Are you happy now?

Isn't it a bit of a shame that happiness is such a subtle state of mind?

We're all fully aware when we are unhappy, it tends to pervade everything else, but we only fully realise we were happy when it's gone and we're looking back at it from yet another unhappy state.

Let's try and realise when we're happy and - I dunno - celebrate it... or something. It certainly highlights for me the depth and insightfulness of that famous song, 

"If you're happy and you know it clap your hands."

The dude who wrote that certainly knew what was going on!


Tam said...

The song later advises that only if you really want to show it should you clap your hands.

It's a subtle point of restraint, amidst a song that otherwise would have us sharing our joy with the world and not giving a second thought as to what others may think.

Instead, we peer through living room curtains at the drunk in the steet making a racket, singing "give me sunshine", and doing the odd foward roll.

It usually takes me around 10 pints before I stop questioning whether or not I really want to show it.

Debbie said...

as I have one hand on the mouse,therefore only one free to clap, you are now hearing the sound of one hand clapping.

Rachel Fox said...

What about nodding the head, stamping the feet etc.? Do we have to stop at hand clapping brothers and sisters? Indeed we do not!

hope said...

So, how's the experiment going so far? :)

Perhaps the key phrase in that song is "happy and you KNOW it." I think we often get too busy to "know it".

At the moment I am happy because I'm here, amongst people who utilize their brain cells and sense of humor in conjunction with their typing skills.

debbie you can borrow my other hand, free of the mouse, to complete your clap. rachel, I will stomp my feet if that'll help but being at work, it might be mistaken for a hissy fit. ;)

Anonymous said...


Inquiring hand clappers need to know!


Kat Mortensen said...

It's rather contradictory that the second verse invites one to "stomp your feet", when that would suggest the opposite of happiness, although with little kids, all such expressions can indicate delight.


(going off to stomp and clap now - what's the 3rd verse again? I know eventually, it's do all 3, but I'm probably not coordinated enough for that)

Jena Isle said...

happiness is a choice and a state of the mind. One chooses to be happy by wanting what one has, and not wanting what one does not have.

Be satisfied with what you have by focusing on the positive of these.

So, I'm happy! and I'm clapping my hands...

Francis Scudellari said...

I received an anonymous text message this morning that asked "why r u so happy" (although it was lacking a question mark). So, I'm trying to tone it down a little in case I'm being too conspicuously un-sad. I'm guessing that outward shows of happiness can make some people uncomfortable. Are writers not supposed to look happy?

Matthew S. Urdan said...

If it makes you happy, then it can't be that bad--Sheryl Crowe....

I'm happy.

If you're not happy, think happy thoughts. Or play Dancing Queen 3 times in a row. You can't listen to Dancing Queen 3 times in a row without feeling happy.


Ken Armstrong said...

Ah... see, I didn't mean to be a tease on the 'experiment' thing.

It's actually a very mundane 'blog-house-keeping matter' which involved me re-posting an old post of mine from last January.

I only mentioned the 'experiment' in case somebody had seen this post before and wondered what the hell I was playing at.

(I will explain why I'm messing with old posts later but don't get excited.. that's pretty boring too.)

I think Hope as put her finger on it - the trick is to be happy and *know* it. That's what I find anyway.

My compliments to all you happy-clappy troupe who obviously are happy and obviously know it.

Any tips...?

(Yes, apart from Dancing Queen, Matt, that is not going to be universally successful, I fear)

Laura Brown said...

You have to let yourself be happy. It's easy not to make the effort. Yet not that hard to find something to be happy or optimistic about if you give it a chance.

Anonymous said...

Yes I can leave comments!! Whooo!

Unknown said...

Good Point! It's kinda like pain. We only pay attention to the fact that we have no pain, when we are, and wish not to be.

Tam said...

"I knew the dog before he came to school." Milhouse Van Houten

Anonymous said...

Happy hots!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading another one of my shameful page-turners, Emily Giffin's "Love the One You're With" and it actually references "Dancing Queen" as a way of putting that bad ole ex-boyfriend out of mind. I'll have to hop on over to MTMD and recommend it to Matt.


Anonymous said...

I prefer the
"If you're happy and you know it stamp your feet" part ....
That covers everything then


Fiendish said...

Tam: That Milhouse quote is one of the best Simpsons lines ever.

As for happiness, I have many theories on it. For one, I think it depends not a bit on your outside circumstances - in fact studies show that those in economically underdeveloped countries maintain about the same level of happiness as those in capitalist heaven. Your job doesn't matter. Neither does your house, car, or the amount of money you have.

Personally, what makes me happy is people, I think. Usually one person. I'm happy now, but the odds are that I won't be for long (that's the way it works, isn't it?)

Anonymous said...

My Lovey and I just finished talking about happiness..That it is something that he equated with contentment. He told problems arise because people are never happy...never happy of any situation and events or never happy of what they have. Happiness can never be attained unless someone is contented.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken! Firstly, I'll be honest and let you know that if it wasn't for Entrecard's Comment Bomb initiative, I wouldn't be here. Having said that, I think it's a superb idea and so I am happily and voluntarily visiting your blog!

You have given me 2 reasons to comment. 1)Your reference to U2 in your latest post. 2) Your post about happiness. Both are very close to my heart!

Re 1) I must say I am a little cross that you did not mention which U2 song it was! I was so looking forward to that piece of info! I can tell you of periods when I listened to nothing but U2 and some songs just 'haunt' me. Sunday Bloody Sunday (while I am driving if you please :-))for some reason takes me to an emotional space that feels very tender...and I am neither Irish nor have I lived in Ireland...I intend to go there someday. It calls me in so many ways...

Re 2) I believe and experience happiness as our natural state. When I allow all my thoughts, feelings, sensations to just drop (like mud in a glass of muddy water), I experience a state of peace and quite joy. It comes from no 'where'. It is uncaused. It is our natural state of being. I call that joy happiness.

The Sufi mystic, Rumi, said: It is not your task to seek Love. It is your task to seek and find all the barriers you have built against it.

It is the same with happiness.

PS I love the internet and the whole blogging experience...It is finally allowing anyone who wants a voice to be heard! So keep blogging!

PPS I used to live in London know the places you've mentioned :-)

In happiness, Lucy

Lucy Lopez said...

I just felt I should leave you my other web url... It just may be of interest...

Kimmie said...

Kat...the third verse is "shout hurray". I always loved that little song. I taught children at a Childcare Center, ages 12-36 months. They are such little sponges during those months in their lives. It was a pure joy to see them clap and miss their hands, stomp like they were trying to kill an army of ants and shout hurray at the top of their lungs. The giggles and smiles were priceless.

I believe happiness comes with contentment. Not having all that you want, but having all that you need...that is the secret. :-)

(who is clapping, stomping and shouting hurray!) ;-)

Ken Armstrong said...

Lucy... I *so* did mention what U2 song it was:

"where the streets have no name"

'Want to hear it?" Here:

'Where The Streets Have No Name'