Home ยป Gratitude ยป {Week 1} – This business of being happy.

{Week 1} – This business of being happy.

Are you happy?

Am I happy?

What makes you happy? What makes me happy?

What is this thing we call happiness?

  1. the state of being happy.
    “she struggled to find happiness in her life”

That’s what the dictionary says. It is still a little bit wishy washy isn’t it? A state of being happy? What is happy?

  1. feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
    “Melissa came in looking happy and excited”

So based on that definition if I (or Melissa) walk into a room laughing because my baby did something cute or I heard a joke then it is assumed I am happy?

That assumption would be incorrect. Maybe I (or Melissa) was just retrenched or maybe the car just broke and there is no spare money to fix it or maybe a family member is sick or maybe you suffer a deep dark depression and were just faking the laugh.


It is such a difficult thing to define this happiness thing and an even harder thing to achieve. I am not talking about feeling pleasure, that is easy to feel in the moment but to feel a sense of contentment and pleasure continually, that is a little bit harder. It is hard because life isn’t all about happiness. Things happen, bad, negative, frustrating things happen that make us feel unhappy. We find ourselves in abusive relationships, soul destroying jobs or caught up in family dramas. This is the nature of life – we need the good with the bad, how then do we manage to reach a state of happiness?

We embrace it!

We focus on it!

We find the happy in the everyday, in the mundane, in the negative!

I joined a group on Facebook last year called Embrace Happy. It is the brain child of Karin and I am enjoying the group so much. One of the quotes Karin shared was “Not every day is a good day but there is good in every day“, this was my light bulb.



I have a slight flair for the dramatic, I had a whole blog post in my head about the walk into school yesterday morning in the rain. It was a 5 minute little trip but I could have written a 400 word post about it. I do tend to focus on the drama of a situation. I feel sorry for David sometimes, I think I exhaust him. Like Tuesday, my car wouldn’t start, I was at the kids school, Cam was at home with Emma (it should have been a 10 minute trip). I phoned David in a state shouting “My car won’t start! Cam is at home with Emma and I am here and the car won’t start ever and I am going to be stuck here forever and my 12 year old will have to look after the baby and I am a terrible mother and no one can help me”. Ok so I didn’t really SAY all of that but I might as well have because that’s what was going on in my head!

Anyway the point is, instead of getting out my car, asking the school for help, I have a small dramatic break down in the parking lot. Three months ago this little incident would have ruined my day. I wouldn’t have gone to gym because I got home later than planned (and obviously now I needed to spend the day finding money for a new car because my car was broken), I would have wallowed in the negative way too long. I didn’t do that this time. I went to gym and swam 30 lengths, I focused on my to do list and ended up having a really good day.

Everyday all the members of our Facebook group share 3 good things from the day. It is very similar to a gratitude journal but with support because some days, despite our attempts to focus on happy, are just rubbish but even on those days there are always 3 good things.

I am consciously focusing on the good, the happy, the things that bring me pleasure (like hot home made bread).

How easy is it for you to keep the focus on the happy? Do you also have a flair for the dramatic?

I am joining in on a 52 Weeks of Gratitude challenge, this challenge appeals to me because there are no rules, set time lines (if I miss a week, its ok).




  1. deborah
    15 January, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    Shew as much as we sometimes try to always be happy there does come a point where you just cant make it anymore. There are days when i wake up thinking today will be the day nothing gonna get me down but sometimes working with clients it just takes that 1 person to rain on your parade you know how it goes clients arent necesarily complaining about you personally but when you hear the same complaint 10 times in the day you end up taking it personally. Think Im gonna copy the quote you got from Karin and remind myself that there is good in everyday!

  2. 15 January, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    My motto “create your own happiness”. Like you say, focus on the good…

  3. 15 January, 2015 / 5:16 pm

    I don’t think one can be happy all the time…but we can be content and have a deep abiding joy. I have come to believe that it is a choice to find your joy and normally you only find it when you focus on the things you are grateful for.

    I am not dramatic…but I have a VERY dramatic daughter-in-law that I love to bits. She often goes off the rails and fortunately my son is the opposite so he keeps her grounded the way I am sure David keeps you grounded.
    Lynette Jacobs recently posted…Those unplanned MOMENTS…My Profile

  4. 15 January, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    I’m not dramatic…. much… but if I freak out, I calm down very quickly afterwards. I’m generally quite centred and do tend to see the big picture (not focus on the happy, but on the big picture) which is that we are all (if you’re reading on a computer) in the top 1% of the world and that, right there, is a reason to have a different perspective.

    is your car ok?
    Marcia (123 blog) recently posted…So let’s talk holidaysMy Profile

  5. 16 January, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    I think your FB group is a great idea – happiness is about being content with what you have and where you are. And I think you’re mastering that.
    I am working on it too. My personality is such that I tend to focus on what is missing instead of appreciating what I have, but Nicky is making me appreciate the moments so much.
    By the way I am very impressed that you are swimming so much!
    Heather recently posted…Handling Toddler TantrumsMy Profile

  6. 17 January, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m having one of those terrible days, perhaps it is a flair for the dramatic. I find that I have a good momentum going and then something bad happens or I have a bad feeling and then I hit a downward spiral and battle to pick myself up again.
    Kerry recently posted…2015: The year I go back to schoolMy Profile

    • Laura-Kim
      20 January, 2015 / 10:56 am

      Thats me too Kerry. It can be one tiny little negative thing in a day of positives but it knocks me. I am working on this though.

  7. Julia
    18 January, 2015 / 8:53 am

    As a person who struggles with depression, happiness is VERY VERY hard for me. No matter how good things are, there’s always that underlying sadness that is waiting to jump out of the shadows. I have big plans for happiness this year. I’m stopping the AD/s and I want to focus on doing this naturally. I do like that group. I need to get into the habit of posting everyday! I was also thinking of this happiness jar thing. Still deciding on that one.
    I am rereading The Happiness Project. Do you know it? Try to get it and work through it. There’s one theme per month to work on to help you reach your state of continued happiness.

    • Laura-Kim
      20 January, 2015 / 10:54 am

      No I don’t know it Julia but one of the ladies on Embrace Happy blogged about it today so it may be worth it to get it.

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