I’m delighted to welcome Danny from DannyUK to The Happiness Series this week! Danny blogs about family life, the London area & he also vlogs. Danny’s answers to my happiness interview are the first of the series to make me laugh out loud! I’m sure you will enjoy them too! Here’s DannyUK on happiness…
1. Name three things in life that make you happy. And, please tell us a little about each one.
1. My family. That’s ALWAYS got to be number one in these lists, right? By “my family” I mean my kids, my girlfriend and even my OAP mum. My mum brought me up on her own and I still look back now, in my late 30s, and wonder how the Hell she managed. She’s cantankerous at the best of times these days, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.
My kids define me. I often moan about having to give them money to go out and do something, or whine about driving them to and from places, but the truth is I don’t overly mind. I never thought I’d have four kids, and I never thought it was possible to love them so much or to feel so very fragile and vulnerable as they grow up and spread their wings. Frasier Crane once said “You don’t just love your children. You fall in love with them.” That struck me the first time I heard it as it’s so true.
And my girlfriend. Wow. A long distance relationship is hard, and with 250 road miles between us, we certainly fall into that category. But we’ve been together for years and every time I think of her I break out into a grin. I wish I could have met her sooner just so that I could love her for longer.
2. Coffee. Especially Costa Coffee. I never realised just how caffeine-happy I could be. I love Costa. Their staff, their coffee, their shops. What started out as a joke between friends over how many Costa shops I had been to has now escalated into a hobby where I actively visit new Costa stores whenever I can. The running total was well over 200 at last count. There’s just something serene about sitting in Costa, laptop open, not caring about the world with a large latte on the side.
3. FIFA. I struggled to think of three things that I love for this answer. The truth is, there are lots of things in life that I like. Probably lots more that I dislike. But when it comes to love and hate, they are extreme emotions and things rarely reach either category for me. But FIFA does. From the first one that came out on the Sega Megadrive, I’ve bought the new versions most years, through PlayStations, PS2, Xbox 360 and now the Xbox One. I can happily sit in front of FIFA and play for hours, becoming utterly consumed by the game. Some would say that’s not healthy, but it’s an excellent way of ignoring the outside world and the stresses that come with it.
2. What’s something you do to find your happiness when you’ve lost it?
What a question! It’s difficult to recapture happiness when you lose it. It’s like love. If you’re actively looking for it, you’ll likely never find it. But if you’re just getting on with life, it can suddenly find you when you least expect it. My happiness tends to centre around my family, my girlfriend, work and money. If those things are all fairly constant, then happiness is always there.
3. What cheers you up after a long, difficult day?
My bed. I love sleeping. I love being in bed. I can quite happily go to bed at 9pm and sleep, and if I have long difficult days, knowing I can go home and go to bed cheers me up.
4. Does your job make you happy? If you are a SAH parent, does that make you happy?
I’m “between jobs” at the moment, and due to start a new one soon. I have historically worked in sales, and when you’re in that environment you tend to find that work makes you happy when you’re doing well, but when you’re not, it’s a horrible place to be. If I have the respect of my peers, good working relationships and I’m hitting targets and making money, I tend to be happy at work.
5. Share a happy memory with us.
I’ve never been a big fan of holidays abroad. I didn’t have them as a kid. I have fair skin, so I merely need to think of the sun and I burn, and the thought of sitting still on a plane, train or some other transport for hours at a time makes me wince. But last year the girlfriend and I went away to Lanzarote for a week. We did very little, drank lots and I had a great time. This is my go-to happy place in my memories, and even though I couldn’t tell you what we actually did on holiday (simply because it seemed to revolve around doing very little), it’s possibly the happiest and most content I have been.
6. Do you think money can bring happiness?
Yes. But then I’ve never been rich, so what do I know? All I can say is that it’s nicer to be miserable any crying in the back of a chauffeur-driven limo than it is on a bike.
7. Is your happiness influenced by the things you do or the way you think?
Indirectly, yes. Although I am a loner by nature, I know myself well enough that spending too long alone gets me down, and forcing myself to go out and do something changes that.
8. Which would make you the happiest – a sun holiday, new car or a new job opportunity?
At the moment it would be a new car, simply so I could sell it and make some money!
9. Which wine makes you happier – red or white?
Eurgh, neither. I’m not a wine drinker, much to the disappointment of almost everyone that I know.
10. Share a quote that makes you smile.
“Changing lines at Baker Street” has always made me laugh as it’s so innocent-sounding yet the meaning is quite rude (and no, I’m not saying it here!). Other than that, how about “As you go through life you need to accept that some days you are the pigeon and others days, the statue.”
If you would like to take part in the Happiness Series by contributing a happiness post or by answering the happiness interview questions, I’d love to have you! Find out more details on The Happiness Series Page.