As I sit here in lotus position upon my mountain top (remind me to bring a pillow next time), I’ve come to contemplate something no great philosopher has ever thought of before: The Secret to Happiness. What brings happiness? Living in a country where each is free to pursue their own, it’s no doubt different for everyone. For me, it’s being productive – especially when it has to do with creation. Whether it’s a project I just finished for a client, or having written a song – that’s the absolute best. Where I get most of my “highs.” It can also come from being productive in other ways. Making a particularly succulent beef bourguignon, for instance. (Ask me for the recipe.) Or finally cleaning up my office. (I can breathe better!) Anything, big or small, that I can accomplish to my own personal satisfaction makes me happy. Temporarily, at least. And that’s the catch.
Creativity. Productivity. As with anything in life that isn’t permanent, it ebbs and flows, often influencing my moods. So what can sustain us in between? Keep us buoyed during the down times? Or all the time? In light of all this heavy pondering, I’d like to share the lyrics of a song I wrote recently that might provide at least one answer.
Picture it being sung by a guy. A real character with a twinkle in his eye. Not a spring chicken, he’s been around the block several times and after experiencing life’s ups and downs and witnessing much, has gained this bit of wisdom...
THANKS TO GRATITUDE
Written by Laura Stigler-Marier
Well I may never get to Easy Street
But I walk to town with shoes on my feet
No, that ain’t my McMansion on the hill
But my four walls keep out the evening chill
And my job may not be what dreams are made of
But at least...I ain’t been laid off
Yeah, compared to most my troubles are few
And the ones I got
With the help of God
I manage to get through
Yeah happiness ain’t nothing but an attitude
And I am one
Thanks to gratitude
Ya know, Easy Street has got its share of potholes
And what’s behind them mansion doors, God knows
As perfect as that other side may seem
Up close, the grass ain’t always all that green
Rich or poor, we all got our problems
If you’re alive...you got ‘em
Ah, but compared to most my troubles are few
Thankful for my friends
For my simple life
And thank you Lord for sending me
My saint of a wife
Ohhh, happiness ain’t nothing but an attitude
And I am one
Happy son-of-a gun
Yeah I am one
It’s all about gratitude
Thank you, gratitude
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
P.S. If you would like to hear the melody, contact me and I could send the scratch track. Trigger warning: I’m singing it acapella.
“Thanks to Gratitude” c2021 Laura Stigler-Marier & Ken Marier
Copyright 2011–2021, Independent Writers of Chicago
332 S. Michigan Avenue, #121–W686
Chicago, IL 60604-4434