Happiness is being in the presence of a child.
I loved the days that I got to drive my daughter to elementary school. I’d rush home from my morning swim to make her favourite breakfast and wake her up with a hug and kiss on the cheek.
Her smile still makes me smile.
My kids always had a way to bring me more fully into the present, and because of that, my memories – of days at the zoo, towing them in my bicycle trailer, teaching them to skate, to swim and ride without training wheels, pushing them on swings and catching them at the bottom of slides – remain vividly real to me.
These experiences in my children’s presence remain in my heart and remind me of the joy of living.
I loved chatting with my daughter en route to school. No matter what wisdom I tried to impart, she was always teaching me something new . . . or reminding me of something I once knew but had forgotten.
One morning, thinking of my busy day ahead, I said to her, “You’re so lucky to be a kid!”
“What do you mean?” she asked from the back seat. “You’re a grownup! You get to drive a car, and you can go wherever you want.”
I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. She was right again.
“You can eat whatever you want” she added, “and go shopping all by yourself.”
After I dropped her off, she thanked me and wished me a happy day. Knowing I could drive wherever I wanted, I chose to go to work anyway, and I did have a happy day!
Your happiness exercise: be in the presence of a child, be fully present and see your world from a child’s perspective.