What did I see? Only a few blankets draped over our dining chairs. What did my daughter feel? Happiness in its purest form. Last week my husband created a makeshift tent in our living room. He placed a brown throw over four chairs. On the ground, he created a soft cushion, layering blankets on top of each other. As soon as my daughter saw it, she said “It’s a tent, Daddy. Can we sleep in it?” So for two nights, my husband and my daughter made shadow puppets with flashlights, watched Toy Story 3, and told stories underneath this indoor tent. I heard her giggle bubble over at various times during the evening.
Her happiness emanated with an intensity I could touch. And it wasn’t complicated. It made me think of my own happiness. As adults we overcomplicate happiness, thinking it resides in chasing, doing, or achieving something, convincing ourselves that we will be happier if we do or get ___________. You can fill in your own blank. I think we forget that simplicity garners and offers the most happiness. After witnessing my daughter’s joy, I decided to compose my own list of happiness. And I learned, that really, the essence of happiness resides in pockets of simplicity.
Drinking my Starbucks Chai Latte and eating a blueberry scone.
Hearing from an old friend.
Reading and writing. And reading about writing. Talking about writing. Blogging.
Running early in the morning with my favorite running buddy, Kerry.
Playing Words with Friends on my iphone.
Getting together with my book club people or my writing group. They are the best.
Late night Sonic stops with my husband. Try a cherry limeade. Don’t skip the mozarella sticks.
Receiving a card, letter or thank you note. I love going to the mailbox anticipating what may be waiting for me.
Balancing our checkbook.
Midafternoon phone call to my sister.
Cuddling with my daughter. Hearing her laugh.
Reminiscing about my Dad with my Mom.
Listening to music and singing in my car.
Falling asleep while watching a movie.
Date nights with my husband.
Ice cream sundaes.
What simple happiness moments are on your list? Please share them. I’d love to hear them.
Image by crdotx
Thanks for bringing back the wonderful memories of building tents and forts in the living room with the kids…good times!
Glad you could reminisce Suzicate. I suspect this is a memory I will retain and revisit when my daughter is a “grown-up.”
Forts and tents are great fun!
It’s raining as I type this and it reminds me how much I love lounging with a cup of tea and a good book on rainy days.
Book and coffee and rain. Can’t wait to experience this in a few short days!
Simple happiness is really what it’s all about. I love it when my kids come looking for me…even though I’m always here. Oh and People magazine. 😉
I love that they come to look for you. So adorable and it made me smile reading these words. And yes. I’ve perused through a few People and US magazines too.
I used to love building forts out of the reclining chair in my parents’ living room! And just last night my 3yo and I were “camping” in our playroom. I love that this seems to be a universal diversion.
Simple happiness? Let’s see, today there’s the first sip of morning coffee, a smile from my 4mo, no bills in the mailbox.
Thanks for the reminder to stop and count our blessings.
I like how you classified it as a universal diversion. It’s a basic of happiness, I think. So much of what we all enjoy, if we all sat down, is probably surprisingly similar. Always love your comments Kristen.
I loved the forts my brother and I built. 🙂
Now I love to be with my boys, that’s the best.
Reading and writing while drinking my coffee is a delight.
Coffee seems to be a universal indulgence for happiness.
My husband built this fort for my daughter because he also loved doing the same with his brother when they were growing up.
I took 15 minutes today to sit outside in a chair, with a book. It wasn’t long, but it was delicious.
Glad you got to bask in that 15 minutes of happiness. Hope that feeling carried over throughout the day.
A sparkling clean kitchen
Finishing the laundry
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
Good report cards
The sparkling clean kitchen is one of my favs too. I don’t know why I left clean, organized rooms off my list, but I also relish in happiness when the space I occupy is tidy. I am also a fan of Dunkin Donut chocolate sprinkle donuts.
I will never forget the first time my husband built a fort in the family room with my toddler sons. They thought he was the most awesome dad EVER! (And he still is!) Thanks for the nod toward appreciating the simple things!
Like Kristen said, this fort and tent theme seems so universal. Tonight, again, Daddy and daughter are setting up tent and are having a play picnic. She has so much fun with it.
I am not at all surprised that we have so many of the same happy things. And truly, these should be the things that define us!
I completely agree Christine. Maybe the new cocktail question should be “What makes you happy?” instead of “What do you do for a living?” I think the happiness list reveals far more than some label.
Ahh..my kids love the blanket tents!
My early morning runs then coming home to a still-sleeping, quiet household
Writing something that moves me. Reading something that moves me.
A perfect, sweet blackberry.
When my toddler rests his head on my shoulder, or when we laugh together.
Love your list Cheryl with one caveat: a perfect sweet strawberry.
Wait, are you serious that balancing your checkbook makes you happy? Can you come do mine?
Seriously, though, I think it’s great to take moments to realize the simple things that make us happy. Every night, our family talks about something that makes us grateful. It changes the whole mood of the dinner table, especially when the kids are complaining that they don’t want to eat. (The only thing they’re grateful for eating, it seems, is chicken nuggets.)
I may sound crazy, but I’ve always loved balancing checkbooks. Before going to graduate school, I worked as a bank teller and delighted in balancing the drawer every night. Strange quirk, but I can’t explain why I like it so much.