When am I happiest? What a great question! I could use it in a Socratic discussion at school and learn learn about the students. We do it at our dinner table with questions like: “What is your favorite animal and why?” or “Which TV or movie character is most like you?”
I am going to take the Charlie Brown-wishy-washy-way out of answering the question. I am happy with a cup of coffee in the morning and the newspaper or blogs to read. I am happy playing soccer or light saber fighting or board games or video games with my boys, and I am happy swimming laps with my daughter. I am very happy cooking dinner, even if the kids don’t like it. (After all, that is why PB&J was invented, right?) Of course, I am happy discussing our daily schedule, future plans, hopes, and dreams with my wife.
I also love my job. I am happy talking to freshman, teaching them writing skills and helping them appreciate a variety of stories. I enjoy sneaking in lessons that make them contemplate their own values, and I love making them think – in the hope that they will solve all of our problems one day.
I guess I am usually happy.
Of course, I do have unhappy moments. My kids misbehave occasionally, my wife gets mad at me, and I even make dinners I don’t like once in a while.
Nevertheless, everyone has happy and sad days. When I began teaching, I told a mentor that I would mark on a calendar if the day was good or bad. If too many days were bad, I would find another profession (probably one that made more money). So far, my calendars are overwhelmingly good.
It is how we deal with the bad days that make us stronger. We have to adapt, improvise, and overcome our unhappy days, whether it is at home or work.