I think I’m dumb. Maybe just happy.

Last night, after leaving work an hour early and heading to Ned's to look at his cat, who was perfectly fine without me and who wonders why the HELL I bother her, I went home and got into some sexy pajamas and turned on my fixed TV.

That was the longest, most convoluted sentence ever.

I ended up renting a documentary (shut up) called Happy. It looked at people from the slums of India to the fanciest places in America and saw who was happy and why. I was riveted to the whole thing when my phone rang and it was an old friend from high school, and hearing from him made me…happy.

Anyway, since I still ache and hurt and cannot stop effing coughing and have the energy of a heroin-addled sloth with anemia, I will ask you another question today in lieu of actually, you know, blogging.

Are you happy? Why? Why not? What do you think it takes to be happy?

[insert smiley-face emoticon here]

168 thoughts on “I think I’m dumb. Maybe just happy.

  1. True Catholics would be Mary Nina Bernadette and Mary Patty Marie Teresa O’Shaughnessy. And wracked with the guilt, they’d be. Begorrah.

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  2. Maybe it’s Nina’s Patty. Like that annoying restaurant named Ruth’s Chris. Fine establishment. Dumb name.
    June’s house. Where you know they like you when they make fun of you.

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  3. Comment #124 made me really smile. June telling Terric it would get better.
    Deb in Denver, you are an amazing woman of grace and strength.
    It’s Nina ANN Patty.

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  4. HAR DE HAR HAR…I’ll have you all know that JUNE emailed me so that I would come over here and see the harassment! Nice!
    My FRIENDS Nina and Patty. Oy.
    And, ironically, Nina’s Jewish and her last name is verrrry Irish! So there ya go with your Schlepenbaum/Catholic names!

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  5. I am sorry you are going through this bad time. Sadly, I also experienced the unexplainable loss of married friends when I was divorced. It hurts, especially since it is at a time when you need as much of a support network as you can get. Real friends don’t abandon you.

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  6. Best wishes to you, Pal. And just ignore those who have pounced on your missing s and are tossing it around like catnip.
    It could be NinaandPatty. Don’t we have an AnnnananadanaaAmy or something like that?

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  7. I love you, June!
    I really do want to be screechy happy girl again. There are itty bitty glimpses of her every so often when I’m with some new (single) friends. Most of my friends who are married are gone gone gone. That’s been a tough one to take, too. People that I thought I were really good friends? Notsomuch. I guess it’s a pretty common thing, though – also happened to my friend Nina and Patty when they got divorced.

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  8. Pal, your set point is screechy happy girl. I have known screechy happy girl for most of the time we've known each other, which sadly is coming up on 50 years. Screechy happy Pal will be back, no matter what life throws at you. You will not feel like this forever.
    Go get some tonic, grab Ugg-Ugg and yell hello to your neighbor Clitoris. Those were all inside Pal jokes, everyone. Sorry. Situation called for it.

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  9. How about this? I WANT to be happy. I’m longing for the time when I feel happy and thankful and have my zest for life back.
    So much has happened in the past year and I’ve got months of it ahead of me. I pray that in 6 months things will not be so hard.
    And you ask what does it take to be happy? I honestly don’t know any more! I thought I was happy! But then my marriage turned to crap and everything started to unravel.
    You know those lists of things that cause stress? Death, divorce, new job, having to move, change in financial situation…Well, on a test that measures your stress level, I scored a 476. High levels of stress begin at the 300 level. Seriously, it’s off the chart.
    So, for now? My big, fat answer is a resounding NO! I’m SO not happy. Ugh. I can’t even stand listening to myself anymore!
    Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, kids… (And hope you’re feeling better soon, my June.)

