Ever so often I am overwhelmed by a feeling of well being.
And then I wonder if “well being” does a good job describing it.
It’s not a rush, like joy or enthusiasm (which fortunately I’m also prone to). It’s softer and fuller. Should I call it “Wellness”? Nah. Too clinical. This is more akin to fulfillment, to (dare I say it?) happiness.
Maybe it just needs a bit of Italian flair. Benessere.
Or, Greek. Eudaimonia.
Anyhow, the point is that, regrettably, I’ve come to discover that it’s not a feeling I can chase. It has to come on its own. I can’t find it in good meals, in conversations with friends or the company of people I love. It’s not in a spa, even if the massage was a particularly good one. It doesn’t present itself when I buy new shoes, or finalize a good document. It doesn’t hold hands with the (delightful) sense of a job well done. It’s unpredictable. It always surprises me.
It presents itself quietly, say, when I travel and am surrounded by unfamiliar sights, smells, sounds. But it doesn’t come on every trip. It arrives when I’m sitting somewhere, not making an effort to do three things at once. When I’m just taking the world in. But if I tell myself to focus on staying in the present and just enjoying the moment for what it is, it evades me.
Is this what happiness is? An elusive, ephemeral tease of a feeling that you can’t consciously go after? It might be my inalienable right to pursue it, but if I do, I might miss it entirely.