What makes you happy?
Recently, I was having dinner with a friend, and the conversation turned from an enjoyable “catching up” session to a deeper level of discussion. My friend asked a simple question, “What makes you happy?” Should be a simple response, right? I started to rattle off things like my kids, my job, friends, etc. But my friend interrupted and said, “No, what do you do just for yourself? What do you enjoy?” I sat in silence and felt completely stumped.
In this moment, I realized that my life is almost entirely outward facing. I’m sure many of you can relate. While we all get pleasure out of helping others, taking care of loved ones, doing meaningful work; it is too easy to let those things define us and dominate all our time.
While I can’t make radical changes to my daily routines, while I still have to fulfill my obligations and family care, I am at least taking time each day to think of that question. What makes me happy? I don’t succeed in having an answer every day, but I’m pleased to at least ponder it daily. When I take a 10-minute walk that I didn’t think I had time for; when I slow down to breathe and stretch; when I shed my guilt about not cleaning house and, instead, watch a fascinating documentary; these small pleasures help me reconnect with myself.
For all of you who consistently take time for your own happiness, congratulations! For those who are struggling with the same issue as me, I challenge you to find the answers and take the time out –just for you.