With just a few days left in this month I wanted to talk about another aspect of happiness and joy, one that might puzzle us about it: it’s changing nature. Simply, what makes us happy changes from day to day. What makes you happy today may make you happy tomorrow, but what made you happy as a child probably won’t bring you the same amount of happiness anymore. For example you were thrilled as a child to eat certain baby foods or play with certain toys, if you tried those foods or toys today they would be barely interesting and probably gross, even though they did make you very happy once upon a time.
I think we’re able to accept the changing nature of happiness because it is exactly that: happy. It’s bringing us good things to our lives, rather than challenges and frustrations that we deal with when they’re things that don’t make us happy. What’s not always easy is learning that what used to make us happy doesn’t any more or just isn’t what we remembered when we get to have it again. I’ve been dealing with that a lot this holiday season as I’ve had a few very small tastes of foods I used to eat and they just haven’t measured up to my memories (probably a good thing).
Finding new things that make us happy are part of growing, and make the challenges of change and growth worth it. Unfortunately we all too often forget about those opportunities or they’re overshadowed by the hardships that we face. So each day I would encourage you to take time to review one lesson you’ve learned, one challenge you’ve faced and one blessing or good thing that happened. Some days will be more challenging for you to find all 3, and other days you’ll be able to list more than one for each category. It’s a great way to head into the new year, and a great habit to have for your life.
“The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.” Charles L. Morgan