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  10. k. reminded me of a sign I saw:
    “Just because I’m moody, bitchy, and hormonal does not mean you weren’t wrong and an ass.”
    I have quoted that sign a few times…

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  11. terric, we are designed to grieve and to heal. Sucks, that grieving and loss part. Been there. Get whatever help you feel you need.
    And I loved seeing June reassure you that things will get better after the great sadness she went through.
    Pal, too, you will feel better. Keep making choices for happiness even on your worst days imagine what that choice might be and do it. Only you will know. It might mean a day under the covers once in a while.
    I believe in that set point thing. I come from a family of dee-pressed set-point. It has taken a lot of work and smart choices to be happy but I was determined.

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  12. 1. Deb in Denver: admiration and understanding
    k. Never underestimate the crazy-making potential of female hormones. Not that this should keep us from any position we are capable of holding as we can learn to manage them, but they are DIFFICULT!

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  13. Terric, it will get better.It may not seem like it, but it will. Sending you lots of good, happy thoughts. Take good care of yourself.

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  14. This is going to be bookmarked as a very special episode of June. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and stories. There is so much inspiration in this group.

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  15. Just got to read comments from yesterday. Deb in Denver made me cry! I’m hoping the nurse you spoke to learned a very big lesson about life.
    I am a happy person most of the time. Even when I get annoyed or even really pissed off, it lasts for just a bit and then I’m better. Last week I was not in a happy state of mind. One of my friends called me and after I bitched about six things and then announced I was crabby and bitchy, she started to laugh and told me she was glad I was cranky. She said I’m always so positive and happy she was beginning to worry there was something wrong with me! She then validated my bitchiness. And really, after that conversation, I was feeling better. The next day I was back to my snarky, sarcastic, happy self.

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  16. Deb in Denver, you are my hero. What a beautiful way to live your life. I’m sure your son is looking down, so proud of you.
    My philosophy in life is just like the guy on the crucifix in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.” Even on my darkest days, I try to find the good. I’m also grateful for every one of my blessings, big and small. Even my blueberry Greek yogurt in the morning fills me with happiness. I would say I am content, always have been, no matter my circumstance. I may not be happy every single moment, but I damn sure try to be.
    And Mary Ellen from Napa, I love your dad’s attitude. I’m adopting that as my creed for life. I’m going to try to remember to say something like that every morning when I wake up, “I am going to have the BEST time today.”

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  17. Terric, part of what that documentary said was people have a set point. So if circumstances make you sad now, you will eventually get back to your regular level of happiness. I did. It gets better, I promise. I think my Aunt Sue was married 32 years as well, before Uncle Jim died, and she is doing pretty well now. So hang in there , sister.
    Sent from my phone. Which means I'm one of those tools emailing in public somewhere.

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  18. I’m not happy now, but I think it’s due to circumstances. Actually I’m quite depressed, what with the divorce, after 32 years of marriage. But I hope if I ever get it all behind me I can start a new life and find my way to happy….

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  19. I’m posting late in the day here on the west coast, so I’m not sure if anyone will see this. June, I used to be the over-the-top reactive one, more than you. But since menopause? So calm and accepting of life. I swear that hormones make us crazy in so many ways!
    My late Father was amazing in his attitude, he would say to me, before he left the house; “I am going to have the BEST time tonight!” And he always did!
    Deb in Denver, I’m not sure how you and your husband are vertical after the death of your son. I would be curled up somewhere I’m sure!

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  20. I am happy. I choose and cultivate it and count my blessings whenever I feel low. I travel to so many third world countries where I encounter brilliant smiles in the poorest, dirtiest slums, that I feel stupid if I let myself get sad for too long. I have been blessed far beyond anything that I deserve, and I refuse to let those blessings be wasted on someone who wallows in self-pity rather than marveling at such great fortune.

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  21. I am happy. And happy every day to be happy, if that makes sense. My grandma used to tell us that being anything but happy is a lack of gratitude. I’ve remembered that and taken it to heart. Just thinking of all the things I have to be grateful for reminds me that I have much to be happy about. I do have challenges and things that worry me – my husband has a chronic debilitating illness which has changed our lives. But it’s also given us a good perspective on how very lucky we are in so many other ways.
    And things like this here little blog remind me that there are lots of people just like us who love their families and their friends and their pets and still have room in their hearts to share a little love with perfect strangers.

