Lowering Your Happiness Bar

I have found myself saying too many times this year, “I just want to be happy.” We are in the middle of a pandemic, these are uncertain times, and now we have to deal with the great school debate of the century. No matter what side of an issue you are on, we can all at least agree that this is a hard, painful, and scary time.

So, what does happy look like in a time like this? It used to look like a regular routine, lots of activities, dinner with friends, travel, and a countdown until the kids go back to school. Despite none of these things still existing, for the most part, I’ve still been bending over backward, trying to make myself and everyone around me happy.

Being okay

Finally, it hit me, who can be truly happy in a time like this? I’m sure we have all had our moments of happiness, but what if just being OK is enough right now? It’s not realistic under these conditions for me to feel like I am living in this perfect bubble of bliss, but honestly, can’t many of us say that we are at least OK?

After I had this realization, I decided to lower my bar for happiness and focus on one or two things I am grateful for every day. Today, it is that I found a pair of sunglasses I thought I lost, and my son actually slept in his bed last night instead of on the floor of our room—small victories, but that is okay, too!

Instead of working on trying to create happiness, I’m working on navigating anxiety and focusing on the one four-letter word that I need to say more often­—hope. I have to trust that it will be OK, and that OK is good enough for my family right now. I’m looking to the people in my life who lift me to new heights to see things in a new way. I’m working on being that person for others too, beyond just my own family.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Happiness is not a goal. It’s a by-product of a life well-lived.” I’ll be channeling my inner-Eleanor and trying to remember this during the next few months. At the end of the day, when my head hits the pillow, I’m going to do my best to remember that being just okay is good enough.

Hi! My name is Lindsey. I grew up in Lawrence and graduated from the University of Kansas. I live in Eudora with my son Colby (11), daughter Payton (13), and my husband Jason (who is just old). I'm an editor for a scientific journal by day. In my free time, I contemplate what it means to be 42 years old and wonder if it means I need to stop wearing rubber flip-flops. I also love taking long baths, watching trashy Netflix shows, and I am passionate about working to improve my community.


  1. I love your blogs!!! So uplifting and realistic! Thanks for writing them and sharing with us! Yay! I am okay 👍

  2. Thank you for the reminder to look for the hope and be grateful. After all that is what leads to being happy. Eleanor is one of my favorite people.

  3. Love your blog Lindsey! I agree being okay is my new high! I have also found that being thankful that God has granted me another day of life makes me very happy 😃

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