If I was able to come up with a one-fit-all post/formula for happiness, I bet I would get a lot of traffic and maybe money. Alas! This dummy does not have that ability. I’m just barely scratching the surface of it for myself – like a frustrated old hen.

How does one define happiness anyways? Is it just the absence of sadness, a full belly, clothes on the back and a roof over the head? I have it all except maybe I’m a tad sad now and then. I have bouts of dissatisfaction, anger, disappointment, pain, mental anguish….I am not sure if there is an end to my list. Does this disqualify me from the happy crowd? Then there’s my childlessness and, of course, grandchildrenless. And lack of a husband most of my life. Not that I have one now. I have what is called a ‘companion.’ Somehow I feel I lack the legitimacy and respect of being a mother or wife.

There are so many things that could exclude me from the happiness club. But I feel oddly at ease and peace with myself today doing the mundane business of living amid the chaos of clutter, dog hair and a dog padding behind me wherever I went. I feel almost like I was happy. I AM happy, come to think of it. I enjoy the simpleness and slowness of my life. I have no one to answer to or impress –  except myself now that I am an adult, a senior citizen on a pension. Once upon a time, that alone commands respect.

  1. I guess the number one in my Happiness Manual would be to respect myself.
  2. Be responsible for myself. It’s not possible for someone else to make me feel ‘happy’ or unhappy. They could give me some help but I would only accept the help that lift me up. I would turn down the others.
  3. My favourite is from Regina Brett’s God Never Blinks. No matter how I feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  4. I have a Sheba/pet/plant/something living. I take good loving care of them.
  5. Bake bread, make soup, and maybe learn how to cook like Jamie Oliver. I haven’t got that kind of patience – yet.
  6. Make art, music, sew, knit, crochet…I continue to learn something new creatively.
  7. I joined an aerobics/exercise class. I do yoga and qigong sometimes.
  8. I learnt how to swim and ride a bicyle. I did both when I was well passed adulthood. I started in the Absolute Terrified swim class. Took me a whole summer to learn how to float. I was in a bad depression, too. The other morning I swam 10 lengths in 15 minutes and then went to my step aerobics class. I can ride a bike but I still need more practice to feel comfortable.
  9. Read crime thrillers and scary books. They calm me and take me out of myself into a different world.
  10. I could go on and on. There are so many ways for us dummies to be happy if we give it some thought. Above all else, we can always love ourselves more. We don’t have to go shopping or a spa to do it. I just hug myself and the fur baby.
  11. Oh, one more. I try always to speak in the first person singular. It’s all about me.

How does your manual read?



  1. I wish I knew the answer, Lily. I consider myself a very happy person, maybe to the point of annoyance to some people. I’ve offered advice in the past but I don’t think most people really understand. I guess my manual reads like this: I feel like I’m here to work hard, to play hard, and to enjoy every minute. Sometimes there’s real pain, but that just makes the good times that much sweeter. We don’t live in the middle ages, we have cars and computers and fluffy pets. Life is simply amazing! In a nutshell, that’s it. I could go on and on, but then there’s the annoying part of it… I always enjoy reading your blog. All I can say is keep working at it, Lily! Your annoying online friend, Des

    1. Thanks, Des! You don’t annoy me at all. It seems that happiness for me is working at life. I find it very fascinating also. I talk about it alot, too. An annoyance to many people and myself to be sure. 🙂 I do have a lighter side but I don’t think other people see it. Your manual reads very well.


  2. Looking at your list, you seem to be enjoying life to the max. Perfection doesn’t really exist, does it? However, in my humble opinion, perfect happiness does and it is in the heart of the one who experiences it. Thanks for this inspiring post!

  3. Another great and insightful post. All I can say is we all have issues! Happy, unhappy, joyful, joyless and seeking the perfect balance…such is life which is a blessing! Carry on with your list, you are a wonderfully talented lady!
    I just downloaded a book for vacation reading calle “Old in Art School “by Nell Painter. Being such an avid reader you may have already come across this one.,Looks to be right up my alley and may be of interest to you as well. Since my Bells Palsy I have a weepy and very dry eye and find reading a challenge but I’m going to give this book a try.

    1. Thank you, Terry! I haven’t heard of the book but I’ll look it up. Sorry for the Bells Palsy. Are you on Prednisone then? Hope you recover soon.


      1. The BP is residual issues I have from when I had it 6 years ago. I recovered about 90% which is pretty good. Still hoping for more but I doubt it and have learned to live with my crooked smile😏

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.