Time for some 'Talk About'

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9250
   Posted 1/31/2012 2:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all~

Or should I say it's 'Past' time for out 'Talk about'... is long overdue. I've been up to my neather-regions for the past several months in trying to finish up a remodel project. We're down to flooring, stairs, trim-out and a few other small items. Since we're doing this all on our own, and I'm the only one with the construction experience, it does make it slow going. But enough complaining...on with something more pleasant.

The topic for this "Talk about" is: Happiness~

OK, what can I say about happiness that 1) hasn't already been said, 2) doesn't sound doofus, or 3) what do I have to be happy about?

Here's a quote I found very thought provoking, for me at least...

"It doesn't matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years -- we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on. - Sharon Salzberg

Can we choose to be happy? What makes YOU happy? Does being happy take your mind off your pain or other miseries?

In no way am I saying that any of us choose to not be happy. We're in pain for Heavens' sake. It would make the strongest person crumble with what we live with day to day. But somehow we seem to push through it all. We still do many of the daily activities in life, attend social events, raise children and grandchildren, work, play and yes, we cry at times too. We are human after all. So what is it that puts some happiness in you? Just by being here you are a survivor...how do you do it? I'm sure many people who read this forum but have not yet posted would be encouraged by everyone's answers as well as the members.

So, what are your thoughts on this topic?

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.

- Victor Hugo
Moderator ~ Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, IDDM. UC, , Osteoarthritis and others trying to mess up life.
The microwave oven is the consolation prize in our struggle to understand physics. ~Jason Love

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/31/2012 7:05 AM (GMT -6)   
What an interesting and thoughtful concept Chutz.....
When I was younger and more sure of what I could control (ie: less experienced), I thought happiness was the American Dream.  A husband, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a nice house.  Now, happiness comes to me in different ways and I think I appreciate it more than I did then too.
Some of the things that I find the most happiness in are:  A true hug, seeing the love in my child's eyes when she sees me in line at school to pick her up, seeing the love in my dog's eyes, knowing I made someone else happy for a moment, being in a clean room, the feel of fresh sheets, the smell of freshness, the warmth of a warming blanket on an aching back, an enjoyable meal or desert, a diet coke when I'm really, really thirsty, the sound of music that I love and haven't heard for years....played with passion, a feel of a really warm shower, the feel of washing my hair, watching a really good "old" movie, snuggling up to my husband (well...some of the time), and when my meds kick in and the pain is lessened just enough to take it off of my mind for a little while...
I know these things sound silly to people who enjoy a painless existance, but for me, the feelings of love, the scents, sounds, and feelings of nice surroundings, family and pets, and just enough pain relief to feel better for a little while are happiness. 
Happiness no longer has to be a great event or a state of being every day, it's often a momentary feeling, but one I hope to never loose in this battle we fight every day.....so I will spend money I shouldn't on things that make like more comfortable....for the simple reason that it makes me happy for just a little while!
I hope you all have a less painful day and something that makes you happy will pop up and give you a brief respite from your worries and your pain for just a few minutes.  Hold on to it as long as you can and look back on it again when it seems the hardest to feel.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 1/31/2012 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I see happiness as having at least three levels.
1) occurrent mood -- such as the feeling one gets when something goes well. This state is very contingent on outward events and may come and go based upon them.
2) dispositional mood -- this is more tied to personality and we can see how some people are just typically upbeat.
3) eudaimonic -- using the Greek term, I take this to have to do with self-realization and is not a matter of mood (though that too may be present) but rather the engagement with an active and fulfilling life.

Pain can impair all 3; and all 3 can combat pain. Pain levels (esp. under 6/10) are, I think, sensitive to other mental factors and the more one can focus on something else than the pain, the less of an impact the pain has.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 1/31/2012 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Today I am happy because its January and its 65, now I know Maryland is not known for its extremely cold weather, but to me, 45 is cold.  Its a beautiful day, the sun is shining and there is a slow breeze.  It is enough to make me get outside, of course, since it is so beautiful I have no appointments, dont pick up my grandaughter until Thursday, and by that time I am sure it will be back to January weather.
But for now, spring is in the air, and when I think about it, its not so far away.  Feb. begins tomorrow, and the first  day of spring is March 20, or 21st depending on what calendar I am looking at.
I have to appreciate the little things like this day, and as everyone take it one day at a time.  But if you look for it or even if it comes to you, happiness is there, for all of us in some way.
Take care,
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 1/31/2012 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
My two biggest sources of happiness are my children and having a strong faith... even despite this crazy world we live in AND my crazy life - I have purpose in what I'm doing and can (most of the time, lol) see the bigger picture.

I find contentment in the little things in life.... laughing w/ my friends, watching my favorite TV show, reading a good book, etc. It comes and goes. But I'm always thankful when it's there!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 1/31/2012 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to comment on Retired Mom's Post.

Wow, I have to tell you, that very descriptive narrative really got to me. That put me in such a good mood and gave me clarity of vision to realize what happiness can be in terms of simple things.

I am going to try to pursue a more postive outlook on the simple things that you described as well as other simple things. Thank you for that.!!

To all, as usual, I wish for you, God's blessing this day.

Believe in yourself. Be kind to fellow humans and animals. Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.

And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help. I will be there.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 1/31/2012 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone I actually get a chance to answer this one. Happiness for me is the simple little things in life like Retired Mom said, and especially when things are going pretty well with us.

Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/31/2012 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I want to personally thank those of you who made such positive comments on my entry on this thread.
It means so much to feel like I wrote something that touched someone else. 
Blessings to you all!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 2/1/2012 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
It is so different how I perceive happiness now than before I had chronic pain and so many health issues. There are some things little things that make me happy:
Being outside at night and finding the constellations I know. To me there's nothing like observing the night sky and the stars.
Having my sweet cat Muffin sit on my lap and make "biscuits" while purring like crazy.
When my little boy dog Buster stares up at me with his doe eyes like he is in love with me.
When my adorable dog Zoe paws at my arm to get under the blanket that I'm using- it's like she is knocking on the door to be let in.
Anytime my husband says something sweet that was completely unexpected.
Hearing a great song and really listening to every part of it. I would die without music.
Having a delicious meal and desert that you've not had in a long time.
When the sky is so clear and just the perfect shade of blue.

I'm sure there are more things that I can't think of. I've really enjoyed this discussion! I hope everyone has a wonderfully happy day tomorrow!
Current: DDD L4-S1, Arthritis L4-S1, Facet Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis, Vulvodynia, Restless Leg Syndrome, Bi-polar, IBS, Fibromyalgia, PTSD. In past 6 months have had epidurals, facet blocks and radiofrequency ablation.
Past: Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 3 laparoscopies, 2 cystoscopies, total hysterectomy, appendix & gallbladder removal.

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 2/1/2012 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
RetiredMom hit it on the head with her post. It moved me, and I am so glad to see you back and posting regularly. You were missed.

I want to add that faith for me brings happiness. There is no better feeling than the soft touch of yarn and my crochet hook, working to create something that will hopefully bring happiness and peace to another person. Without my faith, I don't think I would be crocheting shawls and afghans to help others.

The way the breeze brings the smell of flowers, cut grass, or just turned earth to you and you know that all that we need in life has been provided for us.

Happiness is everywhere, in a hug, a kind word or gesture from a friend, or simply seeing beyond yourself.

Happiness does help me stop focusing on pain.

What a great talk about. Thank you Chutz!
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI dysfunction, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, 11 pelvic surgeries for pain, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and ovarian remnant syndrome.
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