A few years ago I realized I’d lost my happy. Maybe it was the rigors of parenthood. Perhaps it was the difficulties of working multiple jobs to pay for graduate school. It might have been adulthood itself–many of us find we’ve grown out of our natural childhood joy because life just got so life-y.
Whatever the reason, I wanted to find happiness again. In Philippians chapter four, Paul instructs us to rejoice always (and then repeats himself for good measure, “I will say it again, rejoice!”). Throughout Scripture, the joy of the Lord is raised up as a standard of hope and blessing.
My life was pretty good–healthy kids, a job I loved, a solid marriage. Yet happiness was elusive. So I began to dig a little deeper. The following is an excerpt from the book that came out of this exploration and my deepest question: how could I find happiness again?
“Well,” my husband Daryl asked, “when do you feel the happiest?”
“I have no idea,” I said. “I don’t really do happy. I mean, who has time? I just need some sort of plan. Or maybe a class. Ten days to a happier Courtney.”
He chuckled. “I don’t think that’s going to work.” He paused, dropping a pile of folded shirts at the foot of the bed. “I also think it’s going to take you a bit longer than ten days to get to the bottom of your seriousness.”
He was right. But then … how?
Driving home from work the next day, I flipped on the radio. Someone—probably the three-year-old who liked to “drive” the car while it was parked in front of our house—had changed all my presets. I was expecting NPR, and instead the car flooded with jazz. I laughed.
And suddenly I knew where to begin.
Excerpted with permission from Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit.