Tag Archives: happy


The secret of happiness is contentment.

I’ve been thinking about this all morning. It’s one of those¬†existential¬†topics that we all can’t help but think about from time to time. Am I happy? But, what is happiness?

Happiness is relative. Every person has their own definition of what happiness is, what makes them happy, and how to achieve that state of mind. There’s no point in making statements like “money gives you happiness”, or “you are only happy when you compare yourself to the misery of others”, because, as I say, happiness is relative.

It is true, though, that wealth makes you happy. But not material wealth, but the one of the spirit.

I have come to the conclusion this morning that the secret to happiness is contentment.

Firstly you have to have the right state of mind. You need to see the glass half full. Then, after you’re realised that happiness is not going to happen overnight, you need to evaluate your life: Are you doing what you want to do with your life? Do you find time for yourself? Are you finding pleasure and satisfaction in the little things?

If the answer to those questions is YES, then you are content with your life. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be happy. We must remember, though, that happiness is an emotion. And emotions can come and go, like sadness or excitement. Being contented, on the other hand, is a more stable and long-term feeling.

So, based on these principles I have to say that I am happy. I have been happy for a long time. Of course we all have our ups and downs, have better days and worse days, and there are days when you simply don’t want to get out of bed. But, it’s got nothing to do with money, with success or with “the neighbour’s grass is greener than mine”.

I read somewhere that being happy is being in love with living, and I couldn’t agree more.

I love being alive. I love who I am and who I’ve become. I love my husband. I love my cat. I love being moved by little things like the clouds, the sun, the stars, the flowers, nature in general. I just love enjoying life my own way. My attitude towards enjoying life is definitely different to other people’s. I don’t need to climb mountains or adrenaline rushes. I live life my own subtle way and that’s the path I’ve chosen, hence me being happy with it.

Happy memories

I have been thinking for a little while about scrapbooking (read all about it here) and wanting to do this myself has made start remembering cute moments of my childhood. It’s great that I have pictures that will remind me of those moments forever as I am pretty sure those memories would have been long gone had I not had the pictures to remind me of them.

It’s funny how one’s memory works. I recently found an old school friend on facebook and she asked me if I remembered her, to which I replied: “I find it very hard remembering the people I went to Secondary School with, however I remember the first names and surnames of 95% of my school mates”… Funny, eh!?

The thing is that last night on my way back home after work, I started remembering more and more things that I hadn’t thought about for a long time. And I wanted to share those moments with you.

(In order to understand these stories a bit better you need to know a couple of details: 1) my family used to own a “chain” of home made ice cream parlours in Motril. The whole family worked there at some point or another. I started “helping” at the age of 14, and worked there every summer until I came to the UK in 2005. 2) My mum is a single mum. 3) One of my uncles (my mum’s brother) was “unfit” to work for many years and he used to look after me and my brothers too sometimes).

Here are some of the stories, in no particular order:

– I remember being on the beach. It could have been Motril beach, or Calahonda beach – where my family used to have an apartment. I must have been around 5 or 6 years old. I cannot remember who I was with. It could have been my mum or it could have been my uncle. In this memory I am eating watermelon. Lots of it. I eat so much watermelon that I am sick on the beach’s sand (pebbles, actually) and it’s all red and black, because I was swallowing the peeps. That didn’t put me off eating more, and I even ate a bit more after having been sick.

– This other memory also involves watermelons. I was in the country house (the country house is the place where I spent the great majority of my childhood summers) with my uncle. I must have been between 7 or 8. My mum came to visit one day (I rarely saw my mum in summer – she worked all day everyday… one of the incoveniences of working for an ice cream parlour!) and she brought a watermelon with her. It was massive. It looked so ripe and juicy. I wanted it. Now. So I tried to carry it myself from the table in the living room where she had left it, to the kitchen so my uncle could cut it open and I could have a slice. However, I dropped it. It was so heavy that I couldn’t hold it in my little weak arms for more than a second or two and it dropped to the floor. And it smashed big time. And there was no watermelon any more (I wasn’t as desperate as to eat from the pieces on the floor… I’ve got standards!).
Next time my mum came to visit, she brought me a whole box of twix (although I think they were called something else back then?). No danger of destrying those…

– This story I only remember vaguely, but my mum has told me so many times that I have to tell it, because it is hillarious. I was about 2.5 or 3 years old and I wasn’t in the country house. I was in another house that my family owned in Motril. My mum dressed me in the morning with this very cute and posh dress and left for work to the ice cream parlour. I was then left with my uncle in the house. Apparently (and I say apparently because I take everything my mum tells me with a pinch of salt) I spent the morning playing in the house and in the street (unsupervised, it looks like) and out of nowhere I decide to go all the way to the ice cream parlour on my own. I managed okay through all the roads (it’s a 10 minute walk) until I reach a road crossing. Of course I am very little and I can’t cross the road on my own, so I start crying and pointing at the ice cream parlour which was just in the opposite side of the road. An old lady sees me and decides to help me cross the road. She grabs my hand and starts walking towards my mum’s ice cream parlour. Then my mum sees me through the window with this lady and rather than going “oh my god! my little child! what is she doing here?!?!”, instead she thought “blimey, that little gypsy and scruffy girl has the same dress as my daughter, and it is an expensive one! How can that gypsy afford it!”. – Mega LOL.

– My mum worked many long hours in the ice cream parlour and when I started school but the ice cream parlour was still open, then I would stay at home and not in the country house any more. At night, my mum would come home to put me to bed (I slept in my mum’s bed until I was 8 years old – then I finally got my own bedroom) I used to have a “chochona doll” and I remember very vividly telling my mum: “the doll will keep your side of the bed warm for when you come home”… Awwww.. how sweet!

Now that I come to think about it, my mum had a pretty busy social life when I was little. I remember that we used to go to the bowling alley with her friends at least twice a month (they used to give us kids little sandwiches to keep us busy, and to this day, I still haven’t tried sandwiches as nice and tasty as those ones); we used to visit a married couple who had a couple of children too and I would play with them whilst the adults had adult’s conversations; the whole family (extended family too, with cousins, second cousins and all) used to meet up quite often too and we would have parties in the country house or we would all go for trips to the “Pinos” (“Los Pinos” is this natural reserve near Sierra Nevada – the mountains in Granada) (this, of course, was in winter… summers were for working!); but the memory that I suddenly remembered yesterday that brought me quite warmth is this one:

– My mum used to play volleyball with her friends almost every Saturday morning. They played in my school playground, which just happens to be two steps away from my house back in Motril. At the beginning I just went along and watch. I really enjoyed watching. And as I grew older, I started playing as well. They were all very kind to me, taking into account that I was only like 8 or 9 and was a bit rubbish because I had never played before. But I got hold of it, and got better and they even started relying on me turning up because I was part of the team!. I was very good at sports when I was little. Until the age of 13 or so I was awesome, then hormones took over my body and I got slower and much worse. So bad that I almost failed PE every year during Secondary School.

And these are just a few… there are more where these came from!