Do What Makes You Happy

Do what makes you happy artwork in an alcove
Do what makes you happy

This vignette in Fairhope, Alabama, made me smile. While the words on the artwork may seem naive or optimistic in our fractured times, I read this as a reminder to find pleasure in life if we can.

I used to work with a lady I admired called Jackie who claimed ironing made her happy. Being young at the time, I found this hard to fathom.

Now, I see we are sufficiently different that happiness comes in all guises, depending on what’s going on in our lives. It may have been the time spent thinking that Jackie enjoyed, or confidence in her skill, or being able to turn a crumpled laundry basket into neat order.

In contrast, clothes that will dry straight have always been more my thing (straightish will do at a pinch).

Blouse on a sunny clothes line

I saw a flicker of that unconvinced expression I’m afraid I used to give Jackie when I told my sweetheart a new washing line would make me happy. Simple luxuries generally do.

Perhaps Jackie and I are not as different as I might once have thought.

I hope you’ll have chance to do something that makes you happy this weekend, whether it’s a little treat, or doing one of those long-avoided chores that will make the next few weeks happier.

31 Replies to “Do What Makes You Happy”

  1. These difficult times are definitely when we should look for joy and happiness wherever it shows up. Even though art, knitting and so forth are my go-tos, there are times when even just cleaning or tidying do the job, because it’s therapeutic. I love that top photo. Makes me want to go there!

    1. One of the attractive things about bees is that their buzzing makes them sound happy. We can’t be sure that they enjoy visiting flowers, but they seem to.

      1. Oh I think they do. I know it’s work for them but I expect some of those different nectars taste delicious

  2. It’s a fine sentiment. Or you can do what makes somebody else happy. On the subject of laundry, a friend gave me a packet of pegs the other day. See through ones with green patterns. They made me happy! (I kept losing pegs behind the deck and was running short) Simple things…

  3. How very timely. Not only was I just emailing a friend about hanging laundry outside, but I was talking to myself about how to cope. Yes, there are little things that make us happy and it’s good advice to seek them out, especially right now. Thanks!

    1. For some reason I initially read that as ‘blackmailing a friend about hanging laundry outside’ which sounded very out of character. Luckily (for me and your friend) that was a mistake. The world is certainly throwing challenges at every one of us who has a heart in these times, and is making our basic essentials seem like luxuries.

  4. Simple things can make us happy, though I wouldn’t count ironing as one – though I can see the idea of actually having a neat pile being rewarding – just spending a couple of hours weeding / dead-heading in my garden can make me happy. And relaxing with a good book for a couple of hours another.

  5. Oddly, the mention of Fairhope reminded me of a man who made a life out of doing what made him happy: Henry Stuart, the so-called Hermit of Fairhope. Some years ago I visited his hut, and was completely entranced by his story. Have you been there?

  6. Edge-clipping my perennial beds does it for me–a perfect opportunity to let the brain wander, and it’s amazing how much better the garden looks afterward.

    1. We are supposed to be able to think better when doing a manual task, particularly if it doesn’t require much conscious thought. Walking is supposed to help us think too, although from my own experience, I am less sure of that. I tend to be looking out for flowers!

      1. Me too! When we’re walking our dog, my husband is always telling either me or the dog to hurry up, because I’m looking at plants and Nelly (the dog) is sniffing them.

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