What makes you happy? The question we invite readers to answer today is one most of us seldom think about. That is because we probably do what makes us happy. Every day. Not perhaps every hour of every day.
Every home needs some chores done, every job has some drudgery, but broadly most of us have a life we have chosen for the simple reason that we want to be happy.
But it is worth think about it. What are the elements of your life that make you happy? You partner most likely. You may be well past the warm heady rush of falling in love with each other and become familiar, comfortable and caring. That is happy.
If there are children, that is happy. Grandchildren, as any grandparent will attest, are even better. Parenting is hard, stressful, frustrating as often as it is exhilarating. But grandparenting is pure happiness.
When children are little they form a bond with grandparents that will last for life. It is undemanding on both sides and as sweet as the treats grandparents want to shower on them.
Then there is a house. Most of us, though fewer at current prices, have known the happiness of finding a house we want to live in. Strangely it is not a contentment that lasts in most cases.
We move houses about every seven years on average, probably more often when house values were booming. About half the buyers at any time are movers, not investors or, sadly, first home seekers. Each move brings the renewed pleasure of a new house.
Beyond home there is work, which is not something that makes many of us consciously happy - until the job is at risk. It is then we usually realise how happy we are to have it.
A job is more than a regular income, which is why unemployment cannot be assuaged for most people by a welfare payment or even contrived work.
A genuinely useful, worthwhile job gives people the pleasure of contributing to the goods, services and facilities of their community.
None of these ordinary pleasures of life might spring to mind when the question is asked. Romantic holidays, fine wine, fast cars, fabulous boats are more likely to excite our imaginations.
But those are ephemeral, the pleasure passes all too soon and the novelty fades. It is the ordinary choices we have made that make us content, happily.