Thursday, June 6, 2013


I am currently reading a book called The Geography of Bliss and it has started to make me think a whole lot more about happiness. Most days I go about my world finding little ways to make it happy, be it a fresh pot of coffee, good people, great conversation, old friends, new friends, a yummy dinner, a long run, sleeping in, starting a new painting, finishing a good book–having a productive day. I can recognize the pings of happiness that I feel when a friend picks up on the other end of the phone, when I receive mail in my mailbox, when the cookies turn out just right (not burned on the bottom), when I hear my parents voice on the other end of the line, when I have logged the mileage that ends on a runners high, receiving the acceptance letter, hearing good news–an engagement, a birth, an invite, an adventure.

I felt the ping of happiness when my plane landed in Portland. As the raindrops pelted the window and fogged up my view of the runway, I knew I was home, and I felt the happiness deep in my gut.

When I got home, dumping my junk in the hall, my yellow lab practically knocked me over with happiness, her excitement extending from tongue to tail. Paws barely touching the floor, circling me over and over in a flurry of utter shock and delight she couldn’t believe (or remember) that I was finally home. I felt the happiness encircle us as I grabbed her into a hug, squeezing her tight to my chest, taking in her salty dog breath.

Thinking about it now, Lottie is always happy. It doesn’t matter if it is 5am or 10pm she is happy. It doesn’t matter if it is raining and sleet or sunny and dry, everyday she happily waits eagerly by the door for someone to let her outside. On days when the rest of the house can’t seem to get a break (be it a bad day or the blues) Lottie will happily wag her tail your direction. On days when we can’t stop laughing, Lottie can feel the energy in the room (somehow signaling to her that it would be a good idea to chase her tail or jump up and down). I have never woken up to an unhappy lab, and I have never ended the night with one.

This is the best part about having a dog–they seem to always stay in one state of mind–happiness. For a dog, their memory falls short of a second, so they don’t remember the last time they were (un) happy and so they focus on the present–which to them must mean only one thing–happiness.

While I am happy most any place, I am happiest in Portland. In Portland I feel better than anywhere else–and so today I am sad to leave. But I know that more happiness is just around the corner and when I hit a low point, I will think of Lottie and her tail happily waging to the beat of her happy heart.

This cup is for Emma: Who knows the exact coordinates of my happiest destination, for all the dogs out there–most of all mine and to Portland–obviously. 

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