Home > Books, Friends, Reflections > life-full


I went to brunch on Sunday. I always enjoy brunch, and appreciate–so much–that I have people to brunch with.

There was something special about this brunch: talking with Bill Friday. Specifically, we talked about happiness.

Anthony’s always asking if I’m happy!” I said. “And I’m like, no! And who cares? What if happiness isn’t a useful measure for my life? What if there’s something more and deeper that’s lost by looking so hard at happiness?!”

(This was not a gripe about my husband, by the way; it was about the limitations of language and cultural perceptions!)

Today I talked to my sister Rache. As we spoke, I saw she would have so enjoyed chatting with Bill and me:

Though the histories we discussed were grim and heartbreaking, our conversation was so damn hopeful. “Happiness,” we agreed, was not the yardstick by which we want to measure our lives. We want comprehension, connection, fullness, and fulfillment, not entertainment (alone).

Rache will be visiting soon enough. Maybe we’ll get a chance to sit and talk (things more important-to-us than) happiness with Bill.

But if not? I will hold the joy of those separate, related conversations within me,

for, unlike happiness,

joy is the complex totality that recognizes how all the feelings of life are part of a full one.

Photo courtesy Ra

  1. June 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Not using happiness as a measure of a good life. I like that so much. 🙂

    • June 16, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      I’m so loving seeing the world a little differently every day thanks to what I’m reading and hearing! The reading might be slowing down a little, but … gonna keep listening, for sure. 🙂

  2. June 14, 2017 at 5:27 am

    You all look awesome, and happy 😉 and that is one beautiful baby boy!

  3. June 14, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Dear Monster,

    I don’t think I’ve ever been this affected by a blog post. Yesterday was a day for that with me… a day where reminders of good things was important for once. A day when joy was important to remember, and hang onto. Thank you for sharing that joy, this time with the world, all over again.

    • June 16, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I’m still finding myself affected by our conversation. I can’t pinpoint one particular thing about it that moved me so, which means, I think, it was … everything about it. Thank you so much, for that talk and this one. ♥

  4. Nikki
    June 16, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I love this so much!! ❤

    • June 16, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks! It was such a lovely day, I’m glad to have captured pieces of it so I can breathe it back in when needed …

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