Experiencing happiness

Experiencing happiness seems to be helped along by not being distracted from thinking about the past or planning for the future. It seems to help to slow down to notice what’s happening now, rather than looking ahead to the next set of tasks that need to be done.

I’ve noticed that when on vacation, or when intentionally in relaxation mode, small enjoyable things are magnified. When away from home, away from distraction into tasks of fixing this and that, I can be more present in each moment. In relaxation mode, it is easier to pay attention to things like sunsets and pretty flowers, or the guessing game of watching people and trying to imagine their story. I can enjoy good meals that are eaten without rushing, and can get immersed in great conversations that have no time limit.

On weekends, I can often be in a similar mood. It may seem odd to plan for unstructured time, yet that seems to be the trick to letting go of other planning topics. If I have half a dozen things that might be fun to do, and none of them are necessary things, then the meander from one to the other is an easy flow, and I can drop one or all of them in favor of a meal, a good book, or a chance meeting with friends.  Getting away from the clock, and into the flow of experiencing the moment, seems to attract unexpected delight.

I recall an evening on our last trip to Hawaii, where we sat on a stone wall at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and looked at the stars for a while after dinner. Soon enough, a parade of people on various bicycles came past, more than a hundred of them, dressed in celebratory garb, sporting lights and streamers on their conveyances, all of which was exhilarating, and it made us laugh out loud. They smiled and waved, and we waved right back. If we hadn’t been relaxing and taking each moment as it came, we wouldn’t have been sitting on the wall, and likely would have missed the bicycle parade altogether. It may have been as though that moment of surprise, leading to enjoyment and happiness, had never been there. The experience led to us exchanging stories with my mum about other spontaneous bits of fun. Before long, we were singing pieces of silly song lyrics on the meander back to our hotel rooms.

Copyright 2012 R Loader all rights reserved

Reciting silly poetry

Umbrella with bamboo

Where the rain gets in

Sometimes reading silly poetry is enough to bring a smile to my face, yet the best thing of all is to memorize it, and recite it out loud with friends. Watching their faces is a delight. Sometimes these are also song lyrics, and the best ones have a good bit of rhythm, along with places to add silly voices.  Here’s one of my favorites from Spike Milligan; it’s particularly appropriate for Seattle:

 

There are itty bitty holes in the sky

Where the rain gets in

But they’re very, very small

That’s why rain is thin

Most of the poems of Ogden Nash are fun for this game, as are Rudyard Kipling’s poetry. A childhood verse I learned has lingered in my mind. I was reminded of it when a chum mentioned on facebook that people sometimes swallow baby spiders, accidentally. It gets just a little faster and more breathless as you recide it.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird.
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
My what a hog, to swallow a dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat, to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow.
She swallowed the cow to catch the dog.
She swallowed the dog, to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse…
She died, of course!

I think I’ll go hunt down some Kipling to share. Send me your favorite links to other silly poetry. I love finding new sources.

Copyright 2012 R Loader all rights reserved

Relaxing on the couch

One of my favorite things is to curl up on the couch next to my love, and cuddle while watching tv shows. We like to indulge in a series at a time, and may watch 4-5 episodes on a rainy afternoon. In between episodes, we make each other hot tea or cocoa, and talk about what the characters were doing. Often enough, it’s a series that we watched as a first run some while ago, and this time around, we know the story. Being close, and sharing the experience again makes us feel warm, cozy, and as though all is right with our world.

One of our comfort tv shows is Firefly, by Joss Whedon. Terrific cast, great stories. Shame it was on Fox; they seem to schedule, and then cancel, all the best shows.

Copyright 2012 R Loader all rights reserved