Okay, maybe not long-term happiness, but a few hours respite from the cares of the world.
Last weekend, I boarded plane for a cross-country on American Airlines. Maybe I’d get a little shut-eye after my usual stint of journal-writing. But then, the flight attendant announced that there was inflight Wi-Fi! I paid ten bucks, and got online. Sure, I spent a few minutes doing e-mail and Skype text, but the rest of the time I treated myself to browsing the site for the in-progress tri-annual General Convention of the Episcopal Church. I had wanted to go in person, but between work and family commitments, going down to Anaheim for even a few days was out of the question. Now, here I was getting to read all about it, no interruptions, no guilt. News articles, blogs from the bishops and ministers, pictures, full texts for speeches and sermons – all for a little less than ten bucks. What joy!
This weekend, I went to see Ice Age 3 again. We’d seen it before, but it was so funny. I got hours of laughter the opening weekend. After a short-but-intense week of work, another viewing seemed in order. A quick look at Yahoo movies confirmed the 7pm start time, so an early dinner, and off we went. Sure, we knew all the punch lines before they happened, but it was still funny. We laughed at our favorite parts all over again. We laughed as we drove home, about the movie, and at our own jokes. The burdens of the work weeks past and future were pushed aside. Happiness!
Yeah, I know, money can’t buy real happiness. But it’s truly amazing how much happiness ten bucks can buy.