Finding Joy

I recently finished reading The Geography of Bliss and really, really enjoyed it. It's amusing. It's honest. It's thought provoking. Even if the author is kind of a negative nance. It got me thinking about what makes me happy...and what makes other people happy. People like you, but also people across the rest of the world.

I went to the Dalai Lama's speech at Emory University in 2010 which was hosted by a spiritual leader from every major world religion. It was amazing and not so surprisingly, the rabbi was the most interesting. I've always been interested in Judaism. It's not just a religion-it's a faith, a culture, a lifestyle. Bottomline, the discussion revolved around the idea that we all value things differently and therefore our happiness can't be measured quantitatively. For instance, people in Peru or Nicaragua are typically far less wealthy than the average American and often times, far happier than we are here. I've traveled to other countries that we consider 'Third World' and at a high level, it seems that they are happier as a whole. They seemed to find joy in each other. In food. In quality time. And even though those are all things that we have the ability to enjoy here in the States, a lot of people fill their lives with money and stuff, thinking that ownership is the same thing as happiness. It's not. I know from experience.

I spent almost the entirety of this past weekend with friends and family. We didn't do anything elaborate. There were no limos involved or going out doing things we couldn't afford. Instead we enjoyed quality time. We did the Spirits of Oakland Cemetery haunted tour and explored areas of Atlanta we'd never visited. We had good food and beer and played games. We dressed up. 

We watched movies and took long walks. We had great, meaningful conversations. I've noticed that in life, those are the types of days I remember most fondly.

The things that make me most happy? Cooking when I don't have to rush. Louis's breath when he yawns. The way Charley makes me laugh until I almost throw up.
Publix Buttercream. Wisteria. Fireflies. Halloween. 

And every single thing about Fall. Conversations about life and love and books. Always books-and always fur babies.

How about you? Do you think you prioritize people and things in your life the right way or do you think you could use an adjustment in your mindset? What are the things in which you find joy?
Overall, I think everybody could get something out of this book. It was interesting and entertaining and I think is really engaging because it offers perspective into so many cultures. 

I saw this hat and it made me think about wildlife obviously but also about the finite amount of time we all have to enjoy this life. Don't wait. Find joy.

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