Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are you happy?

DSD brought up this series of articles from The Guardian, essentially asking people, 'Are you happy?'

It's hard to say yes or no straightaway. Instead, I mulled on what makes me happy. Or not.

Happiness is when I’ve got my hands in something – cookie batter, flour, shortcrust pastry dough. And when that smell wafts throughout the house. And even more so when it turns out well (I’ve had a couple of disasters recently – still edible but sadly not up to par). Being with friends and family and enjoying good food and wine always brings happiness. The smell of coffee percolating, the smell of rain, the smell of freshly baked goods. That incredibly fresh, clean taste of sashimi. Some sinfully good dark chocolate and a good cup of coffee. Mmm...happiness.

Happiness is reading a good book. One that makes me laugh, and cry, one that draws me into a new world and I stay there, way past bedtime, because I can’t bear to leave it.
Happiness is listening to an amazing band, and drowning out the rest of the noise that comes with living in a city-state. No more cars blasting their horns or tyres screeching or heavy vehicles blasting their way down the street, and more importantly, no more detestable TV Mobile.

Happiness is being able to feel stronger when doing Pilates - knowing that I did better this week than the weeks before, even though it’s just the slightest of improvements, and although I know I ought to practise more.

Happiness is when I talk to R, a smile that sneaks onto my face without me noticing it. But happiness is not wedding prep and having to wait till December to see him again. That’s not happy.

Happiness is not work. I used to be happier at work, now, the projects just seem to bog me down. Perhaps it’s due to my having given three months’ notice (yes, that’s right, three months) a couple of weeks ago. And time seems to just be ticking away slower and slower. And yet, while I'm happy to have resigned, that question continues to linger: what am I going to be doing next year? Plus it's always the question that's asked of me. So my answer is, I'll take a break for a while, and then I'll see what happens. It's too early to think about it, when I'm here and not there.

If you go by points, it seems like happiness wins. But while there are all these little things in life that make me happy, there's this feeling that there's something missing - job satisfaction perhaps, and the fact that the man I love is far away (at least for now). But I've had a good life so far, and I think I'd like to focus on the things that make me happy. Such as today, when I get the assignment to spend the next couple of days viciously editing an article, written by a student* in Beijing. I'm only on the first paragraph, and it's full of red marks. How delightful.

*Actually, not a student. But an assistant professor.

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