“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

This morning I woke up with horrendous back pain. I had to grab hold of knobs and corners of bureaus to make it to the bathroom. Happily I got there on time. When I finished, I decided coffee would be the panacea so I tentatively made my way down the stairs and then sat on the couch for a bit feeling quite sorry for myself. I got up, put the coffee on and went to get the papers. I didn’t stop to look at the flowers.

The phone rang. It was the Nielsen people for whom I’ve been keeping track of my radio listening for the past week. They called every day. I didn’t answer after the first two calls because each call had exactly the same script. Today I answered. I shouldn’t have. She read the script so fast I didn’t understand her but I didn’t need to. She was thanking me, wanted to know if I was keeping track each day and would I please send it back on Thursday, today. I then let her have it. Was it necessary to call every day? Did she think I was either dumb as a doornail or had no memory at all so I needed reminding?  Didn’t she understand how intrusive all these calls were?  Here I was doing them a favor and in return they harassed me. She never answered my specific questions. She just read from the script, the same script. There I was asking her if she thought I was dumb as a doornail and she said thank you and don’t forget to send the survey out today; of course, that’s what she said. I doubt the script has a section on what to say to a crazed woman. I said never bother me again and hung up.

It was my back which prompted the nastiness. I needed happy so I called my brother-in-law but got my sister instead who thought the whole incident quite entertaining. She was sympathetic, reminded me to take the pills the doctor gave me and suggested I lie down and watch a movie, a funny movie. She got a chuckle out of my calling Rod so I could hear a happy voice.

I got to thinking about happy and what makes me happy. Being with family and friends is an easy one so I dug a bit deeper. My garden makes me happy especially now when I get to watch the flowers break ground and begin to grow. Hot fudge sundaes with marshmallow instead of whipped cream make me very happy. A lazy day lolling on the couch always makes me happy. Add a good book and I’m nearly delirious with happiness. Chocolates, especially caramels, make me smile, chew a lot but still smile. Christmas makes every part of me happy. Mums and the colors of fall flowers always make me pause to look at how beautiful they are. I can feel the ocean inside me when it has tremendous white caps and a strong wind off the water. Sitting on my deck doing absolutely nothing makes me happy.

Okay, I am sorry for being obnoxious to the phone lady but really only a little sorry. The pill worked, and my back is fine. I’m going out on the deck to fill the bird feeders. I might even make my bed today. That is a sure sign of contentedness. All I needed were a few reminders.

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31 Comments on ““We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Way back when in 1969 Pete Townshend put together a band for his chum Speedy Keen who had written a song – The band were to be known by the name of their piano player Andy Thunderclap Newman and probably had the one hit wonder of all one hit wonders with “Something in the Air”

    The Who posted on Facebook that Andy Newman has left us at the age of 73 and so the miserable 2016 continues.

    “Hand out the arms and ammo
    We’re going to blast our way through here
    We’ve got to get together sooner or later
    Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
    And you know that it’s right

    We have got to get it together
    We have got to get it together”

    And I not convinced for one moment in this most awful of election years, that we have any chance to get it together……..Now

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I lower the volume whenever Trump is talking. I just can’t take it. Now not only are the Democrats and the Republicans miles apart but now even the Republicans and the Republicans are. They are making an effort too little and too late. I think Trump puts us in great peril.

      Yes, they are leaving us ever so quickly. The obituaries list the age next to the name in my paper. I can’t help but notice many are my contemporaries but then I also notice any are 80 and above so I have hope.

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat, the comedian Ronnie Corbett left us at the grand age of 85 – it made me feel a shade more comfortable. I freely admit that I do check the age of the departed with some trepidation. My chum Dan and I exchange unpleasantries on a daily basis on this issue.

      • katry Says:

        When I see people younger than I am, I feel sorry for them that they are missing so much more of life. The Cape seems to have an abundance of people 80 and over on the obit page. I’m hoping that works for me too.

    • im6 Says:

      It’s late Thursday and I’ve only now gotten around to reading my Coffee and only now learned of the passing of Thunderclap Newman. I agree ‘Something In The Air’ is one of the great one hit wonders of all time… right up there with ‘Spirit In The Sky.’

      What is it about 2016 anyway? It seems like not a day goes by without some piece of our youth cashing in the chips.

      • Hedley Says:

        im6 – A nod for “Love grows where my Rosemary goes” ?

      • im6 Says:

        Love Grows? Was that Edison Lighthouse (just testing my brain on this one and not looking it up). I despise that song! Almost as much as “Come On, Eileen.”

      • Hedley Says:

        im6 – Yup the fab brilliant Edison Lighthouse…..Want to try “In the Year 2525” ?

        With regard to “Come on Eileen”, I think you would have been much happier with “Searching for the Young Soul Rebels” – Dexys have a new album dropping in June.

