- 1769, Oxford Standard text, Bible (King James), Psalms, 144, xv,
- Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
- 1777, Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man in Four Epistles: Argument of Epistle II, in The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Esq, Volume III, page 26,
- The learn'd is happy nature to explore, / The fool is happy that he knows no more ;
When I was growing up, I had a very simplistic understanding about what it would take to be a happy adult. I thought that if I did as I was told and followed the prescribed path, everything would turn out fine. It was all laid out in a pretty straight forward way by my parents; go to school and get good grades, go to college and get good grades, get a job and work hard at it, meet the partner of your dreams, get married, have kids.
What I didn't truly understand until I actually got out into the world was that there are so many things that can happen to knock you off of your path at every step. Of course these chaos causing events do not happen to everyone; some people do actually get to travel along undisturbed. I know people who have been blessed like that, and while I don't think that they have to work too hard at being happy; the best of them cultivate a practice of gratitude and paying it forward. But for the rest of us, we either let the chaos make us miserable, or we choose to be happy, and do what ever work is required to maintain a happy demeanor.
So how do we choose happiness? For me, it's a matter of focusing on the good, and feeling a joyful gratitude for its presence in my world. If I find myself getting cranky, I stop and spend a few moments reflecting on something joyful, or indulging in something that I enjoy. A few moments of play with my Maltese fur babies are a perfect mood elevator! They are so full of love and energy, and literally jump for joy whenever I walk into the house. I am extremely grateful to have them in my life, and grateful too that I can care for them and give them a good home. I also feel fortunate that the mister loves them as much as I do! As someone who always owned large dogs, he certainly did not expect to be so attached to these little ones. We're so lucky!