World War One British memorial to the missing of the Somme at Thiepval France

Some of the characters in Tender Is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, tour a World War I battlefield in France. A young woman, Rosemary, sheds some tears over the relatively recent war and the loss of life. But then Fitzgerald notes this:

“Later she remembered all the hours of the afternoon as happy—one of those uneventful times that seem at the moment only a link between past and future pleasure but turn out to have been the pleasure itself.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night

There is something so touching and important about this sentiment. Even moments of tearfulness can be pleasureful. After all, Rosemary was not reflecting on her own experiences of war or loss; it was all secondhand to her. And she was spending time among friends she loved.

More importantly, Fitzgerald helps us remember that life does not tend to bring us happy bursts on schedule. On the contrary, it is the spaces in between the expected thrills that are often the happiest.

Recently an ordinary event, going out to dinner with my family, made me deliriously happy.

Has an ordinary event—perhaps even a sad one—made you happy lately?