Those of us who have been on the planet for a fair long spell have probably been asked the question “How are you?” thousands of times. I bet I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve responded with “Fine” when I wasn’t feeling so. And quite often, fine or not, I’d go into rambling detail about my current state of affairs, while the questioner wondered why I couldn’t stick to social norms.
For the last few years, I’ve paused after the question was asked, checked the state of the kingdom, and usually replied “I’m happy.” Most times the other human seemed flummoxed. “Such a weird answer,” they might be thinking.
Occasionally, I’ve been asked why I’m happy, as if there needed to be a good list of positive events to justify the response. More often than not, I returned with “I don’t know. I’m just happy.” And that’s where I’ve been for weeks. I suppose you could say that negative stuff is happening, but I remain quietly happy.
I’m not seeing many people in the flesh, and I love talking face-to-face
I miss the kids at school – haven’t seen them since March
The world is grappling with Covid, racial inequality and mean people
My endurance on the cross-country ski machine is declining, as measured by duration and energy output
The arthritis in my right thumb slows down the buttoning process and relegates lid-removing to the left hand
I’m having trouble remembering people’s names, and that used to be a point of pride for me
I don’t know why a blanket of happiness has nestled itself against me, and I don’t care that I don’t know. It’s very odd to be breathing this air. It’s tempting to look to my near daily Zoom calls with the Evolutionary Collective as the cause of my little smile, but it’s bigger than that. I’m not doing anything to bring forth happiness. It’s just here.
Come on in, my friend. Would you like a coffee?