In Search of Happiness

   imagesCA4WYXBXApparently in this world, there is a treasure sought after by man that is more precious and desirable than gold but as elusive and unattainable as the Holy Grail. I’m speaking of “happiness”. Just take a stroll down the self-help aisle at Barnes and Noble and you will be blown away with the seemingly endless plethora of “How To” books on the subject. To underscore my point, I just typed in the words “finding happiness” in the search bar in the book section of Amazon.com., which resulted in 5,140 results – amazing, right?

Here are just a few of the titles: 21 Ways to Finding Peace and Happiness, The Happiness Solution, How to Be Happy, When Am I Going to Be Happy…and so on, just make up a title and I’m sure you can find it on a book shelf.

So what is going on? Has this been part of the human condition since the beginning of our existence? Has “happiness” always been a pipe dream? Am I happy? And what does that really mean to me anyway…hmmm.imagesCA02VTN3

Upon deeper reflection, I believe that happiness isn’t so much a state of being as it is an emotional reaction to my surroundings. In other words, when I hold a newborn baby, see a hummingbird land on my feeder or experience any number of life’s simple joys, I get a feeling or sensation that I have come to equate with “happiness”. However, I can walk in the house and turn on the news and hear about a mass shooting and quickly be overcome with emotions of sadness. So, in my experience, happiness is more of a fleeting emotion that comes and goes throughout thappiness-quote[1]he day and is in direct correlation to external stimuli.

People often ask me, “are you always this happy”? And of course, the answer is “no”. I have emotional ups and downs just like everyone else.  So what are they really asking? I think maybe what they are observing is that I am generally “content”. Now, contentment to me is a state of being that is with me whether I am sorrowful over a loss of a loved one, or rejoicing with a newly married couple. In my experience, contentment is static and is not related to my emotional ups and downs. So have I learned to be content or am I just wired that way? I suppose upon further analysis, the answer would be a little bit of both.

What do you think? How do you define yourself when it comes to “happiness” or “contentment”?images[2]

I’m excited to read your comments. Click on the “Leave A Comment” icon below to join the discussion!

The Joy Of “Spooning” . . .

And How It Gets All “Forked” Up!

We had dinner, went to a concert and then walked through the park holding hands. Later that night we had our first romantic moment. I still remember that first kiss as if it happened yesterday. It was so sweet, soft and perfect. But that is not the moment that really sealed the deal for me. It came a couple of weeks after our first date.

Love At First Spooncouple_spooning[1]

It was a very cool Fall morning, I remember I could see my breath when I walked to class. I couldn’t wait for lunch to come because the two of us had plans to meet at our favorite campus corner eatery. We ate our salads, held hands and made eyes at each other across the table. Then we both yawned. My classes were finished for the day, so I sleepily announced that I was going to go home and take a nap.  Hoping for a make out session, of course, Kev eagerly followed me home to “nap” with me. And then it happened. Fully dressed, not even under the covers…we snuggled for the first time. He wedged his warm body next to mine in the perfect spoon position. But, it is the crazy thing he did next that we still talk about to this day. He began to rock his foot back and forth . . .gently rocking me to sleep. I lifted my head up off the pillow and looked up at him in total amazement. “What? he said, in his confused “almost asleep” voice. I then joyfully proclaimed that I couldn’t believe he was rocking his foot because that is how I fell asleep every night. He was elated and very happy with himself. That was it! We were spooners…forever addicted to the sweet “ahhhhhhh” of spooning…or at least that’s what I had planned.

Mastering The Spoon

Over the next couple of decades, we took joy in attempting to master the art of spooning. Before children, we indulged in the “naked spoon”, a beautiful side by side, skin-to-skin human sculpture that required carefulspooning[1] placement of limbs, elbows and knees – with special  attention paid to those “sensitive” protruding body parts. Ah, the sweet agility of youth which made the nightly wedge so easy to achieve! In our twenties and thirties, our biggest decision before we fell asleep, was “who gets to spoon who” first.  And as all young adults do, we took it for granted that our nightly “snuggle-fests” would always be the way we would fall asleep . . .wrapped up in each other’s arms from lights out to sun up.

Age Happens

Fast forward thirty something years and here we are. The kids are grown up and live in different cities. We could run around naked 24/7 and no one would care now. But, somehow that just doesn’t seem as “cool” as it did when we both 21. The point is…we can if we want to! We still relish every night when we get to get in bed and snuggle…but our beloved “spoon” configuration has gotten a little contorted over the past few years. In fact, it has gotten totally “forked up”. Something happened between my 40th birthday and my 50th. My knees became extremely bony . . .as if they have zero padding covering the joint.

Pillow SabotageDownBedPillowsVer2[1]

So…that’s when pillow #1 joined our spoonageplaced perfectly – half between my knees and half between his. Not a big deal . . .his chest still close to my back and legs and feet carefully intertwined. Then my beloved was lifting weights and did something funky to his shoulder. Not cool! Now, introducing pillow # 2, a carefully placed flat selection that props his arm into just the right angle to keep his rotator cuff from screaming in pain. In the meantime, I had to purchase a therapeutic neck pillow to take care of my two pinched nerves in my neck. Trust me – there are no “sexy” neck support pillows on the market! They are thick, bulky and heavy, but a “must have” when you are suffering with cervical pain. So, the million dollar pillow under my head is so big, it makes it impossible to share our knee pillow. And now the man’s (once extremely athletically gifted and overused) knees are constantly a source of crunching noises and pain requiring a special pillow of their own. Of course we get crazy adventurous every now and then, and attempt once again to fall asleep in spooning position – our best attempt has been clocked at lasting (at max) five minutes before we recoil in pain and laughter, while simultaneously cursing (damn it my friggin shoulder) the perils of aging.

So there you have it . . .our once sleek, toned, beautifully unwrinkled “spoonable” bodies have reached the point of requiring 5 pillows between us to get a good night’s sleep. So what touches now? Our feet and toes are all that are left to freely find each other . . .think “fork” and you get the picture!

Consolation? Many nights we fall asleep holding hands, which is somewhat ironic. . .since that is the way this whole thing got started.

Sweet Dreams My Friends! ! And Happy Spooning!!!