What Makes You Happy?

Nothing makes me happy the way chocolate does. And pizza. Not together, of course.

But that kind of happiness doesn’t last long. And too much of that kind of happiness could take my weight back up from 147 to where it was five years ago, over 200 pounds.

Hmm. I’m not an overly materialistic person; I pay strict attention to the family budget and to the amount of space we have. Still, wouldn’t a $2500+ Taylor guitar or a BMW sports car make me happy?

Both of those things would bring a different kind of happiness and one that might seem more permanent than pizza and chocolate.

But I know enough about myself and about happiness to know I wouldn’t ultimately be any happier if I had both of those things. Even if I didn’t reach the point of taking them for granted, either of them could be stolen, damaged, or destroyed. And where would I be then?

Would I cease to be happy if something happened to either of those things? Or to favorite photographs and recordings that couldn’t be replaced?

Nope. I would undoubtedly be upset at first, but then I would count my blessings. And I would remember that my happiness is not dependent on things.

Looking back at my seventy years of life, I can pick out a number of successes (and ignore a number of failures). Things I’m proud of. But does the memory make me happy? Not really. Not anymore. Especially if I’m failing to do anything noteworthy now. The happiness I gained from having three novels traditionally published has faded into remembered pleasure. But it’s the next book that will bring happiness of sorts…until that fades and I must focus on the book after that.

Happiness is an odd bird, isn’t it? One that won’t remain in its cage, even with the door shut.

Nonetheless, I am happy. Not usually an exuberant kind of happy, but a peaceful kind of happy.

Peaceful? Now there’s the secret. Happiness and peace are very similar, and peace isn’t necessarily the absence of violence or of conflict. It’s an attitude. We can decide to be happy.

Yes, it’s easier when everything’s going right, but it’s not dependent on that. When our relationships with God, other people, and even with ourselves are the way they should be, peace is a natural byproduct. And that peace brings happiness.

So, what makes you happy? Are you conscious of the effect of good relationships in your life? Or of bad relationships? Please leave a comment.

I’d like to express my thanks to Andy Stanley for his video series on happiness. Although we’ve only seen the first program so far in our Wednesday night Bible study, he inspired some of the ideas I elaborated on in this post.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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Best regards,

Happy House-Husband


(Click on picture for larger image.)

When I retired at sixty-two to write novels full-time, I didn’t realize that writing full-time was going to be even more tiring than going to work every day. Nor did I anticipate other ways my life would change.

Although I don’t have to get up at 6:30 on weekdays when my wife does, I enjoy doing it because fixing our breakfasts (we don’t eat the same thing for breakfast)  is a great thank you for the many things she does for me.

Summer can be a drag, though. Despite what seems like weeks of drought, the grass seems to need cutting at least once a week. And it always seems to exceed the easy-to-mow height before I can get to it. Oh, and did I mention that I have to mow early before the temp gets too hot? And that means mowing while the grass is still wet. That makes for quite a workout for a mower that doesn’t propel itself.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “This post is supposed to be about ‘happy’…”

Whoops! Sorry. I may not like having to mow, but it’s good exercise. And the lawn does look MUCH better when I’m finished. Plus, my wife always praises me for getting it done. A guy never outgrows his need for praise.

Vacuuming is another of the chores I do. One reason I’m willing to talk about this with a smile is my wife doesn’t push me to do it. If I do it once a week or every two weeks, she is equally tolerant. Perhaps because I don’t push her about any of her chores.

After supper, she washes and I dry. The dishes, that is.

Laundry is mine to take care of, too. I do a load of whites/lights on Thursday and a load of darks on Friday. By spreading the load–pardon the pun–over two days, I have less to put away either day. If Kathleen wants the bed linens done, she does those on Saturday, and all I have to do is help remake the bed.

Throwing things into the washer, transferring them to the dryer, and putting them away takes very little time and effort. That makes laundry my favorite task.

We own very few clothes that need ironing. When ironing must be done, Kathleen is smart enough not to trust me to do it.

One of my major chores is putting the dog out and in repeatedly throughout the day while Kathleen is at work. It’s not worth the price of a doggy door, and it forces me to get up from the computer and stretch occasionally. Uh, make that frequently.

So I have it pretty easy, I think. We have the home workload balanced very satisfactorily, and I still have plenty of time for writing.

What’s your take on housework? Do it? Avoid it? Hope someone else will do it? How about leaving a comment and sharing your view?


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Best regards,