Happiness is…

A dear friend asked me this out of the blue just the other day: What are the three happiest moments of your life so far?

I haven’t seen him in person in a couple years, and since we live on opposite sides of the world now with opposite time zones, chatting is difficult. So catching him online while he’s in this neck of the world for work was, I have to say, one of those happy little moments.

But put on the spot, I couldn’t answer right away. I’ve been pondering over this since though. And I still can’t quite – or feel strangely reluctant to – call out any one particular moment that I’d call my happiest. Funnily enough, he himself didn’t outright answer my guesses on his moments either: when he proposed; when he married the girl of his dreams; and when they first had a baby. Haha, all these milestones where people usually mark down as poignant moments in their lives.

But as I thought about it – poignancy doesn’t necessarily equate happiness yes? As for myself, if pressed, I don’t think going to City Hall was one of those definitive happy moments. Haha sure we had a blast that day, and we were more tickled I think to send out the surprise news announcement to our friends and family in any case.

One of the more recent times I can remember consciously thinking that hey, I’m so happy right now! was just a few weeks ago, when we were hiking in the wilderness with our two friends in Norway. We had left the one road behind miles ago, and were walking through some rugged and unspoiled land that stretched for hundreds of miles beyond. The treks weren’t particularly well cut out, but there were thoughtfully placed cairns here and there to guide us as we placed cautious steps across streams and rocky boulders, through patches of persistent snowfields and across the dozens of terrified lemmings scurrying frantically out of our way. I felt so free, so weightless, so in the moment. So happy.

And another time on that same Norway trip: when we were holed up in the cabin by the lighthouse, playing cards by candlelight, and waiting for the moon to set before we trooped out into the chilly night to gaze at the Milky Way. In that moment, we didn’t have a care in the world – just good old friendly competition and much laughter.

So big HAPPY posts in life? I can’t spit them out. But if life is made up of frequent but small contented instances, well, there’s no cause for complaint is it? 🙂

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