Happy is a verb – The Morning Chronicles Jan.29

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On one of my morning walks with Largo this week – always a time to meditate – out of the blue a thought dropped into my head.
Probably the consequence of watching the news and seeing nothing but misery, hate, bad financial developments… You name it.
Or watching that documentary about a circus school in Afghanistan and seeing the sparkle in those children’s eyes.

There was never a moment in history – I guess – where we had that much of anything.
That much luxury,
that much technology
and that much books written about happiness.
The how’s, the why’s.
The means to, or not to.
The do’s the don’ts.
Techniques to apply, therapies to follow…
One could easily turn unhappy because it’s impossible to read or do all that.

Me myself feel ever so often
“just not happy”
“Down”
“blue”
“off-day-ish”.

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But there I walked. Precious Largo on his leash in front of me, looking over his shoulder “hey mom, still following?”.
The streets deserted but everywhere nice houses, warm inside.
The weather outside was frightful (!) – heavy bursts of wind hitting my face, rain blowing in all directions.
But, I was walking, free.
Able to wear what I want.
No fear necessary to be harassed or worse.
I can go where I want, when I want,
eat whatever, whenever I feel something we call “hunger”.
Even our dog has more and better food than many children have.

But still everyone is searching for that abstract happiness, promoted in magazines… It became a well paying, commercial topic.

And although you can’t measure your own happiness by the unhappiness of others, this thought popped up: maybe I must start every walk with a little awareness of how lucky we are, being able to do all of the above, freely.
Happiness sits between one’s ears. It is what it is.
You can’t force it.
Neither can you buy it….
Maybe, just maybe, there’s the key… We have become so used to being able to buy about anything, that we turn unhappy with what money can’t buy…. Money doesn’t make you happy, but we have started to think it does.

Happy is thinking of what we do have, instead of what we don’t.
Happy is reminding ourselves to think about that, from time to time.
That’s why I think happy is a verb… You have to work on it.

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2/ 52 Entrances to condacum – Hofke Janssens

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This beautiful house in the centre of our village, dates from the 18th century. The centre even 17th.
It has had many names, amongst others “Hofke Janssens”. It had different destinations too.
We live here now 28 years and we’ve known it to be a fancy restaurant and an insurance/bank office.
The building as well as the garden is classified as heritage as well as protected village view.

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52 Entrances to Condacum – 1/52 – Altena Park

Altena park is one of my favorite walking routes with Largo. Especially during warm summer days it’s a refreshing place to be.
It originates from the medieval period, and used to be a monastery. Through history it has had some other destinations.
Nowadays it’s an elderly home, there’s a school and it’s a cultural gathering point for exhibitions, cultural events and has a lovely cafe with a gorgeous terrace. From its monastery period also dates a fantastic chappel.
Whenever I need some quiet away time from village noisiness, I go there, sit on a bench, Largo by my side, and meditate.

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