SURVIVE: Happiness Takes Work

By Susan "Honey" Good

I learned very early on in my life, first grade to be exact, that I had to work at being happy. Of course as a six year old I did not think of it in those terms, but I just knew the harder I tried to make new friends or get good grades, the happier I felt. 

Throughout my life whenever I faced fear, frustration, grief, anger, loss, anxiety or disappointment, I knew that 'happiness takes work' and I worked.

I wanted to write about happiness today, but was having trouble defining the word so I searched the Oxford American Dictionary... they had trouble too! 

THEY DEFINE HAPPINESS AS A STATE OF BEING HAPPY. 

It seemed to me that even the dictionary could not define happiness. Maybe it's because everyone has their own definition. My personal definition would be that happiness equals hard work and wisdom. 

WISDOM. We have to be wise when we are confronted with unhappiness and not despair. We have to understand that we will have to work hard in order to get out of our despair. The harder you work, the happier you will be. Makes sense?

HARD WORK. Women wear many hats. We are wives, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, girlfriends and many of us have careers. We have ups and downs in our relationships. Happiness takes hard work. If we work hard at happiness, there is usually a silver lining.

Now that I have given my spiel on 'happiness takes work,' I was thinking of where I could work harder. Fortunately I am doing just fine at the moment, except...

MAINTENANCE. My personal maintenance. There are not enough hours in the week to patch, patch, patch.

You know darlings, after a certain age it’s all the repair work. There is not a woman over 50 who is not trying to turn back her 'clock.' 

We need time for dental work, varicose veins, skin tags, brown spots, botox, facelifts, liposuction, thinning hair, grey hair, eyebrow wax and color, face wax, leg wax, restylane, collagen, workouts, bunion surgery, breast lifts, trips to buy the best face creams, body creams, loofahs, bath oils and bras. It never stops! Thank God, I don’t need all the repairs!

I have decided to put most of the patches on the back burner because texting my children and my grands, spending time with my ultimate concierge, calling my mother everyday, writing my stories, having lunch and gabbing with the girls, paying our bills, marketing, travel, etc. are on the top of my 'happiness takes work' list!

I have always felt that a woman’s inner beauty is far more important than her outer beauty, so patch, patch, patch will have to come after love, friendship and responsibilities. That comes from years of wisdom.