Monday, August 12, 2013

Unexpected Happy

Happiness doesn’t always appear clothed in big events. Sure, it’s great to achieve that milestone or major goal, but if we wait for those occasions, our happy moments will be fewer than they need be. The more we take pleasure in what I call “happy little moments,” simple pleasures and everyday adventures, the more genuine satisfaction will fill our lives.

For instance, just a couple of weeks ago, we discovered that our pancake syrup bottle top has a smiley face:


I appreciate the extra effort the manufacturer took to make that opening look like a smiley face—the more smiling faces I see first thing in the morning, the better!

In addition, last Friday, I agreed to go to the courthouse in downtown Tampa with a friend who needed a copy of a document. We planned to eat lunch at Le Mouton Noir afterwards as a reward, but when we came out of the courthouse, we found several food trucks stationed around the park across the street. Tables and fans were set up and a man was playing the guitar and singing. One of the trucks proclaimed that it was winner of the “best Cuban” in Florida, and had a significant line of people waiting to order. Since the day was not overly hot (for Florida in August) and my friend has an abiding interest in Cuban sandwiches, we changed our plans, ordered our lunch and found a table in the shade. The sun played peek-a-boo behind the clouds and a small breeze kept us mostly comfortable (for Florida in August) as we ate our sandwiches and listened to the music. (Verdict: the sandwiches were tasty and generously sized, but I’d need to eat quite a few different ones to weigh in on whether they were “the best”.) We both kept saying, “I can’t believe we’re eating lunch outside in August and enjoying it!”


Both these recent experiences were unexpected (not actively pursued), and they both gave me little bursts of happy feeling that lasted longer than the time they took to occur. They reminded me to pay attention to happy little moments—and that those moments are there, even in something as insignificant as a syrup bottle.

What has made you unexpectedly happy?

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