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  22. Deb: It is not normal to outlive our children, but you have done so with grace and beauty. My heart and my admiration go out to you.
    Happiness is 50% genetic? My Daddy was a big, old practical-joke-playing goofball who saw the humor in everything. My mother was just funny. They were both from large families who weren’t happy unless everyone was laughing until milk or white lightening snorted out their nostrils. We have celebrated birthdays in restaurants where the waitstaff got in trouble because they couldn’t tear themselves away from the shenanigans that were taking place at our table. We didn’t get in trouble if we got the silly giggles at church – our parents just wanted to know what set us off. If happiness is 50% genetic, I am golden. I realize I was given a gift and I thank you, June, for giving me a chance to reflect upon this today.
    I do respect and appreciate the distinctions that have been made by commenters regarding happiness, joy, and contentment. Interesting thoughts and I am looking forward to thinking more about that.

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  23. Deb in Denver, you are amazing. My sister lost her daughter to cancer 8 years ago, she was only 16. It’s been rough these past years. I hope she can get to where you are now.

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  24. Random thoughts on happiness:
    Many moons ago in the infancy of email, I was emailed the poem “Comes the Dawn”. It’s smarmy as can be, but I have remembered two lines from it forever. “So I planted my own garden and tended my own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring me flowers”. The times that I have been the unhappiest have been when I’ve been waiting for someone to bring me (figurative) flowers. And eventually I get tired of waiting and get on with my life, and then I find that I’m happy.
    Anybody remember the girl in The Big Chill (Meg Tilly, maybe?), when asked if someone had been happy, said something like, “I don’t know that many happy people. What does that look like?”.
    Finally, remember The Giving Tree? That poor tree was only happy when he was giving of himself to the boy, even when it meant he was down to a stump.
    These all have nothing to do with each other, just things I’ve thought about today since June asked. I’m generally a happy person. This blog & bloggy family make me happy every day. I also agree with the contented comment. I realize daily how lucky I am to have the life I have.
    Deb-in-Denver, you are a wonderful person. Big Hug ((())) here.
    Feel better soon, June.

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  25. This post and these comments made me very happy today. And Deb in Denver made me cry a little. I think I am generally happy, but hormones can sometimes spoil the trip. I am definitely content in my life. June, I love it when you BREAK in with the window jokes. I certainly come here every day to add to the happy. Thank you for that.

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  26. Thank you for your kind words. We are often asked how we did what we did and honestly, we just tried to be good parents. We didn’t know how to act any other way. It helped us as much as it did him. We had an amazing support system of family and friends, they are the ones that held US up. I was hesitant to share my story on here but I’m glad I did. You ALL have made me feel the love, today. June has the best readers! I know there are a lot of you struggling with depression and I wish I could take it away, it’s a very real condition. I wish you ALL a HAPPY day!

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  27. Deb, thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry about your son. Your attitude must have surely brightened his days as well as those who saw you each day at the hospital. You are amazing.

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  28. My friend, Betty and I were talking about being happy before Christmas. She had a double mastectomy and was undergoing some painful reconstruction. She asked me how I kept my humor in tact when I had cancer. I told her that I wished I had my dog, Zoe to set an example for me first. Every day, despite a horrible lymph edema that has swollen her leg so that it weighs ten pounds, wakes happy. Goes to the park with Terra and chases the ball. It is joyful to watch.
    Betty and I decided her husband should take her out and throw the ball for her. Heee.
    Seriously, Zoe is my hero. She’s taught me a lot about loving life no matter what shape it takes.
    I’m adding Deb to my list, too.

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  29. The second part of your question was something about what it takes to be happy.
    I’ve given this question decades of thought and I think it is having someone/something to love. We think it is being loved, but I think the loving something else is what makes us happy.
    For example, a teacher having a classroom full of students to love, a person who is alone loving an animal or the birds at her feeder. A person who is alone loving her garden and each plant as it grows.
    Being loved is huge. We can love ourselves, but we need something outside of ourselves to love. That brings the happy.

