For most people happiness happens naturally. I can look out my window and marvel at the colors of the flowers, enjoy dewdrops glistening on leaves, and know it’s going to be a sunny warm day in western New York. I can hear my cat purring in the chair next to me and watch the chipmunks outside running around on our wood pile. Both things make me smile. I sometimes think about the reality of how a human body works and the solar system keeps moving. These miracles we take for granted give me reason to be happy.

Yesterday my grandson and I went to the zoo. By the goats pen a little girl was inspecting little round dark-colored balls on the rocks. She looked at her Dad and said, “Those aren’t berries. That’s poop!” It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Her father was mortified. But think about it, that little girl, stating the obvious, was a delight because she was learning. When we got to the elephant pen three women were working with one of the female elephants, which was twice as tall as the lady with the food. At one point, the lady threw a whole banana into the elephants mouth as a reward for following a command. My grandson, in his dead-pan way, said, “That puts a whole new meaning on, did you even taste it,” and we laughed together. It was fun, happy outing.

On the other hand, I know people who fight depression every day and think the world is out to get them because they have to deal with responsibilities like pay bills, go grocery shopping, and get along with other people. Those people make me sad. It’s hard for me to understand why they can’t see the good in things and it makes me angry they rarely say anything nice about anything. I avoid people like that and then I feel guilty when I can’t help them, or they won’t accept help, especially when it’s a family member.

Back to happiness happens. Even if you don’t have everything you want in life, be happy for what you do have. If you are reading this you have a computer, you can read, you have electricity, you are most likely in a building so you have shelter and in my case, there is a cup of coffee near by. It’s the little things that are the most important to me: a smile from my husband, or a stranger; a “hello” on the street; a dogs wagging tail; some carrot cake for breakfast. Let happiness happen today, it’s all around you.