Finding the joy in everything

Stop putting off your happiness for a later day and live for the present

More stories from Bri Hageman


Photo by Bri Hageman

Bri takes a coffee break from studying for the weekend at her hometown coffee shop with her friend.

How many days a week do you crawl into bed at night and think, “wow, that was an amazing day.” Two? One? Zero?

Sometimes I feel like people think life is a mega marathon. Once you get to a certain point in the track, you’ll then find the happiness you desire. For me, I always thought that once I graduated high school I would be content with my life.

However, once I reached that point, it was like a whole other end goal was set up for this race of life I was in. Now it is once I graduate college and get a great job, then I’ll be happy. Wow, that is four years away. I have to wait four more years to find joy?

I never completely questioned this way of life until exactly three months ago when procrastination changed my entire life.

It was Saturday, and I was insanely stressed. So, I took a break and went for a walk along the lake of Madison close to where I live. As I took a small detour to the frozen pier on the lake, I stumbled across different drawings and carvings on the side of the bench at the very end of the pier.

This mixture of vandalism varied from quotes about God to “Brett and Julie 4ever.” However, in the middle of all this messy chaos was a quote written in blue marker. It said: “Love every day you got.”

I sat there and I came down to the thought that life is truly unpredictable. We as people always put our happiness off for the vague distant future, however, we don’t know if we are ever going to reach that point.

If you can’t be happy now, who says you’ll be happy way down the line when you think you have everything figured out? Carry yourself with you through every type of circumstance and stop putting off your daily joy for another day.

It is crazy how something as simple as a poorly written illegal act could bring such a realization. Ever since that day, I have experienced the purest form of bliss.

This change can come in tiny ways. Do something every single day that makes you happy. This could be as little as taking an afternoon nap before your history class, or splurging on a cup of coffee at The Cabin. Do all things that benefit you mentally for now and not later. That way you have one thing every day bringing you joy.

Drink tea, start mind-boggling conversations, eat ice cream while watching your favorite old-time movie or get lost in a forest. Make sure to take time away from your hectic life to just be purely happy. Reach for the goal of going to bed every night knowing you had a fantastic, wonderful day.