Happy Hour

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. Unless you are in New York, Boston, or Savannah that may just mean that you are wearing green today. If you are lucky it means that you are meeting friends for dinner or “happy hour.”

I wonder where that term comes from. Is getting drinks at a discount really what makes that the happy hour of our day? Unfortunately, all too often, the truth is that, for many of us, that really is the happiest hour of our day. Even if we don’t go out for a drink with friends, we are happy to be off work …

  • In Atlanta, though, the hour after work spent stuck in traffic certainly isn’t happy;
  • Many of us are going home to empty homes, and that is not too happy;
  • Others of face unhappy marriages or other domestic situations;
  • Some of us have to get home to cook and clean and then pay bills or we have taken work home.

Maybe that is why stopping by a bar and having a drink with some friends is called “Happy Hour.” We let ourselves fall into routines that are not enhancing our happiness. We fill our calendar from edge to edge, and there is no time to be happy. Most people I know have to schedule it into their calendars if they are going to be able to get away long enough to pursue a bit of happiness. Even then I hear many friends complain that they spend half their vacations too exhausted to be happy and the other half being anxious about all the stuff waiting for them when they get back.

by Michael Piazza
Center for Progressive Renewal

I don’t mean to make my readers in colder areas mad, but I do want to encourage those of us in the South to raise up our heads and notice that the daffodils are blooming, the redbuds are resplendent, Saucer Magnolias are daring winter to come back.

I want you to take your camera, or at least your phone, and go out and find some flowers to photograph. Walk around the neighborhood and notice the promise that spring is coming. Begin to build some anticipation for it is coming, so you will have greater anticipation for its arrival. Photographs may not be how you do it, but, for you own soul’s sake, have at least one deliberately, consciously happy hour on this St. Patty’s Day.

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