15 Apr 2016

Diamonds and Dysons - My Happiness Non Negotiables

When I was tasked to write about my happiness non-negotiables, I thought it would be easy, but I ended up thinking more about `why` certain things made me happy - what they did that made me actually "happy" and content - why they had the innate power to do so.

I'm not sure what I, as someone with intermittent depression and panic disorder, even mean by happiness. Even at my most depressed, I have experienced happiness or joy. If material objects make us happy, does that mean someone with "nothing" (eg latest gadget, expensive handbag, gig tickets) is not happy. Is happiness a state of being - does it mean being "not-sad" or does it mean "content"? 

If it means the opposite of sad - "not-sad"- does that mean that rather than being elated with our life it more about being "satisfied" or content with our lot in life - whether that be a 40 bedroom mansion or mud hut? It's often said that money can't buy happiness, but it certainly makes life much easier and can reduce worries leaving a person "not sad".  I guess, for this post, I went with what keeps me on an even keel and helps me enjoy the good things in my life. whether I'm simply content, or euphoric at times.

Let's assume that we know that the basics are covered - food/water, shelter/safety, good health. Those are standard requirements and in any context or time in my life, have not caused me worry - thus creating a feeling of "not sad". Ditto with books, music, good relationships and good food/wine - things that nourish the soul, regardless of how much they change within my lifetime - the books that make me happy as an adult, would not have made me happy aged 5. 

So then, what are my happiness non negotiables and what have they got to do with vacuums and jewellery. They break down into 3 main areas.