The definition of happiness - a boat that works. I heard just heard the sweet sound of the new diesel motor, and I know that soon, very soon, the boat will be out of my driveway, and in it's rightful place, the ocean...yay!
And of course, my husband is ecstatic, as are BF#1 and BF#2 and all the random people who seemed to have shown up over the last few days.
I am happy for them.
Funnily enough, although they are delighted at the sound of a working engine, there has been a happy buzz around the place, along with earnest discussion, as they have replaced the motor, re-wired the boat, and countless other jobs that have kept them busy from dawn to dusk.
And if got me thinking.....
A long time ago, after I had left education, and was working in a soul-sucking job for a property development company based in Weybridge, I started studying Psychology via the Open University just for the hell of it. (Actually, I had to do something to stop my brain from atrophying).
I really enjoyed the course, and one of the texts that we had to read, stayed with me (somewhere I have the copy of the book)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I know) researched happiness. He found (along with many other researchers) that after a certain level of material well being has been reached, no further increase in material wealth will increase our level of happiness.
His research, firstly with creative people such as artists and musicians, and then further research with factory workers, found that we are most happy when we reach a "flow" state.
Very simply, a flow state is when you are so absorbed in your activity that you don't notice the time, you don't realize that you have missed a meal....you are totally and utterly in the zone...
And this state could be achieved, even if the work, on the face of it, is mundane and repetitive.
My husband and his friends have achieved this flow state over the last few days working on the boat.
Wine robs you of this.
Wine makes it impossible for you to achieve this amazing state of flow. Because your brain (on wine) is more concerned with it's next fix, not the activity at hand.
When I think of all those Saturday afternoons, when I had finished cleaning and laundry - I had fleeting thoughts of pulling out my writing, working on my business, working in the garden....doing anything that would get me into that zone of happiness......
But instead, I numbed those thoughts with wine, I drifted into a different zone of nothingness...
Very gradually, I have managed to return to a flow state. I more often find myself working and forgetting the time, and being really cheerful about it.
The irritating P.A.W.S gets in the way some days, but I know over time, those restless days will become less and less.
Some day soon.......the Flow of Happiness.....will have totally replaced the Zone of Nothingness.