Waiting for Happiness

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Do you remember as a teenager being so excited about getting your driver’s license and eventually your own set of wheels? When it finally happened, you were thrilled and happy! At some point, did that thrill wear off? Maybe your Mom wanted you to drive to the grocery store and run her errands. Maybe you had to pay for the car or for insurance. Maybe your friends wanted you to run them everywhere. There are major events in our lives that we expect to bring us happiness like getting a job, a promotion, buying a house, getting married, starting a family, etc. These do bring us happiness, for awhile… However, once we experience or achieve one of these events, the novelty eventually wears off and we may think we need to wait for the next big event to find happiness again. “I can’t wait until the kids leave home. Then I’ll be happy.” Or “Once I retire, then I’ll be happy!” Being excited and looking forward to an upcoming event is a good thing, but the catch is we shouldn’t rely on the future for our well-being and happiness. We should anticipate and savor life’s big occasions, but we should also enjoy the journey and time between. When we can choose a mindset that reminds us of all the wonderful things around us now, of all that we have to be grateful for today, we can appreciate the present moment. So perhaps this year you can enjoy the planning before Thanksgiving, appreciate your family during your gathering, and savor the quiet when its over.

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