Happiness is…

15th December, 2014. 2:48pm

NaBloPomo, Monday, December 15, 2014

Where is your happy place?


Simbang Gabi in the Philippines
If you’re wondering why people are outside,
that’s because LOADS of people attend the Misa de Gallo every year.
Photo c/o: juanblogs.com

Yesterday, I attended the mass… TWICE; One in the morning with my sister, and again in the afternoon when I accompanied my brother and his family before we went to the mall to celebrate his birthday last December 11th. I don’t usually go to church twice every Sunday; just once. But yesterday, both priests talk about the same thing—happiness—which, quite incidentally, is also what today’s prompt is all about.

During the morning mass, our parish priest said that there are three steps to happiness—Physically, Spiritually and Psychologically. He said that for us to be able to truly feel happiness (and the joy of Christmas, apparently), we should be physically, spiritually and psychologically prepared. As I listen to the homily I took a little time to process what he is saying, and I’ve come to realize that perhaps he was right. I’m neither physically nor psychologically prepared for Christmas. I’m not sure if I’m spiritually prepared—although I’ve started attending Misa de Gallo today. Misa de Gallo, or Midnight Mass in English but is popularly known here in the Philippines as Simbang Gabi, is when people attend the mass for nine mornings, although parish churches also holds anticipated mass every night for those who want to attend the Mass but can’t make it in the morning. I go to anticipated mass every year not because I can’t wake up at 4am, but because it’s more convenient for me because I have to work 9pm Manila time (that’s 9am—well, 10am right now—Eastern Time). Besides, I can’t leave work at 4:30 to attend the mass. I mean, I could, but I’m adamant because my client may message me in the middle of the mass and I don’t want to get distracted while I’m in church.

I may not feel the Christmas cheer yet but completing nine days of Misa de Gallo has been a yearly tradition that me and my Mom started (which I continued even after she died)—but I’m definitely not physically and psychologically ready for Christmas yet. Maybe that’s what happens when you’ve grown up; you lose interest in holidays you used to enjoy as a child. Either that or maybe I simply am a Grinch. I hope not.

As for my happy place, I could say it’s my bedroom. I feel safe here; I don’t have to pretend. When I’m inside, I can do whatever I want without anyone telling me it’s wrong or that I shouldn’t do it. I’m free inside my room. It’s one place inside our home that hasn’t been “invaded” by “other people”.

But if you’re going to ask me where my happy place really is, I’m gonna have to choose my siblings. Family is everything to me. I’m incredibly and genuinely happy when I’m with them. Even when things are rough, we are happy together. They’re the best and most effective happy pills in the world. No literal place can top that.





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