What makes You Happy?

I have a question for you. It’s the title of this post. I was thinking about what makes me the most happy of all the things, actions, thoughts, whatever, and I came up with what sounds to me as cliché , but are actually true. The thing I like to do the most is find something to do or say or give to someone else that I feel might make them feel good. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big thing, sometimes a smile will do, or forwarding a funny email, or encouraging someone in an endeavor.

Shopping for that perfect gift and then eagerly waiting for that person to open it. I think that makes me giddier than anything else. Knowing they will love my gift and also knowing that they know I took the time to really think of them while shopping. Sometimes, we buy what we like when we don’t know someone that well and if we are general enough, that approach will usually work out, but it can be scary. I try to learn about people so I don’t have to face that awkward time, but if I’m not sure, I’ll take a chance rather than miss it altogether.

Maybe because I’m a senior I’ve learned to value friendships so much, because our time on this Earth is short and I think it’s important to make the most of the time we have. And, because I’ve lost many dear friends over the years, I’m perhaps more aware how precious our acquaintances, family and loved ones are. When we are young, we are immortal in our minds and losing anyone is not at all in our minds until it happens, and then happens again, and then again.

But, I never will forget an experience I had a few years ago. It was early in the morning in my bank. The teller’s line was slow and I could hear the lady behind me impatiently sighing, and out of the corner of my eye I could see her shifting from one foot to another. It was obvious she was in a hurry and was not happy she had to wait. I stood there in the line and tried to think what I could do. Finally I was first in line. I cashed my check and as I turned around to leave, I leaned toward her, smiled, and in a low voice said I had the feeling she was having a rough day and I hoped it got better. She just looked at me, startled. About an hour later I saw her again at the post office and she made a point to come up to thank me for making her day. She said I had completely turned around the direction her day was going and she felt it was important to thank me. That day was a very important lesson for me and will remain in my memory. We both knew I didn’t have to say anything to her, but we both were glad I did. Sometimes a lift from a stranger is a wonderful help to someone.

As a result of that experience, there have been times when I’ve found I was becoming impatient with someone for some reason and instead of getting annoyed and/or angry, I take a deep breath and pretend that person is a fictitious, dotty little grandmother of mine, and I’m suddenly more patient and not annoyed anymore.  I’ve noticed this technique also appears to be helpful to my nerves and blood pressure.

So now, dear readers, I want to hear what makes you happy. And what are some of your secrets?


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under life, musings

12 responses to “What makes You Happy?

  1. Robert

    Great blog. Makes me want to go make someone happy. 😁

  2. I like serving my customers at the Blue Belle Inn and making them happy.with the foods I create for them. I also like traveling and taking photographs of what I see and knowing I am allowing people to experience a part of the world that they would never otherwise get to see.

    • Sherrie, For years I’ve wished I could be one of your customers at the Blue Belle Inn. I just know that experience would make us both happy! And I am eagerly awaiting your next post with photos about your latest trip. Although I have seen some of the places you’ve visited, I love to see your photos and read about your experiences. I don’t travel as much any more, so your trips help fulfill my yearnings for travel. Thank you so much!!! You are a wonderful writer, photographer, and person!!!

  3. It also makes me extremely happy when I get a good review of one of my books and know that what I’ve written has somehow touched the reader, or made a deep connection. or impression on them.

  4. Eileen

    Writing about my family makes me happy. Flowers of all kinds, but especially fragrant ones make me happy. Experiencing the kindness of others make me happy. Each day I choose happy, nd find that it is all around if I just take the time to look.

    • Eileen, you seem to have a joyful outlook on life in general and family, flowers and kindness are perfect sources to look for that happiness, but what I especially like about your comment is that you CHOOSE to be happy. Yes!!! It is a decision we can make or not and you have chosen to make it. Good for you!!!! My bet? You have lots of friends!!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. It made me happy!

  5. Oh, I love that dottie grandmother advice. What an uplifting post to start my day. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much, Sheila! “Gram” has saved my day a number of times. She’s glad to loan herself out anytime. Thanks for reading my post. I’m glad it was uplifting for you. Yeaaaaaay!

  6. Faye

    Great article! You spoke the obvious with elegance – as us your norm. Thank you for that.

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