happiness lies

Illustration: Jen Troyer

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Let's admit that there are certain Amazon boxes capable of inspiring a shiver of joy: I'm thinking mostly of books, art supplies and ridiculously extravagant bubble bath products (which, FYI, I am happy to receive from anyone at anytime).

Outside of these life-saving products, we all know that Things don't equal Happiness. Of course we do. Still, I can't be the only one to have fallen prey to thoughts like "If only I had that red cashmere wrap sweater, I could face the holiday party, and not only would I be both chic and cozy, I would look good when I saw my ex-best friend there and she would see me as the non-loser I am, and then seeing myself through her eyes would crystallize all my successes in life, granting me more confidence and, thus, more life success. Besides, it's on sale." It's just one of the many "if only"s: If only I made more money; if only I had that car; if only I had that super sparkly whatever. When really, the only "if only" any of us needs is "If only I could remember that there is no material thing that can fix my life."

Except for bubble bath, of course.


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