My Recipe for Happiness

You know how people talk about their “happy place”? Like the beach is my happy place or curled up in my bed with a book and a cup of tea is my happy place.

Well, I have come to the conclusion I don’t have a “happy place.”

I have a happy recipe.

See, I can be happy anywhere. I love our family week at the beach. The sand between my toes, the kids frolicking in the waves. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. But I also love the weekends when we have nothing to do but camp out in our living room watching movies and eating popcorn.

I love wandering around a corn maze in the fall with my family.

Just as much as I love solo morning runs on the trails in the summer.

I get a little eye-rolly when people share those introvert and extrovert articles on Facebook because I feel like a wee bit of both. I need my alone time, I get overwhelmed in large crowds and feel utterly saturated after being surrounded by people all day.

However, I also need those days. After a day or two of being alone and having time to myself, I crave connection. I want to go out with a group of friends, have people over for dinner or even just walk around the mall.

It has to be a balance for me.

I feel the same way about the whole morning/night person argument. I love staying up late, but I also have to get up early. So it’s a balance. I stay up late when I can and wake up early when I have to. Why do I have to pick one or the other? I never understood that.

Anyway, right now it’s 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. I just got back from picking up the 12-Year-Old for an overnight Laser Tag party. Last night the Husband and I stayed up late watching Stanger Things (I mean how could we not?!) so, yea, I’m exhausted, and it’s my first day off after a busy week.

I’m not going to lie, it sucked having to get up early on a Saturday morning to drive thirty minutes across town to get him, but all I kept thinking about was how happy I was.

I know. I know. Cheesy happy-person-shit, I get it. I should be miserable I have kids that need to be chaffered. I should hate my life because I need to wake up early on a day I don’t have to. Life sucks, blah blah blah.

Here’s the thing, I think that’s how I may have reacted just a few months ago. I was pretty miserable. Remember when I wrote, “When Everything is Great But Isn’t“?  Back then I was in a completely different headspace, and it got me thinking about why? Why do I fluctuate between these two states? I’m not just a naturally happy person. Sometimes I struggle with depression and sadness and feelings of complete, utter aloneness. Like the introvert/extrovert and morning/night person struggle, I live someplace in between, balancing the two and figuring out what works for me as I go along.

I think most people are like this, don’t you?  We think we need to place ourselves in some bucket to relate to others, but I just don’t think it’s that simple. Especially in the happiness department.

At 41 I may have finally perfected my unique happiness recipe and it looks a little something like this.

  • 1 part family time bonding and experiencing things together
  • 1 part connection time with the husband
  • 1 fulfilling job where I feel challenged, creative and appreciated
  • Daily alone time to recharge
  • A handful of social time with friends

When these things are in balance, I am in balance.

When I look back at times I’ve struggled with “a funk”, as I used to like to say, one of these things was always missing — The Husband and I weren’t on the same page, or my job sucked, or I wasn’t able to connect with friends. The recipe was incomplete.

I don’t think I found the ultimate recipe for happiness for everyone. This is my personal ingredient list, and it’s taken me quite some time to perfect the recipe.

I also don’t think now that I have perfected it I’ll just be happy. Recipes take work. I may run out of an ingredient next month, or one may go bad, who knows?

All I do know, is right now I’m happy, and I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

6 comments On My Recipe for Happiness

  • ❤️❤️❤️ I know which part of my recipie is not right. I’m quite frustrated on how to fix it and it is making me and (therefore everyone around me) miserable. I’m very happy for you. I do know how it feels to be in that sweet spot of life. I pray I find my way back to it.

  • I could have written this! You sound great, I’m glad things are back in balance.

  • I love this post Roni! It makes so much sense and it helps me to clarify what is missing from my “recipe” when I’m feeling depressed or disconnected. I am working on several of those areas that you defined. It’s so helpful to look at life as a balance and not label ourselves as one type of person; night/morning person, introvert/extrovert, etc. I’m 65 y/or and still learning this! Thank you 🙂

  • Love this!
    I am learning that I am very much the same way. I need my alone time just as much as I need my social time.
    What a great way to describe it.

  • Love this….Life Balance – we should all understand our own and strive for it!

  • I agree with you 100%. Some people label themselves as “loners” or “morning people” or whatever. I, too, feel I enjoy being ALL those things at different times. Balance, balance, balance. I think it’s the key to happiness. 🙂 Do whatever makes you HAPPY at that moment–do it and don’t put a label on yourself. Thanks for your insightful post.

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