December 6, 2008: Joy

One of the best things in my life is the moment when a scene feels like it’s coming together, when I get the sense that I’ve found the truthful heart of it. I’m not always right when I feel that way, but I don’t know that at the time, so I can (and do) give myself up to the happy moment.

I keep collecting little talismans that say “Joy.” I have a little metal ‘stone’ on my desk engraved with the word, and the ribbon bookmark in my journal is weighted at each end with a metal disk embossed with it in English and as a Chinese pictograph. Joy has been the word I use for the emotion that laps me when the writing is going well, when the scene is coming together — a deep happiness and sense that this is where I’m meant to be.

It turns out there’s another term for this — eudaimonic happiness or well-being. Hedonic happiness or well-being comes of momentary pleasures — eating a nice piece of chocolate or buying that shirt you love, for example. Eudaimonic happiness or well-being, on the other hand, is about being engaged in something meaningful, about the sense that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, that where you are is where you’re meant to be. I heard about this from Peacebang’s blog, and in the posting, she says:

Happiness means never having the thought, “Why am I doing this with my life? Why did I make this choice? If I had this all to do over again, I would have chosen so differently.”

Writing can be frustrating and disheartening, and that’s just from the writing itself. The business of writing can make you despair. But when I think of writing, that’s not waht I think of. I think of moments like the one this morning, when I felt my being align with the universe, because I was doing what I’m meant to do.

If that’s not happiness, what is?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 15:03:15

    I love when scenes come together! Yay!

    What a great definition of happiness.


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