Monday, May 2, 2011

Do We Make Our Own Happiness?

I just got back from the kick-ass New England Romance Writers Association annual Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference. And it made me happy. I had anticipated the pleasure of dancing at the dinner/dessert event, going to fantastic seminars, being inspired by terrific key note speakers, and enjoying the general atmosphere of Salem, the new host city of this year's conference. All these things I believed would contribute to my happiness.

I had a fantastic time it turns out. But there was no dancing. I went to barely any seminars (although I heard they were wonderful), and saw very little of Salem. Often what you believe will make you happy, turns out not to match what happens in reality. Instead, I took what did happen to me including wonderful moments with friends, a chance to write a little bit more of my manuscript,an impulsive last minute decision to get a reading with a psychic (I was in Salem after all) and some moments volunteering to help the conference run smoothly, to create a wonderful event for myself. And as I said I was happy. Was I happy because I decided to be happy with this new situation? Have I synthesized my happiness? Or perhaps, as the below YouTube Ted Talk video discusses, synthesized happiness is the only true happiness. We have to find the trick of being happy with what we have. And it's quite a trick.

Watch the below video featuring Dan Gilbert and tell me what you think about happiness. We're in the business of creating happiness, us romance writers. So I think we should all take a stand on this. We are in fact synthesizing it through carefully crafting our stories. We are deciding we are going to create it. And I'm here to tell you that the happiness I get from reading and writing a romance is just as real as other types of happiness in my life.

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