Same or Different?

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness and joy over the past few days and what it specifically means to me.  Many people use them interchangeably and as synonyms but would it surprise you if I were to tell you that they mean to different things?  Well, at least to me they do.

Happiness is defined as a feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.  While joy is a a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  Now at first glance those two seem identical but I believe that happiness is something that is very fleeting and something that doesn’t last.  It occurs for a brief moment and then circumstances change so that we are no longer happy.  Joy is something that lasts for a long time and stays with us for what seems like forever.

A friend once explained happiness to me like this.  “Imagine you have an ice cream cone and it’s a nice warm summer day and you’re so excited you finally have this ice cream cone.  You’re probably feeling pretty happy.  But then a kid comes along and runs into you and causes you to drop that ice cream cone all over the side walk.  You’re probably not very happy right now are you?”

What are some things that make me happy?  Sleeping in.  Dancing in the rain.  A good book.  Hot chocolate on a snowy day.  Music.  Netflix binge watching.  Writing a good scene.

What are some things that bring me joy?  Theatre…especially performing.  Holding a hard copy of a book I wrote.  Performing in general.  The Primary Program at church.  Temple trips.  Renfaires.  Conventions.

The lists for both of those could go on, but I think I’ll stop there and hope that my idea came across the way it was supposed to.  What about you?  What makes you happy?  What brings you joy?



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