An Example of a Happiness-Inducing Activity

Today (or rather, yesterday. I just realized it’s past midnight) was Pioneer Day. For those with no ties to Utah, this is a celebration of the arrival of the first Mormon settlers to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. There are handcart expeditions and parades and fireworks. This is our third year in Utah. Our first year, we used the 24th as a free vacation day and visited friends in Portland. Last year, I was hugely pregnant, so we stuck around home and discovered that we could observe the Liberty Park fireworks quite well from the front yard of our newly-purchased home.

This year, we celebrated Pioneer Day intentionally. We bought lots of yummy foods at the Farmers Market this morning. We cleaned up the house and then had friends over for dinner and homemade ice cream. My daughter wore the pioneer dress my mom made for her, and we all watched fireworks from lawn chairs set up in the yard. The kids all got along quite well; they drew chalk pictures on the driveway, ran around the yard with glow sticks, and threw poppers on the pavement. The adults had comfortable, enjoyable conversations, and had fun watching the kids have fun.

If I could be certain of having a similar relaxed and fun experience, I think I’d socialize more often. I feel happy and nearly satisfied. The only thing missing is a bit of quiet alone time before I go to bed. Hopefully the two five-year-olds in the room next door will soon stop giggling and fall asleep so it really is silent for a little while.

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