      • im6 Says:

        Zagar & Evans???? I’ll pass on the Dexy… kind of like I did on that old Wilson fellow.

      • katry Says:

        I dread looking at the paper as someone new has passed away. They are all about my and your age. I go down stairs gingerly now.

      • Hedley Says:

        im6 – Go over to Brian Eno’s page on Facebook and there is a link to a new TWENTY ONE minute song called The Ship – from his forthcoming album. If you can get through that you will be begging for “Come on Eileen”

      • im6 Says:

        Well, given his intentions, the song’s a success: “I wanted to make a record of songs that didn’t rely on the normal underpinnings of rhythmic structure and chord progressions but which allowed voices to exist in their own space and time, like events in a landscape.” Some may call it new age. I call it pretentious. And you’re right. it makes “Eileen” positively wonderful.

      • Hedley Says:

        im6 – I do my best to chug along with Brian Eno but even with good intentions, that was a bit too much for me

  2. splendidone Says:

    Kat, You made my day with your list.So often I forget to visit and then I spend an hour catching up 🙂 I have been working on a small project for future generations OR for my own amusement when the alzheimer’s sets in for good. Perhaps some of your readers may be interested as well. https://familysearch.org/blog/en/52-questions-52-weeks-writing-life-easier/

    • katry Says:

      I’m always happy to find you visiting.

      I realized long ago that it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy. My friends and I have a game night a week, and it is fun and funny. I doubt I need much more. Money, maybe, but I’d just use it to travel. I really don’t need a thing.

      I love that link. It is such an easy but wonderful way to keep the family close.

  3. olof1 Says:

    Sorry about Your back, I know how bad it can get. Good thing those pills work though, I destroyed my stomach with the ones I had so I can’t even take an aspirin now days.

    I had my tv hooked up to a watchamacallit for the Nielsen panel, I didn’t have to do anything than to turn it on when I turned on the tv. I had it for several years until the old tv died a sad death and I got the idea not to get a new one. I did but it took a few years until one day when I got bored 🙂

    Just to go on walks with my dogs and at least one camera makes me happy 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      I was using Aleve, non-aspirin as I can’t take aspirin because of another medication I’m on. My doctor said no more so he had no choice but to give me something.

      This was for the radio. The TV would have been easy. I have to write everything in for this survey. Luckily I’m done today.

      I know how happy your dogs make you. My Gracie is the same.

      Have a great evening!

  4. sprite Says:

    I’m glad the pill helped and that you’re feeling better.

    Great list!

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, sprite

      I realize I don’t need much though I do have a lot. Lately I’ve bought very little; underwear was my biggest purchase. It is time to retire the pairs which would embarrass my mother.

  5. Richard Says:

    Wow. You sound like me when that damned sciatic nerve’s acting up. That, btw, usually occurs when the trampoline injury from college in ’62 flares up. I’m unfortunately familiar with the Walk of Tentativeness and Care you describe, having done it myself several more times than I’d prefer. I find getting pissed is much more effective a ‘cure’ than is feeling sorry for myself. It doesn’t take much to activate that response, so there’s that …

    Nielsen? NIELSEN? I thought they died and went away to wherever old survey companies go to die. You’re right about not answering. If they call again, here’s how to handle ‘em: Answer their call, and say in a low yet somehow evil and menacing voice “It’s done – don’t come here … there’s blood everywhere.” … then hang up. Or, the easier method is to just add their number to your ‘Call Reject’ list. I have a lengthy one. In the days when I had a land line, I sometimes enjoyed getting unsolicited telemarketing calls. They were kinda-sorta like catnip at times, and I had a good time leading them on.

    Sometimes I’d tell them I was so happy they called because I’m old and lonely and no one comes to see me anymore and can I tell them how bad my hemmorhoids have been acting up lately … other times I’d say I was busy but that if they gave me their number I’d call them back when I had time to talk … or, I’d just pretend to be the phone order taker at a pizza parlor and tell ‘em I don’t have all day to listen to their crap, so they better get to what they want on their pizza or I was hanging up on them … the best is to ask if they’ll be your friend ’cos you don’t have any friends and you’d really like to have one. Now I’ve grown past that time and no longer suffer fools gladly.

    When it comes to pills, I take as few as I can get away with. I never want to be dependent on ‘chemical joy’ and run the risk of addiction to anything. It’s bad enough being addicted to chocolate. Photoshop makes me happy. So does music. The smell of jasmine in spring air is happiness-inducing. Heirloom tomatoes with balsamic vinegar is ecstasy. A pretty girl in a skimpy outfit is guaranteed to bring a smile, and the skimpier the outfit, the wider the smile.

