Happiness

A perfect lawn in my book

Yesterday, I made a mistake. I went to see someone in order to comfort them on a difficult day. No good deed going unpunished, I ended up being criticized and disapproved of for the entire duration of my visit. No one to blame but myself, really, for the person in question tends to deal with hurt by hurting others. I knew this, I had seen it (and certainly been at the receiving end of it) before but I’d conveniently forgotten about it.

In the end I made some excuse, went home, sat down at the kitchen table and felt thoroughly sorry for myself. The Husband had gone grocery shopping and to the gym, so I knew he would not be back for another couple of hours, which wasn’t helping. It’s amazing how bad you can feel after having concentrated disapproval directed at you for what probably was only an hour or so but felt much longer, and I really could have done with some reassurance.

Suddenly, I heard the house door open and the Husband coming up the stairs. He told me that he had been listening to NPR on the car radio on his way from the grocery store to the gym. Talk of the Nation was on and the topic happened to be “happiness” and was all about how 90% of happiness is contentment, and how marrying the right person is a great factor in your happiness and how you’re three times more likely to be happy after ten years if you’re married than if you’re not. (The Husband and I have been together for ten years, even though we only got married a few months ago.) So he was listening to all this and decided to skip the gym and go home to his “lovely wife” instead — his words, not mine, and really all the reassurance I needed. Thanks NPR. (Talk of programming on demand.)

This morning, as I was having my first cup of tea in bed (brought up by the Husband because he is really very nice and knows how much I enjoy a cuppa before starting my day), I was thinking about all of this and watching the sky outside the bedroom window. It was all grey and octoberish but suddenly, the cloud cover opened and there was a lovely spot of blue:

Quick cellphone snaphot only -- the black thing on top is a bird silhouette on the window to prevent birds from crashing into it

You can listen to Talk of the Nation here (or search for it in iTunes). The title of the episode is “How to ‘Thrive'”. Go here to listen to Grant Lee Buffalo’s song “Happiness”, which is not a happy song at all but lovely nonetheless. (Never mind the video — it’s somehow the best version of the song I can find.)

Wishing everyone lots of blue spots in the grey sky…

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