Clearly what makes me happy is domesticity. How about you?

 

 

 

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32 Comments

  1. Spending time with friends and customer’s, especially when it seems we have made a difference for them. Giving things and helping out friends when they are in need. Seeing hoggies in the garden and completing outstanding projects.

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  2. Like you I am lucky enough to have the basics sorted. I think the best answer I can give is that I feel connected – to this place and to a network of people, mostly fairly local. And I pay very little attention to the things over which I have very little influence such as politics! Saves a lot of pointless angst.

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  3. Chatting with pretty girls
    Digging the ground
    Walking scenic routes
    Isolation…. To an extent…
    My cat

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  4. What a great question! And I love that you love your domesticity! Like you I have learned that I am responsible for my own happiness or sense of contentment. I cultivate it every day and work at maintaining it. I am happiest when by the sea. I think I know myself best in that air. I enjoy making dour or unhappy people smile back at me. Apart from that I make myself happy by making and then gifting my makings. I am content when creating something – and that can be as simple as following the pattern for the Persian Tiles and seeing one tile completed. Finally, I am very happy with my simplified life, my small but loving group of friends and my daughters. And, oops, almost forgot the little fellas 🙂

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  5. I also find domesticity satisfying. And of course, you know what pleasure I get from sewing and making things. I enjoy the fact that these things literally lie in my own hands, that I can make my own happiness. Travelling with the Husband and visiting the amazing places this country has to offer, books, good coffee… simple pleasures, but ones with a lot of meaning.

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  6. I feel so blessed that I have all my basic needs met and can live the life that I want to live. Being retired also helps with that. ☺️ It makes me feel very content, which makes me wonder what the difference is between happiness and contentment. Is happiness a more active emotion? A more fleeting one perhaps? Can one be happy for sustained periods? We can certainly be content for long periods of time. Ahh, philosophical questions at 9:00 on a Wednesday morning!
    I am always very happy when I am with my family and others that I love, gardening, creating, domestic things. But also I am happy when I exploring new places. Thank you for making me think ~ yet again!!

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  7. I struggled with happiness in my early years not fully understanding what it really was. Now I know that when I open my eyes each morning and realize I have another day to make a difference and take a deep breath of air while enjoying the rain, clouds, cold, or whatever comes my way, I’m gifted with life and completely content. My days are full of ups and downs, joys and a few concerns but by and large, I’m deeply grateful to be still breathing and participating on this fine day. I don’t need a new anything. Who would have thought happiness would be so simple. It’s always the simple things, isn’t it? 😉

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  8. Having spent the past two days delightful entrenched in domestic activities (baking and sewing), I have to agree with you that happiness can be found at home. Although there’s no French toast in my home right now, which is making me very unhappy. ;))

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  9. I think some people spend too much time waiting for the next ‘big thing’ to happen in their lives to make them happy and, meanwhile, all those little moments that can bring pleasure and contentment – and can happen every day – pass them by.

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  10. Oi vey, such a Big Question! I am just reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson. I’ve never read his blogs, nor do I enjoy seeing him on youtube and hearing him speak, but what he has to say in this book is incredibly nail-head hitting, well-expressed and funny. I’m not off topic – I’m saying all this because one of his ideas that struck me just last night, reading in bed, is that our happiness lies in solving problems, making things happen for the better, on whatever scale. First is to identify the problem, then to take responsibility for it, then to work on a solution. Simpler said than done, depending on the size of the problem, obviously, plus one’s own ability to be truly honest with oneself, but I like it. I’m going to see how it works for me….
    In the meantime, I find that making things that other people want to buy makes me happy (and it’s not just because of the money that is earned), communicating with people I love and who love me, and planning a new domestic beginning with my chosen person. It also makes me happy to see other people happy.

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  11. Whilst it’s certainly up to the individual to enjoy things in life, saying we are responsible for our own happiness ignores depression. Many years of chronic debilitating depression would not have been mitigated by me enjoying egg on toast…

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    • So true – in my younger days I suffered from depression… certain drugs helped a bit, but it took time and changes in my life before things started to improve. I have been very fortunate not to suffer so severely for a long time now and perhaps that makes me appreciate my life even more.

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  12. Laurie Graves

     /  April 18, 2018

    Yes, all things to make you happy. For me it is writing—words and stories. To be able to write and sell books brings me joy. Everything in my life revolves around this.

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  13. The love of a good friend, Spring in the garden and my dog!

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  14. If only I’d known how to be happier in my younger days…. but then I wouldn’t possibly have my daughter, have learned to crochet or girafe, have set up a forest garden and just had so much fun watching the birds in it!

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  15. ‘Girafe’ should be ‘forage’.

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  16. Happiness may be a struggle for some – and possibly overrated. But contentment is bliss. As is French toast. And pancakes.

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  17. Things like Sunshine, wool, nice people, trees, doing domestics, sewing and knitting and laughing!!
    The absence of things that make me unhappy (the list of which depends on mood and circumstances) do not necessarily make me happy – the conundrum of happiness is that it is personal to you.

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  18. My guess is that many of us who visit you regularly share your sources of fulfillment–a craft well-made, a meal with authentic ingredients, the whole package. We *just* finished french toast for breakfast and I feel happier already!

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  19. That’s a whole lot of happy! Any day that contains homemade French toast and ice cream is going to be a pretty good one, in my book at least. A lot of my happiness also comes from what I can make by myself at home, but the biggest thing these past few years has been leaving the world of full-time work behind. Highly recommended! Enjoy all those tasties 😀

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  20. What a gentle, lovely, heart-warming post. There are so many things that make me happy but more and more I find I am happiest when I am alone, walking in nature and/or in my own creative space, both mentally and physically. ❤

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  21. I have been doing a daily happiness challenge this year, and the things that feature most regularly are health, sleep, sunshine, rain, nature, family, friends, and books. And sometimes just remembering that I have food, shelter, warmth and a sense of purpose.
    I have found that even in the depths of worry it is possible to find things to be happy about.
    Todays happiness has been having the back door open all day because it is sunny and warm.
    A useful exercise for us all.

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    • It’s very easy to forget the good things when we are overwhelmed with worry… making time each day to think of something nice is incredibly good for our mental health.

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  22. Singing has to be top of my list; even the foulest mood can’t survive a choir rehearsal! Also creating things (cake, amigurumi, birthday cards etc), and trying out new skills.

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  23. You are really lucky to have all these. God bless you.

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