Monthly Happiness Report: Penny Has Her Happiest Month Yet! — April 2017

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Dear Rich,

I think I’ll take a page from your handbook, and work your little happiness algorithm to see if it matches up to my happiness level this month. But, as we talked about when we were reviewing that book Stumbling on Happiness… is happiness really the point of this all? I like how you said that “love is probably a better indication of what gives life meaning, more so than happiness.” So true. For instance, my toddler is going through this phase where he yells at me for the stupidest things, like sitting on the toilet to go to the bathroom. He just yells at me, “Nooo! Don’t do dat!” I’m not particularly happy when this happens, as it is super frustrating and there is no time I would like to be yelled at less than when I am trying to go to the bathroom. I like having children, but it isn’t always filled with happy times, as you well know.

You’re right when you say that love is probably a better indication of what gives life meaning.

But, back to my happiness for this month…

If I were to rate it on my own, without the help of your happiness algorithm, I would give it:

A pretty happy month, overall.

Now, if I run your algorithm, let’s see what I get:

Hey, look… your happiness algorithm was pretty accurate!

I don’t think I’ll do it every month, since I can probably make a pretty accurate rating without it, but it was fun to quantify it this way this time around.

I’ll do the rundown, just like you do:


  • Family. All is well on the family front, except for the annoying toddler.


  • Work. I don’t have a paying job, so I’m qualifying homemaking and mothering as my work. It’s going well (except for the annoying toddler).
  • Hobbies. I read a lot. Go for walks. Those are my hobbies right now, and they are balanced well within my life.


  • Experiences. I wasn’t really sure what to quantify as Experiences. Isn’t everything an experience? Life is good, so I figured all of the experiences I’ve been having must be good too.


  • Physical. Weather is getting nicer, so spending a lot of time outside. I can walk mostly anywhere I want to go: the park, church, library, Target. Sleep is good. Body and energy levels feel good. I play a basketball game in our driveway with my son almost every day. It lasts about 20 minutes and he always wins. I also like to do monkey bars at the park. I’m really good at monkey bars.
  • Non-physical. You’re not female, so you’re probably not intimately familiar with how complex the emotions of a female human can be. They can be tricky, I tell you. This was a good month, mentally and emotionally (and they usually are, for the most part, the last two months notwithstanding).

I guess that’s about it for this month.

But, you’ve got me thinking, Rich… what is happiness? What is love? What is the meaning of it all? It really is so much more than happiness, isn’t it?



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