Yes, it seems today I am getting a bit philosophical. I often think about what makes people happy, and what has made myself happy over the years. Has it changed since my 20s? Do I have a different perspective on what makes me happy , now that I am older?
**Wiki “In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing, rather than simply an emotion.”In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may reflect judgements by a person about their overall well-being.” *credit wiki
I think about it as a choice. One chooses to be happy. I could certainly wake up, complain about what muscles hurt me today, how tired I am of dealing with this disease. Believe me, no one can be 100% positive all of the time, or happy all of the time. I choose to wake up and think about what I will accomplish for the day, as well as for what I am grateful.
I also know we don’t have control over many things in life, but our own happiness is something we have control over. I’m just thinking about some of the things that make me happy now at midlife. I’d love to hear your thoughts! On a surface level, you all know fashion makes me happy. It is not the material item itself, but rather how it makes me feel. Money itself doesn’t bring happiness, but rather a means for experiences which can make us happy.
I know when I was younger, happiness was about doing well in college, as I went to the Duquesne University School of Music. I would play bass in a band, and really enjoyed making music with my friends. Happiness later became working as a Music teacher. For me, I always felt in my element, and really enjoyed seeing the children advance, learn more about how to create music, improvise and write music. I was quite happy at my job, even though at the time I was overworked teaching music, PE and Math. As Music was diminished and of less importance in schools, I decided I could make the nearly the same salary teaching guitar and piano at home. This became my happiness, and quite fulfilling.
However, as time went on, I really started to think about what was most important to me in life. I always felt I gave over 110% at my job and yet, the appreciation of music was just not there. As I got older, I would listen to my mom say, Family is most important. Family is what makes me happy. I truly do feel this now at my life, as people around me are what bring me joy, and more happiness. Do you think about what makes you happy?
- Family. This really is my number one as far as happiness. I met a wonderful man, and where someone else may have given up, walked away or not handled my chronic illness in a lovely and caring way, he has. My immediate family is very close. I miss my Dad ( its only been a bit over a year) but we can share and confide in things with each other.
- Puppies: My pups are like my kids. I don’t have children ( hubby and I met later in life) but I love these guys with all of my heart. They show such love, are so fun, and make me laugh! I have always been a dog lover and continue to walk up to strangers to pet there pups! They are calming and so joyous to be around.
- Experiences: Being able to have a flexible schedule, we are able to enjoy ourselves going out several days a week, and will travel each year, making memories. Experiences for me hold a greater value than material items. We had wanted to go to Europe years ago, but my EDS got in the way. Today, my pain is more well managed, so we plan on seeing other countries and cultures.
- Myself: I wrote about Confidence at Midlife, in another post, and it has taken me years to feel happy and confident with myself. Younger years were spent with some insecurity and dissatisfaction with myself. Today I feel happy with the person I am, and try to be.
- The Little things in Life: I appreciate and can be happy over the “little things in life”. I love a relaxing bubble bath while listening to music. Being outdoors with the sun shining makes me happy.
What is your definition of Happiness at Midlife? Has it changed throughout the years?
Id love to hear from you!
Have a great weekend!