    Don’t be regretful about being obnoxious. They’re making money whether they talk with anyone or not, and their training desensitizes their ‘shock response’ … I’m fairly sure they do a lot of role-play before they actually put on a headset. Next time, just ask what toppings they want on their pizza — then hang up.

    And now for a bit o’ ‘Relaxation Old-School Style,’ here’s Denis Solee and ‘Stardust’ …

    • katry Says:

      I hate the limitations the back put on me. I used to love to walk and now can’t get too far without stopping. This back happened when a part of my step broke and I went down and hit my back on the edge of the broken step.

      This is for radio, not TV. I just don’t bother to answer the calls when I see it is from them. They don’t have a sense of humor. I tried that. My number is on the call reject list, but that doesn’t seem to matter. They are finding ways around it.

      Like you, I would have enjoyed making stuff up to horrify or entertain them.

      My pills aren’t chemical joy at all and none are additive. I wish they were. One is a thyroid substitute as mine doesn’t work. Two regulate my heart which is constantly in AFIB. Another is to prevent blood clots. None of them are very exciting and most have to do with my heart.

      I don’t figure they make a whole lot of money so maybe my being obnoxious just adds to their misery.

      That’s one of the prettiest songs ever written, and this version is spectacular.

      • Richard Says:

        Sorry to hear it was a step breaking that caused your back injury. That sucks. AFIB, eh? Have they hinted they want to have ‘The Talk’ with you about installing your very own personal DeFib unit? I’ve already decided if they ever offer that to me as an option the answer is ‘Thanks, but no’ … more exciting that way, y’ know. As it is now, I already wear five (maybe six) drug-eluting stents … I lose track. Since I’m what’s known in the trade as a ‘quick clotter,’ I too may one day join you in the ABC (Anti-Blood-Clot) club … so long as it’s a long ways off, I’ll be satisfied.

        I’m usually not a big fan of the sax, but this is a nicely-scored arrangement.

  6. J Says:

    Hi Kat
    You don’t ever need to apologize for getting cranky or down. I’ve had help from you too many times in making me smile, so it all balances out.
    You and Hendley and others I’ve come to know on this site: sometimes musicians go away or change orientations without having to die…I invite you all to partake of the peculiar joys of the self-declared ‘final album’ of Richmond Fontaine: “You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing to Go Back To”. For a couple of decades this band, thru the songwriting of Willy Vlautin, has explored the underside of the American northwest, and they go out with an album that tho bleak, is superbly written, performed and recorded.
    RF has always manged to lift me up by portraying a very real part of life accurately without romance, and they’ve done it again. Do a google search for the band name and title, and you’ll find youtube access to an album stream. Enjoy.

  7. katry Says:

    Thanks, Jay

    I’m glad you all can abide cranky.

    I found and listened to a couple of cuts from “You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing to Go Back To”. Both songs were superb, and I’m putting the album on my wish list.

    A new album makes me smile!

  8. Bob Says:

    Everyday I get up on this side of the grass is a good day. 🙂 Your list of things to be thankful for includes many of the things I like especially those made of or including chocolate.

    I’m sorry that your back gave you problems this morning but good drugs obviously saved the day. My lower back and left leg give me a little aggravation every day just to remind me that I’m not 25 any longer. The discomfort isn’t bad enough to drive me to the doctor.

    A friend of mine since high school retired today from a career as a salesman. I’m still enjoying myself working to retire.

    The sky is clear and the temperature today was in the upper seventies.

    • katry Says:

      Chocolate cures all ills.

      We are starting the tests again to see if anything else can be done. I want my back to be ok for Ghana. I will have been retired 12 years this summer. I love having every day to do what I want.

      Raining here now. It’s a good day to be home and cozy.

  9. Rowen Says:

    Yeah, I could use a little reminder about gratitude this week myself. All the same, I got a vicarious kick out of the telling off you gave that ninny on the phone.

    • katry Says:

      I loved telling her off, but I suspect she had no idea that’ that I was doing. Something must have worked as I got no call yesterday.

  10. Coleen Says:

    So I don ‘t comment or pop by for a LONG time – – my bad – -and the first post I see talks about you being a part of the radio ratings! You gave me a good laugh…where were you when I was on the radio? You might have helped my numbers! 🙂

    Been busy at this end…I promise I’ll pop in more regularly.

    Sorry about your back. Baseball will soon start…will that cheer you up?

    By the way, I am willing to bet you listen to a lot of NPR up there. You just seem to fit their demographic… 🙂



    • katry Says:

      I definitely would have listened. They are going to be disappointed as I listen mostly to NPR.


    • katry Says:

      They will be quite disappointed to find I listened mostly to NPR. Of course, I would have listened to you. Great guess on your part about NPR.

      Not so busy here except for annual Doctor stuff. My back has now caused more appointments. Baseball will most assuredly perk up my spirits.

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