as i sat on the warm stone wall at our villa having my breakfast of freshly picked tomatoes and figs with rocket, salami, prosciutto and a couple of different cheeses, bathed in the warm mediterranean sun, a wave of intense happiness washed over me. in that moment i never wanted to have breakfast anywhere else, nor for that matter have anything else for breakfast.
but as i reflected further on the feeling the situation and food evoked in me i realised that happiness is experiential and momentary. expecting that we will feel the same intensity and height of emotion if we just keep doing whatever it is that brought the feeling on is futile.
it also made me think about the inverse – if i were to try to ‘trap’ that momentary and experiential feeling of intense happiness by moving to italy and living in a village in piemonte while eating my breakfast in the warm sun each morning – i would not have all the experiences in my current life at home that are can create equally intense responses – fresh mudcrab with hot bread and lime mayonaisse, or catching a tuna in the bay at dawn, or swimming at a beach on an arnhem land island…..
so there are two simple conclusions from this, remembering that happiness is not a linear and permanent emotion, its dynamic and its momentary. secondly, when not travelling, when at home, in the routine of life in work and familiarity, try to concentrate on and acknowledge the moments of intense happiness within that familiarity and routine – eating a barra i have caught that morning with friends and a nice bottle of white is a really special and wonderful moment – just like my italian breakfast.