Hamel: Happy Journal #24

Opinion editor Peyton Hamel encourages you to find the happy in everything you do. 

Peyton Hamel

Today is so, so full of love. We stand in solidarity for our Black and Brown Americans. We stand for each other, our American families. For the first time in a long time, I am excited to flip on the news and see what monuments are being torn down next and what peaceful protests are happening that day. (The only thing that makes me mildly cranky is seeing the huge increase in COVID-19 cases, but I really try and do my best to not think about that.) 

I still wash my hands and attempt to wear my mask wherever I go. It’s a part of my life now. It doesn’t bother me as much as it had in March when I found out a pandemic could actually happen. I do my duties as a citizen and a neighbor to keep others safe, but I’m extremely happy doing so.

I can’t stop smiling. Really. I think that’s the actual sickness. My cheeks hurt. I don’t know if it’s because life is returning and I’ve been working. I don’t know if it’s because the world is slowly morphing into a safer and more beautiful society. I don’t know if it’s because my personal life is improving after a long few months of turmoil. I don’t know if it’s all of the above. (Answer: A through D.)

Do you catch yourself smiling uncontrollably lately? I really hope I’m not the only one. Since I started writing the Happy Journals, I have found myself being an overly optimistic person, finding the “happy” in everything. Literally. (As a writer, I do take the word “literally” seriously.) I find myself happy to drive on newly repaved streets. I find myself happy watching my dog sleep. I find myself happy watching others return their quirky mannerisms that disappeared for awhile.

I wear my emotions on my sleeve, so I’m actually grateful I’m learning to find the little things in life that make me happy. It’s truly a skill, and not an easy one to master. I hate to say it, but I think it needs to be said: we live in a very negative society, and we culture it everyday to its pessimistic needs. I believe we should all take a couple seconds to look at the sky and appreciate the world around us. Live a little happier. Be a little happier. Find the things that make you happy every single day. 

It’s such a therapeutic way to life. I promise.