The pursuit of “happy”

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Roald Dahl

(sometimes we have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find a little Happiness)

What makes you happy?
Being happy, especially this time of year, throughout what I refer to as the doldrums of the year, the months of being in-between—-as in, in between seasons, in between holidays, in between sun and gray sky, in between barren and ladened, in between football and baseball. . .is certainly no easy task. In fact most folks are walking around with heads hung low, shoulders slumped, jacket collars turned upward in the endless deflection of snow, rain and cold wind.

Sometimes it is most apparent that we just need something to kick-start that part of the brain that houses the pleasure center—something to pump up those neurotransmitters in the brain which are responsible for helping to make us happy—neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. And no I’m not talking about popping a pill, having a drink, eating a doughnut—ummmmm a doughnut. . . oh a doughnut sounds so good right about now! I haven’t had a doughnut in probably a year or so—that decadent, yeasty, sugary piece of heaven in circular form ..You are now hearing the slap slap to the face and the “get a hold of yourself woman”. . .

Nope, none of that aforementioned sort of engaging in the empty thrill of the moment indulgences that act like quick fixes to happiness—of which merely equates to emptiness. No siree, none of that for us, we want the genuinely feeling of happy, the type that can’t be found in food, drink, sex, excess, emptiness or guilt. We want innocent, joyful, self satisfying, deeply real happy. I’m talking about the sort of happiness that you work to achieve more naturally, more or less from that which is obtained from the world around us.

Today, seeing this chocolate frog helps.
He makes me smile.

I suppose there is a twofold happiness hiding in the frog—first of all, he’s just kind of cute and silly all rolled into one, secondly, he is chocolate—how can you beat that? And no, I’m not going to eat him as to do so would be, again, one of those short-lived temporary fixes of happiness that would give way to guilt and disappointment. How do you expect me to fit in a mother of the groom dress by eating my way through chocolate frogs?!

I would love to show you a photograph of a beautiful flower or a bright sunny day accented with those insanely white popcorn clouds, the type of sky and delightfully warm day that makes you want to lie down in a field somewhere, arms folded under your head, listening to the birds sing as you gaze skyward, just savoring the feeling of contentment and happiness of being alive- kind of picture —but alas, it’s a cool day as a storm moved through again. And Lord knows there’s not nary a blooming flower outside for the nearest 500 miles from here.

The frog will have to do.

I have also found a little song that seems to be working for me—putting a smile on my face and a skip in my step. . .

by Pharrell Williams
It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why
Hey, come on
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said Hey, come on
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)
Come on


Have you ever seen a 54 year old woman who is known for being rather subdued, low key, unemotional, always rather serious. . . “dancing” around her house, holding an I-Phone in one hand, which is blaring out this song, hopping and bounding around the house without a care in the world—for no one but the cats to take notice?!

If anything, that alone should put a smile on your face and make you happy! (Those out there who actually know me and are reading this are now pretending they have no idea who I am)

Sometimes, I think one just has to sing despite the inability to carry a tune, dance despite the lack of rhythm, and find happiness in the face of a chocolate frog. . .

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!

Psalm 92: 4-5

15 comments on “The pursuit of “happy”

  1. I quit chocolate years ago but man, Lindt was the beST.

  2. Jenna Dee says:

    Yes the image of you singing and dancing around your house makes me very happy indeed. Sing and dance with carefree abandon my friend. Love Jenna

    • Thanks Jenna—gotta let loose every once in a while—it is safest doing so in the privacy of ones home. . . when no one but the cats are home—my lack of carrying a tune and lack of rhythm is best kept from the public 🙂

  3. Now, WHO are you again??? 😉 Love you, dancing girl!

  4. Oh it didn’t just put a smile on my face, it made me laugh out loud. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall getting to watch that routine missy. Reminds of ABBA’s Dancing Queen and that scene from the movie MAMA MIA where Meryl Streep did such a great job of performing it. Thanks for the chuckles. I needed them. Hugs and love, Natalie 🙂

    • I do what I can 🙂
      You doing ok these days—sensing a bit of a struggle. . .
      hugs from dancing cookie

      • I think I told you that I have arthritis all in my left knee and foot and it had been giving me grief for weeks. Then on Tuesday, I merely stepped from the sidewalk onto the grass and something very painful happened which left me almost unable to walk into the house. I went to the doc that afternoon and he seems to think that it’s a pulled tendon or something. So I’ve had to be off it as much as possible the last three days and keep it iced down 4 times a day. I am now able to get around a bit better but I’m still hobbling around and not able to do all that much. So I’ve got some more days to go before I’m able go without the pain meds and to get around better. This too shall pass but for the moment it is a painful inconvenience. Thanks for asking, Cookie. XOXOXO Natalie

      • Girrrrl (said as my kids use to say)—I knew you were feeling blue—and now I realize it is more than just blue—but a frustration no doubt of heart. I don’t think you were reading my blog when I had broken my ankle last spring—I wrote several posts about the ordeal—super frustrating for a person who is use to being in constant motion—I’m not one for sitting—lots of frustration and pain—the first post was about the ordeal the latter ones about the dealing with a freaking boot cast, which gave way to terrible bursitis in the opposite hip—
        Pinestraw, the drainage hole, the ER and the broken Cookie(4/17/13) Learning on a broken ankle (4/24/13) This boot was made for walking (4/19/24)
        A little reading as you sit and recoup 🙂
        An extra hug to you, wish I was there to fix us a cup of tea as we chat 🙂

      • You hit the nail on the head. Like you lots of frustration for someone who likes to be on the go. It it’s not better soon, the doc will order an MRI. I sure hope it’s nothing serious with me knee. I really don’t want to have to face surgery on it. I wish you were here too. I just got up and when I did it hurt pretty bad again. So it’s time to go ice it and take a pain med. Thanks for you concern, sweet Cookie. I shall check out your posts during your ordeal. Hugs, N

      • There have been so many times when I have had to really struggle understanding the whys—Surly God knew I was better whole, than broken or mending…like when I had a complete hysterectomy at 35, my son was 7, we were living in the middle of no where–I needed to be there to tend to him—but instead I had to be almost vegetative for weeks, the myriad of migraines over the years, the torn ACL, the broken ankle just being the latest in a litany of “you know I am better whole, why must I be sidelined…you know I’m more productive for those around me when I’m %100…”—as I would lament and wonder what was the lesson that I was obviously to be learning—it dawned on me that perhaps the lesson was not intended for me, but for perhaps someone around me. . .not that any of that is helpful, but meant more empathetically—-I just hope the the knee is merely strained. The broken ankle was one thing but the tendon damage was my bigger concern—that’s is the longer healing—prayers for healing abounds—cookie

      • Wow, Cookie we really have lived a similar life. That has been the same litany in my life too since I’ve dealt with more than a fair share of pain, but maybe you’re right our brokenness is a lesson the be shared in support of others. I can’t tell you how many time lately I’ve asked that same question about how much better I’d be if I were whole. Obviously He had a reason for saving me from my stroke, but I sure wish I had a clue about what it was. I love you for you honesty and sharing. Thanks for your prayers and for letting me know that I’m not the only one with a long history of suffering to cope with. XOXOXOXOXO Natalie 🙂

      • yeah, but it doesn’t make it any easier, for which, I am truly sorry. . .it’s like Mother Teresa use to say…“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”
        Sweet dreams tonight my friend—

      • Sweet dreams to you my sweet Cookie friend. Natalie

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