In search of Happiness, without a map.


That elusive thing for which we all search.

What actually is it?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary Happiness is “the feeling of being happy”, with happy being defined as “feeling, showing, or causing pleasure or satisfaction“.

When you then look up pleasure you are met with “enjoyment, happiness, or satisfaction, or something that gives this” and looking up enjoyment leads you to “to get pleasure from something”

Happiness, is, it seems, so difficult to define, that even a dictionary can’t manage it, taking you round in circles and unable to give you a simple answer.

It will be no surprise to regular readers of my blog, that happiness is something that I am often lacking, but when I analyse this more, I realise that I don’t actually know what it is I am missing.

So, like all great investigators in life, I turned to the obvious source with my question. Facebook.  My friends were generous in their answers.

Children and family featured heavily.

Happiness is…

Hearing “I love you mummy”

Family and friends

Having my girls and their families with us to share special moments.

Late morning family cuddles in bed.

Getting into bed with a hot chocolate, husband and baby all ready for sleep with a quick cuddle from all three cats before they get shut out the bedroom for the night.

The first big smile I get from my son when I get home.

The giggle of my little girl.

Coming home from work after a hard day, spending the evening with those that you love the most and appreciating what you have worked hard to achieve. Feeling blessed.

Food was also popular, in particular, tea and toast.

Happiness is…

Marmite on toast

A cup of tea


A warm bun



Cold Sancerre


Cold beer in the sunshine

Nature and places also featured.

Happiness is,

A good cup of tea by my (late) nan’s roaring coal fire. The memory of this still makes me smile…perhaps it’s a Welsh thing 🙂

Crisp blue skies

Being in an amazing new place and taking fantastic photographs

Long walks

Material objects had a place on the list;

Happiness is,

New shoes

Beautiful notepaper

Sparkly things

Bed socks


There were a few that didn’t fit categories, ranging from learning, doing and feeling to selfless and altruistic answers,

Happiness is




Happiness is when everyone else is happy…. X

Making things

A good book


A long lie in

Clever TV

A snow day!

Happiness is…..lots of simple, little things all rolled into a squiggly ball of love!   X

A full night’s sleep – with a long lie in!!!


However, these answers, although interesting, don’t really answer my question.  I see these as answers to the question “what makes you happy”, which is of course different for everyone.  My original question of “what is happiness” remains unanswered.


There were some answers that dug slightly deeper;

Happiness is

“Knowing that although life isn’t perfect and we never have all the money we need, it’s pretty damn good”

“Banging two pots together and discovering they make a noise, rolling balls down a baby walker and managing to put a lid on a pot! Happiness is so simple when you’re a child.”

“In the small things.”

“never to be taken for granted…”

“A state of mind”

All the above gave me food for thought.  How great to acknowledge that even though “life isn’t perfect” you can still be happy if you appreciate what you have.  How very true that happiness can often be found in the small things, sometimes overlooked when searching for the bigger things in life.  Indeed happiness should never be taken for granted, a fact I know only too well.

Happiness is a state of mind.  How very very true.  How wise and how perceptive.  A state of mind that I am still trying to gain.  To make my brain work in that way.

How true it also is, that through the eyes of a child happiness is so simple.  I often envy my daughter.  She can spend hours on end playing with her foot. She can light up the room with her smile and her laugh sounds like a thousand hearts filling up with love. She always seems so happy. The simplest of things can keep her smiling for hours.  She is magic.

However, perhaps the answer that gave me the most to think about, the answer that I will now focus on is this;

Happiness is, loving the life you live, so you can live the life you love.

Loving the life you live, so you can live the life you love.

I need to love my life.

So – What is it about my life that I don’t love?  The answer?


I don’t love myself.  Everything else about my life, though not perfect, is, to quote my friend above “pretty damn good”.  I need to examine what it is about me that I don’t like, and I need to change it.  I have the power to change, and a reason to change, and now, having had enough of this, I have the will to change.

I won’t bore you all with the long list of things about myself I need to change.  The important thing is that I take control.

I need to stop complaining and get up and change things.  It can be done.

And perhaps, just maybe, I really can reclaim my happiness after all.


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