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  30. The second part of your question was something about what it takes to be happy.
    I’ve given this question decades of thought and I think it is having someone/something to love. We think it is being loved, but I think the loving something else is what makes us happy.
    For example, a teacher having a classroom full of students to love, a person who is alone loving an animal or the birds at her feeder. A person who is alone loving her garden and each plant as it grows.
    Being loved is huge. We can love ourselves, but we need something outside of ourselves to love. That brings the happy.

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  31. The second part of your question was something about what it takes to be happy.
    I’ve given this question decades of thought and I think it is having someone/something to love. We think it is being loved, but I think the loving something else is what makes us happy.
    For example, a teacher having a classroom full of students to love, a person who is alone loving an animal or the birds at her feeder. A person who is alone loving her garden and each plant as it grows.
    Being loved is huge. We can love ourselves, but we need something outside of ourselves to love. That brings the happy.

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  32. Beth in IA, who wants to know if a snow day happens while you're on staycation, do you get an extra day off? That would make me happy!

    My grandmother said, “Happy is as happy does.” She was a wise one. Took me awhile to figure it out but I do believe its all in how you choose to look at things.
    PS – Lots of inspiration here today, especially Deb in Denver. Thanks for sharing!

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  33. So many commonalities in people’s comments today.
    In no particular order (smiley face):
    general positive attitude
    appreciation of nature
    service to others in small ways
    humor
    Bye Bye Pie
    God bless Deb in Denver. Amen.

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  34. I’m happy that I checked my printer when printing some documents for a friend because when I selected the documents I somehow also selected 47 pages of Bye Bye, Pie! which wasn’t even open. I managed to cancel the print but I have two and a half pages of June and Dick Whitman pictures.

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  35. Jooooonn, I have a question for you. One of the way I boost my happy is to intentionally make other people feel happy–like in the grocery store or doctor’s office or whatever. Does it make you happy when you write and we respond with delight and laughs or is our response separate from the need to write.

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  36. Jooooonn, I have a question for you. One of the way I boost my happy is to intentionally make other people feel happy–like in the grocery store or doctor’s office or whatever. Does it make you happy when you write and we respond with delight and laughs or is our response separate from the need to write.

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  37. Jooooonn, I have a question for you. One of the way I boost my happy is to intentionally make other people feel happy–like in the grocery store or doctor’s office or whatever. Does it make you happy when you write and we respond with delight and laughs or is our response separate from the need to write.

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  38. Amen to every sentence except the ones about Mr. Sadie, just substitute Mr. P

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  39. Amen to every sentence except the ones about Mr. Sadie, just substitute Mr. P

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  40. Amen to every sentence except the ones about Mr. Sadie, just substitute Mr. P

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  41. I think your last therapist got it right, there is no big thing that will make me happy forever. What does make me happy? The sound of songbirds in the morning, seeing a heron by the river, watching a hawk soar overhead, the sound of rain on a tin roof, watching all the wildlife in the neighborhood, listening to Mr. Sadie play the piano or seeing him sound asleep on the sofa in front of the tv, SadieDog running through the house out of pure joy (not so much when she needs to go outside in the wee hours of the morning), time spent with my family, enjoying a good meal with family or friends, a walk on the beach or a hike in the woods, laughter, reading Bye, Bye Pie, and meeting June and her readers here every day. These are a few of my favorite things.
    What made me sad? Summer’s comment. Please remember, Summer, you are the MOST important person you know.

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  42. I’m fairly happy, doing what I love with people that I love in a house I’m growing to love. I think I would be way happier if I stopped telling myself that I’m unimportant. That’s a sh*itty thing to say to anyone.

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  43. I know! Very bizzare, but then again it is Kim.
    A lorry is a truck in England. Elevator is lift, chips are fries, crisps are chips.

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