….and you know it, clap your hands…

christmas table

“Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.”

I read this the other day, on one of those nifty little quote-box-deals that people post on Facebook or Pinterest.  It came up for me on Google, when I was searching for something else.

But. It struck me.

Happy.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.

Well, in theory, this is pretty grand.  But in practice, it is a whole different story.  I mean, this isn’t Camelot….where the rain may never fall till after sundown.  Unfortunately.

I don’t intend to be all doom and gloom here.   We would all love to be happy, all the time.  Who wouldn’t?  I’ve even heard it said, that all we have to do is to choose to be happy.

Yet. It isn’t that easy for me.  And my life is pretty dang good.  Somedays, I just wake up sideways.  Other days, things go wonky as the hours tick by.  And then there are the times when we are sick, or sad, or lonely…  or the times when something bad happens.  It is hard to be happy then.

The other part of it.  I think the quote is referring mostly to what we “do for a living” in life.  Well.  Most people can’t make ends meet by being …. say…… a Street Mime.  Sure, that is what they have dreamed of their entire lives.  Yes, living the life of a Street Mime would surely make them happy.  But putting on a white pasty face, won’t buy a loaf of bread, in most cases.

I know from experience.  I gave the whole Circus-Clown-Mime thing a try.  But that didn’t pan out for me either.  Sometimes we have to settle for  flipping burgers.  Or running a cash register.  Or whatever.

I found this photo today.  Of my family, my youth.  Again, I was struck by how happy we all looked.  Albeit, it was Christmas morning and we were all trumped up on Egg Nog.  But truthfully….  when we start out, we have no idea how things are going to turn out for us when we are 50, 60 or 70 years old.

Thankfully, though… .. … we can find moments of happiness in most anything we do.  Or anywhere we are.  We just have to let go, of everything else in that second.  In that moment we see that… despite the fact that there is an avalanche approaching…..  that big bolder right there… looks exactly like Phyllis Diller.  And that part makes us happy.

Then it hits us.

Okay.  Maybe that isn’t the best example.

What I mean to say was once expressed rather nicely by Dale Carnegie:  “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” 

Or maybe this by James M. Barrie:  “The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”