Defining, “Happy.”

Yesterday’s post, “Taking on the Happiness Project,” explains how I came to take on Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project.  Gretchen attacked her project in a systematic fashion, then blogged and wrote a book about the experience.  Together with my book club, I have taken on Gretchen’s challenge of exploring happiness and have chosen to document the process as a way to hold me accountable.

Defining research

Gretchen began happiness analysis from the middle of a simple mid-life malaise.  She jumped in headfirst and actually researched happiness as a way to get started!  I am a little jealous (library addict that I am), because that part sounded like fun.  However, I don’t really have time for that!  By reading her monthly accounts, I hope to learn from her personal research and trust she left nary a cheerful stone unturned.

For the Facebook faithful, I would like to point out that the info section of my personal Facebook profile page (the part nobody reads entitled, “Favorite Quotations,”) had the following quotes long before I picked up this book:

“I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver

Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.

adj. hap·pi·er, -est
3 : enjoying well-being and contentment

So you see, I have already given this “definition of happiness” topic some thought 🙂

Today I began where I always begin, with my dog-eared Merriam Webster Dictionary and spinal taped Roget’s College Thesaurus.  Yes, I use on-line versions of these references at times, but it didn’t feel like important research without guide words.  I know, I said I wasn’t going to do the research, but this baseline word check was a way to feel more connected to the process.  Because I remembered about the Facebook quotations section, I was able to skip Merriam’s definitions and flip straight to Roget.  It held a nice cross-section of options (fortunate, lucky, gay, contented, joyous, ecstatic, felicitous, apt, and glad) as it turned out.

Left it at apt for the day.  My book club is important to me and I do feel drawn to explore Gretchen’s “I am fortunate, but could tweak my attitude” angle.  In addition, the subtle power of attraction practice is intriguing.  So, continue to explore happiness I shall.  Aptly.  Even contentedly.  Not exactly ecstatically.

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