Years ago, I worked with a young woman who was always happy, always smiling.
She was sweet, but it drove me nuts.
As I told my brother, who worked in the same place but a different department: “It’s like they know something we don’t know.”
“No, we know something THEY don’t know” was his reply.
So yes, I’m deeply suspicious of people who are seemingly happy all the time.
(All of the above is mostly in jest, but to be serious, if you’re acting happy for public consumption but hiding a serious problem, get the help you need.)
But since March 20 is the International Day of Happiness, I thought about what makes me happy.
— My wife makes me happy, even if we’re just exchanging bad puns over a cow getting loose on the Major Deegan Expressway.
— My family and friends make me happy.
— Going to games makes me happy.
— Eating good food makes me happy. (A coworker told me that today is National Ravioli Day; eating ravioli makes me happy.)
— Listening to great music makes me happy. I’ve stared listening to Maren Morris on my wife’s recommendation, and while all her stuff is great, “Common,” her duet with Brandi Carlile is an absolute banger.
— Playing pickleball makes me happy. If you wonder whether I’m having any fun as I spit and sputter and curse at myself, believe me when I tell you I’m having a ball.
— Being able to turn the thoughts in my head into writing something coherent makes me happy. And the realization that people actually read it makes me happy.
If I thought about it longer, I’d probably have a longer list, but the main thing is that I realized I’m happy when I let myself be happy.
Again, I’m not wired to always be happy, but sometimes, you can’t help but enjoy a baby trying chocolate milk for the first time.
I’m 46, and chocolate milk still makes me happy.