L. A Little Life
This week as I have been doing my usual running around, I have had these moments in which I felt utterly content. Don’t get me wrong, the daily frustrations of life were still there: the juggling of the kids, work and farm; the constantly messy house with its never-ending piles of dishes and laundry; the omnipresent squabbling of children….etc, but when I stick my head above all the fray, I realize that I’m in a good place.
I guess it doesn’t take much to make me feel content. If you break down what I did today, you’ll see that there weren’t any major events going on, no moments of extreme excitement, no major life events, just every day life.
A day in my life
At 5am I got a phone call from the post master telling me that my chicks had come in (yes, I get mail order chicks sometimes; no they aren’t Russian brides). He let me know that I could just knock on the side door if the post office wasn’t open yet when I went to get them.
I got the kids off to school and fed the animals and went to pick up our new turkey poults. On my way back home, I decided to stop in and show the poults to a friend who I knew was home.
After I got the poults set up, another friend came by and we headed out to the Hardwick Farmers Co-operative Exchange to pick up even more chicks. On the way we dropped her son at school and I delivered cookies to Number 1’s school for the PTO bake sale. At the exchange I also picked up a bee brush, some seeds, a one gallon mason jar for a secret, soon-to-be-revealed project and some poultry supplies.
After being home for a bit, Number 3 and I picked up his friend and then I drove them both to jiu jitsu. After a quick dinner I drove Number 2 to soccer practice. From there, I hurried over to the high school because Number 4 was a finalist in a school district wide recipe contest. I watched the tasting and judging (she took 3rd place).
I then picked up Number 2 and his friend and brought them back to the high school to watch the jazz showcase that Number 2’s other friend was playing in (soccer friend and jazz band friend are twins). Number 2 and I watched the show with their parents.
It’s not magic
That was my day. It had a little more excitement to it than a normal day and I didn’t do any work for my day job, but it was pretty similar to most of my days. But when I break down the day in my mind and think about the things that made me feel content, they all had something to do with feeling connected: the postmaster knowing me and about my chicks, being able to stop at a friend’s house on a whim, going out with a friend, being part of the school and farming communities, sharing music with friends.
Feeling connected makes me happy.
And maybe that isn’t so surprising. Harvard has been doing the longest research study on adult life that has ever been done. It’s called The Harvard Study of Adult Development. For 75 years they have been following adult men throughout their lives. The data that are being generated provide a treasure trove of research material. And one thing researchers are studying is ‘what makes us happy?’
The director of the study, Dr. Robert Waldinger gave a great TED talk discussing the results of the study. His research group found that the single best predictor of happiness later in life was connectedness. When people feel connected, they are happy (and healthier too!).
Like the men in that study, it doesn’t take living large to make me happy.
Yes, I live a little life, but damn, it’s a full, connected, little life and I love it.
Blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge. Come blog through the alphabet with me.
Photo courtesy of nicolesfunstuffwithkids.