Why We Have a Family Happy List

I have always been a strong believer in being responsible for your own happiness. It’s one of my many clichéd mottos.


Philosophically the concept is solid. You create happiness within yourself, you encourage its growth and you reject any of life’s elements that detract from it.

It’s a pretty simple, and a very useful way of thinking. Until you find yourself with two beautiful and relentless small children and an equally beautiful husband who works his ass off to facilitate the basic needs of said happy life.

Then all of a sudden you realise that your main job is making sure these three people, that you love more than life, are fed and protected and listened to and loved… and, fundamentally, happy.

‘We are all in this together,’ is ringing a lot truer as a motto now.

On New Years Day this year, which also happened to be my 33rd birthday we sat in the backyard of our gorgeous shack and wrote a happy list for each member of our family.

On mine it said; fresh flowers, a tidy house, going to the beach, scented candles, reading magazines and yoga.

Hubby’s said; a good meal, swimming, freshly mowed lawns, great music, reading and…well the other items are probably best left unsaid. He’s a bit of an opportunist.

The kids listed things like pancakes, reading books with mummy, swimming, baking and playing with their friends.

We sat there and read the four lists in front of us and I had one of the clearest ah-ha moments I have ever had in my life.

It really is as simple as cashing out $5 at the Aldi checkout for flowers, keeping the beach bag in the car, lighting a candle, cooking pancakes in the morning, reading in bed and making time for cuddles.

But before we wrote these lists, happiness seemed more abstract, harder to attain.

It turns out that, because of this lucky life we live, all the things that bring us happiness are right there for the picking. So let’s fill those baskets, baby. I urge you to get yourself — and your family — a happy list immediately. Make happiness tangible and reachable and I’m pretty sure you’ll all find yourself living it in no time.

Do you think happiness could really be this simple?

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Image: Patchwork Cactus