Isn’t it wonderful to see the hours of daylight gradually increasing, with mornings and evenings just that little bit brighter each day? As I write, the sun is pouring through my window, which looks out on a mountain where the snow is starting to melt. Perhaps you’re reading these lines in the middle of another snowstorm, but never mind—the early signs of spring are unmistakable, and the promise of its arrival makes us happy.
The other day, some colleagues and I were chatting about what makes people happy. Linda had just heard a radio listener share his moment of happiness: he had learned the day before that he was going to be a grandfather for the first time. We all agreed that knowing how to enjoy surprises, big or small, is an advantage when it comes to getting through life. Anxiety and depression get in the way for so many people, in spite of themselves, causing their glass to appear half empty rather than half full. Yet, it’s been proven that the happier we are, the healthier we are—and thus we become even happier.
Since happiness is contagious and the UN International Day of Happiness is just around the corner (March 20), we’ve decided to celebrate emerging from the winter darkness by focusing on all the good things to come. As we await the day when winter boots go back in the closet and we can again enjoy cocktails outdoors, we’re already smiling at the thought of sugaring-off season (for the lucky ones with access to a sugar shack—I have a weakness for sugar pie); the season finale of our favourite shows (though perhaps not Station Eleven in these anxiety-inducing COVID times); the return of birdsong; new museum exhibits to explore (I can’t wait to see the exhibition on Canadian Impressionism currently at the National Gallery of Canada); friends coming out of hibernation; planning trips (travel makes us happy, according to scientific studies, and might be a nice reward for our having done our taxes); the motorcycle or convertible we’ll be taking out of the garage; the new barbecue to shop for….
What simple pleasures would you have on your list? We hope that reading Good Times will be among them. Happiness is clearly at hand.