How Happy Are We Really?

How happy are we really?  And, how happy are we meant to be?

There’s a lot of talk about finding our joy, or happiness, just now.  We’re told to look for the good in the every day.  We must seek it out, in case we forget what it looks like.  Or in case we forget how to find it.

Which in itself can just add even more pressure.  Am I happy enough?  Am I meant to be this ludicrously smiley person all the time, and never get upset, scared or lonely?  And if I’m not happy, will people think I’m miserable, and does that make me a bad person?

The truth is, none of us can be happy all the time.  Of course we can’t.  But that doesn’t mean we should put up with situations that are making us unhappy.  Nor should we feel that we’ve got to settle.

What’s happy for you, isn’t for me

And it’s also good to remember that what happiness looks like to me, will be different for you. Our happiness thresholds aren’t set in stone either, and what made us happy yesterday, can bring up very different emotions today. Because it’s all about context.

Some of the simplest pleasures in life can make us the happiest we’ve ever been.  Finding something that you thought was lost.  Mastering something for yourself without having to rely on anyone else.

Waking up next to someone gently snoozing on the pillow next to yours can either be one of the best feelings, or the loneliest, for example.  I’ve known both sides, with the same person.  Again, it depends on context.  There’s no one state or another that is the right fit for everyone. And what’s right for us today, may not be tomorrow.

And it’s not just the small things.  Even the biggest achievements or successes can leave us feeling deflated.  Years of effort and hard work, and yet we don’t feel any different or better for it.

Working towards something, assuming that it will bring us automatic happiness, is a sure way to cultivate more of the unhappiness.

But by being aware of what makes us truly happy – big thing or small – we can start to follow it, and seek it out.

We need to create our own definition of joy. No one can explain it to us, or tell us what we need to do.

So yes, go find your joy.  But do it just for you, no one else,

Photo credit:  Simon Maage via

What Makes You Happy?

Happy little boy laughing

When was the last time you were as happy as this little guy?  Like, TRULY happy?

Children have some obvious advantages over us stressed-out adults…

They can find the simplest things hilarious.  They haven’t got the fear of laughing at themselves (or us!).   And they have a brilliant ability to be completely in the moment, without worry about tomorrow, or next week, or ‘am I good enough?’

As we get older, we lose connection with the things that made us happy as children. Life takes over, and we see ‘play time’ as an indulgence. Something we probably only get to experience on our holidays. If we’re lucky.

Time to reconnect

But what if we could make more time to allow those things that brought us joy?

Is this something you intentionally plan for in your week? If I’m honest, I haven’t planned in fun stuff for a while.  It’s the once in a while, a luxury or a treat.

And mixing the ‘working from home/living at work’ scenario of the last year, mean that the kitchen table now probably looks more like an office, rather than a home for messy play.

Making time for joyous activities should be as much of a priority though.  It allows us to reconnect with ourselves and wind down our body and our mind.   It bolsters our connections with others when we participate in things together.  The act of carving out time itself for fun stuff, means that we see ourselves as important, and not just here to run the treadmill of necessary tasks.

Design Your Summer

If there’s one thing you could take away, think about what you want to remember about this Summer.  Do you want to remember get togethers, days out in the sun, or lounging with a good book?  Do you want to look back in the Autumn with fond memories of happy, sunny (or rainy!) days?

We get to design our lives how we want them, in general.  Yes, we have obligations and priorities.  But we all have free time. And how we choose to use it, is up to us.

Enjoy the sunshine whilst it’s here.  And create memories for when it goes.

Photo credit:  Ben White via

A Year Of More Joy

This is an exciting time of year for any fellow stationery lovers…new diary, new calendar, new planner, new journal!!

I love sitting down at the New Year and writing in all the important dates and appointments, however these are still a little bit thin on the ground at present (thanks Tier 4!).  But it’s still nice to have things to plan for, and look forward to.

When I looked back on how I spent 2020, I found that most of last years activity was based around work…work work, blog work, workout work.  2020 brought some much needed positive shifts and new opportunities of course, but there wasn’t much room for fun.

So this year, I’m making sure that I also allocate time to doing things just for the sheer joy or fun of it.  No expectations. No targets. No achievements.   Just taking time out to recharge and reset.

How often do we plan in appointments for the fun stuff?!  We make room for the other ‘stuff’, the non negotiables and the ‘I must do this’ diary notes, but including time to create the joyful moments and make the memories should be just as important.

When I look back at the end of 2021, I want to remember these times as well as the achievements – the smiles, the laughter, the warm glow of feeling happy.   

So welcome 2021 – the year of more joy.


Photo via