Finding Your Happy Place

Sunny Frazier 5Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today with thoughts of finding joy in life, in the little things.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.   //

In this fast-paced world it’s easy to lose touch with serious happiness. I think people believe they’re happy without examining their lives too closely. “Today I’m not miserable, so yes, I must be happy.” “Things could be worse.” “Everything’s fine.” That’s not exactly joy, that’s just getting by.

Do we even recognize a state of bliss? The adage “Stop and smell the roses,” is exactly what people need to do. Stop. Smell, taste, feel. Roses, ice cream, the sun on your face (don’t forget the sunscreen).

Maybe it’s an irrelevant subject when we are surrounded by race issues, terrorist threats, climate change, politics and governments being overthrown. The topic might be simplistic to some of you. On the other hand, maybe this is the perfect time to be reminded that there is also the potential for personal joy.

For me, my happy place is on my patio. I feel the breeze on my skin, so rare in this hot valley in July (it’s vital to savor them when they blow through). The palm tree in my neighbor’s yard fascinates as it sways. The rustle of fronds is soothing. There’s a rust-colored dragonfly that visits and a mocking bird entertains me from the telephone pole. Rocking on the swing with a good book and a cup of English Breakfast tea first thing in the morning. The refreshing dip in the pool every afternoon. 600 count Egyptian cotton sheets to crawl into at night.

Messages on my computer (when it behaves) from friends I may never meet. Writers in the trenches with me reminding me I’m not alone. Readers who share a love of books. Others who share a love of cats.

A Snitch in TimeI remember feeling unbridled joy when I was very young. Too soon I became too busy to appreciate the nuances as life came at me like a tennis match. Adolescence brought feelings of insecurity. I enjoyed moments in my 20’s with my friends, usually fueled by alcohol. I enjoyed afternoons of sex. I loved travel but it was usually laced with stress. I remember spring, lying on the grass in front of a castle in Germany with a handsome Army soldier. I remember sitting on a bench in a Puerto Rican plaza watching pretty girls, arm-in-arm, sashaying for the boys. I experienced twilight in Port-au-Prince when young men came out to walk in the park, reading aloud by the last light of the sun (there was no electricity in homes). There was a humid evening sitting on a levee in New Orleans, watching the Mississippi make its lazy way to the Gulf. But to be honest, I enjoy the memories more now than I did when it was all happening.

I even find happiness in dialysis. My companions, looking sleepy in the waiting room, the tech greeting us when the door is opened at 5 a.m. Nurse Gino has upbeat music blaring, sometimes classical, sometimes rock. The routine of settling in, each of us with our blankets, headphones and snacks. Feeling safe, catered to, the needles hardly mattering anymore. We share something unique, strapped in our chairs like astronauts, bundled up like mummies. The soothing whir of the machines. Saying good-bye to friends at the end of treatment. Feeding the birds in the parking lot before going home to feed the cats.

Happiness only happens when it is recognized, nurtured and protected. Time slips away too quickly; don’t lose the joy of now.

Sunny Frazier Woman Happiness Sunrise Silhouette Dress Beach

16 thoughts on “Finding Your Happy Place

  1. This is a lovely post, Sunny, and you are a very special person. I agree with you on so many levels, too, and yes, sometimes we need to just ‘sit still’ and be grateful for all life’s fleeting moments amidst the strife and violence. I try to cherish these moments, but sometimes it takes a bit of effort. Your past sounds enchanting, and your voice also speaks loudly in your books————-btw, I am enjoying the book you use in the post. A perfect cozy mystery with humor and endearing characters. It is a pleasure being one of your e-mail buddies.


  2. Such a lovely reminder to enjoy the little things in life. I was reminded of this recently when my husband lost one of my socks in a ship’s laundry–a particularly nice pair my daughter had given me for Christmas. We both searched and didn’t find it. On one of our last days on the ship, I decided to go through the large bag of clothing that had accumulated there over the course of our travels. There it was. I was absolutely thrilled and showed it, much to the amazement of a woman standing there ironing. Seeing her expression, I said, “If you can get pleasure out of the little things, you’ll always find happiness.” I walked away from the laundry as thrilled as though I had just been selected for a Pulitzer. I guess you can say that it doesn’t take much to make me happy, even finding a lost sock.


  3. Beautiful post, Sunny. It’s hard to remember to stop and smell the roses and feel the sun on my face sometimes, and I need a kick in the butt to remind me once in a while. I find that when I slow down and pay attention to the things around me, I do experience greater joy and, more importantly I think, peace. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, and an attitude of gratitude, as they say, begets more happiness.


  4. I absolutely loved this post, Sunny! It’s important, crucial even, for each of us to make a commitment to ourselves to be happy – no matter what.
    I recently watched “Under the Tuscan Sun” for probably the tenth time. One of my favorite lines from the movie is, “To be happy, you must never lose your child-like innocence.” I believe that!


  5. Wonderful post, Sunny! I find my greatest joy in laughter, and sometimes in making others laugh. You’re a Cat Person and I’m a Dog Person. My dogs frequently make me laugh and brighten my day. This post is enough to make one sit back, relax, and think happy thoughts.


    • Marja, I am also a dog person! Unfortunately, I lost my little one over a year ago, and I haven’t gotten another one, yet ( I’m hoping to relocate). Enjoy your doggies, they are simply priceless, aren’t they ( and so are cats).


  6. This is a great reminder for all of us, Sunny. It’s so easy to overlook the wonder of life and those times of happiness. And when you mention your treatment, I can empathize because I experience much the same during my chemo sessions, kibitzing with the wonderful nurses, talking to other patients, just watching life around me and being thankful for the blessings I’ve had.


  7. This is so true. Stopping to enjoy all that we have and each and every moment is so a part of living. As far as any thought that the subject might be irrelevant with our continuing race issues, cop killings, terrorists killing for the sake of killing, all I can think about is what Anne Frank said in her diary. There was something there about the majority of people (if not all) being basically good. She had hope for the world. I do too, but there’s been a lot of disappointments and I only hope Anne Frank’s words prove that all of our hopes for a good world prove true.


  8. Lovely post, Sunny, and very timely for me as I struggle to make sense of and not be depressed by current events of late. I’ve even taken a social media break…just popped in to FB for a moment and there was your link to this article on my wall. Serendipity, I’m thinking. I’ve been focusing on doing just what you describe–living in the moment and being present to the simple things that make me happy.


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