Gratitude, Wisdom

Happiness and moments that make you go “ahhh”

A long time ago, my husband said something along the lines of, “I think happiness is a myth. No one is really happy “all the time.” So much of life is unpleasant. I think happiness is really just brief moments sprinkled in among all the rest.”

This was years ago now, and I don’t even remember why we were talking about this, honestly.

However, despite his somewhat ‘negative Nancy’ outlook, I don’t think he was totally wrong. As I have personally grown in this area, I would probably beg to differ, today, but I think I know what he meant. Sitting in traffic, changing diapers, stress at work, paying bills….it’s not really all that great necessarily. (So much depends on your outlook, but still. Life’s just not all puppies and rainbows 24/7.)

Yesterday morning I heard something that reminded me of his comment, and I decided to pay attention to the random, minor, happy moments in my day that made me pause and say, “Ahhh. Yes. This is nice.” 😊 You totally know what I’m talking about, right??

Here’s what I found:

  • Sitting down at my desk in the early, dark morning, house quiet, everyone asleep, a steaming cup of tea + me and my computer, ready to write = Ahhhh.
  • Taking a shower over my lunch break, with no kids around or anyone to knock on the door/ interrupt (and particularly, the moment you get in and the hot water runs over your hair and face for the first time)= Ahhhh.
  • Rubbing my new exfoliating polish into my skin after washing my face (I am OBSESSED with this stuff. It smells and feels amazing- like what I imagine going to a spa would feel like, if I ever went to spas (but I don’t))= Ahhhh.
  • The moment in the evening when we are all finally settled “in” for the night- we have nowhere else to go, the blinds are closed, the garage door is down and the day’s work is done= Ahhhh.
  • The after school recap: listening to Asher excitedly tell me all about the new book he chose at school (I’m talking a full play by play…) + checking out Ethan’s 100% score on his “Greek Mythology” test= Ahhhh. (Side note: I didn’t even know E had a test in that subject this week…. see yesterday’s post for more on this topic, but when I said, “What mythology test?!”, he replied that he didn’t tell me about it because he is a “pro” at Greek Mythology and knew I would make him study when he didn’t need to. 🙄 I rest my case… )
  • EVERY NIGHT when we crawl into bed around 9:30 pm to watch an episode of our show- that moment when we click the lamps off, I prop up my 3 pillows and slide under the blankets onto the cool sheets, ready to escape into a great drama for the next ~40 minutes =Triple Ahhh!! This is like my favorite moment ever. 🙂

It’s funny how these moments really are the “little things” in life! Nothing on this list costs much money or is extravagant, but I honestly felt that content “ahhhh” sensation in every one of these instances yesterday. 🙂

This caption is in our basement rec room. It was hand stenciled on the wall by the previous owner, just outside the guest room. I LOVE IT. I will never paint over this as long as I own the house! It’s amazing, and true.

I would be delighted to hear about any of your “ahhhh” moments if you’d be willing to share a couple!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful to the patient whose chart I opened up yesterday afternoon. Every patient has a little picture in their chart- one of those DMV style headshots that are just NEVER flattering. Most people look frankly quite terrible in them. But not this guy. He posed for his doctor’s office picture with a huge grin on his face and two big thumbs up. It seriously cracked me up!! I’m grateful for his humor, which made me laugh. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Happiness and moments that make you go “ahhh””

  1. This moment, right now, when little boy is asleep for his afternoon nap and everyone else is at school, and I can sit down to eat my lunch while it’s hot with no interruptions…. Aaahhhh! 🙂 I also feel that way about my first sip of coffee in the morning and that almost-too-hot moment of slipping into the hot tub after a long day… aaaahhh!

    I kind of agree with Ivan – I mean, it’s pretty artificial to think of someone walking around just beaming with happiness all day – we all have to use the toilet, deal with unpleasant people, and occasionally scrape dog poop off our shoes. (Not to mention all the genuine difficulties and sorrows that arise throughout a life). But certainly one can strive to be content through all the mountains and molehills of life, and happy on a big-picture level. Which I think is what you’re going for with your gratitude practice. You certainly don’t come across as someone who is mindlessly happy all the time, but you do show us every day how you’re actively working to create happiness.


    1. Oh, for sure that hot tub moment too!! That is the BEST! It rained all day yesterday and we tried to sneak into ours despite it last night, but when we got out there we saw lightning. I love the hot tub, but not so much that I want to fry in it. LOL! So, it was very short lived and didn’t make the “ahhh” list from yesterday. 🙂


  2. I get to start each day with about an hour walk outside. It doesn’t matter what the weather is, (as they say there is no bad weather only bad clothing!) I am out seeing the changing of the seasons, spotting deer, rabbits, turkeys and the occasional possum. It brightens up each day and gets me ready to take on whatever life brings. I’m also grateful for working from home and being able to do so many things when it is convenient for me.


    1. Yes to the walks! I love that time, too, and I agree about the weather comment! I used to go early in the morning and miss that. But I enjoy writing at that time, too, so I usually end up pushing the walk to later in the day. 🙂


  3. That guest room is very pretty and inviting!! Love it!

    This reminds me of your ‘mindfulness walk’ you took recently where you really noticed the little things around you! My ahhh moments are the first drink of a latte (I’ve been treating myself to more than usual lately since it’s kind of the only treat available to me on the GDM diet), hugs from my son or when he puts his little hand on my arm when we are reading a book together, naps during my son’s naptime on the weekend, eating a bowl of something warm and comforting like the vegetable beef soup I made this week and that feeling when I go in and check on our son before I go to bed and I see him peacefully deep asleep.


    1. I noticed on your blog a sense of guilt about your lattes….Let go of the guilt!! Get the lattes!! 🙂 Pregnant + toddler + fulltime working mom+ covid….you deserve ALL the lattes, any time! 🙂 I agree on the seeing your kids sleeping or the little hand on the arm too. So sweet.


  4. Is true. It’s about being mindful of things that happen and contemplate for few secs.
    Being in connection with oneself makes the process easier than when one is on the run all the time.

    Yesterday I had so many ahhh moments!!! We are finally in Boracay after so many drama in the process!


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