Somebody said something to me the other day that caught me off guard.
"We are different people. I'm more of a home body and don't need to go extravagant places to be entertained or happy."
Was this statement implying that I need extravagant places or things to be entertained and happy?
I thought about it and had an inner debate. I questioned if the statement could be true, but knew in my heart that it was far from the truth. I fell asleep that night to thoughts and warm feelings of all things that make me happy and fulfilled.
To the outsider I am a jet-setter. I am seemingly never at home and constantly on-the-go. However, I can count on one hand the amount of times I traveled for leisure. I find pleasure in the simplest things.
Volleyball is my ticket around the world. The sport gave me the opportunity to see places I never thought imaginable. It introduced me to lifelong friends. I am grateful for that.
I find happiness in visiting my grandparents weekly. I find happiness in meaningful conversations with old friends and new. I find happiness in connecting with strangers over common interests. I find it by inspiring people of all ages to pursue their dreams. I am happy when I can be a listening ear or boost of confidence. I find happiness in witnessing my best friends become beautiful mothers.
Happiness is all around me. Happiness is the people I care about. I could go on forever.
I get joy from watching the young girls I coach compete and celebrate their success. I feel joy from watching my parents (married for 31 years) enjoy wine and conversation on the deck for hours. Visiting long lost friends, and realizing nothing changed brings me so much joy. Seeing my brother become a master of his many crafts brings me joy.
I find the most joy in laughing. Making people laugh is a close second.
Of course I enjoy doing things. I enjoyed sipping a coffee on the mountains in Switzerland. I enjoyed drinking Pina Coladas on the beach in Puerto Rico. I indulged in a few too many donuts in Melbourne. That was enjoyable.
However, my happiest and most memorable times happened because of the people I was with. I think my best friends would all agree. It is never about the city we are in, the bar we are at, or the event taking place. It is always about each other. That makes me extremely happy.
Watching the sunset from the Eiffel Tower was amazing, but I loved it even more from the car window with my Granny in the passenger seat. I swam in much bluer and clearer water, but I would take a muddy Manitoba lake with friends and family any day.
I find entertainment in roasting marshmallows around a bonfire, not dancing in VIP at a Vegas nightclub.
Everybody has their path to happiness. Some people enjoy material things, while others need very little. Never let somebody else tell you what makes you happy. Only you know what lights your soul on fire and makes your heart sing.
Sometimes we get caught up in searching for happiness in the big things. Waiting around for some event, accomplishment or milestone to bring happiness back into our lives. I am guilty of it.
I am sick of waiting for big moments to feel happy. It is so false.
If we get married, we will be happy. If I get a better job, I would be happier. If I lose twenty pounds, I will feel better about myself. If we had a bigger house, we would be content. If I went on a long vacation, I would feel better. If I won the lottery, I would be happy.
We sit around wishing for these things to happen. It is waste of time. Happiness is in all the small things that happen daily.
Why wait for a big moment when the most significant ones are all around us?
There is no right or wrong answer to what makes you happy. Everybody is different. But listen here:
A. Never let somebody else dictate your happiness. It is within you.
B. Think about what makes you happy. Write about it. Talk about it. Tell me about it.
C. When you feel it, spread it.
Putting my thoughts and feelings into words makes me happy, so that is what I did.