I’m sure I’m irritating as hell to the realists and wet blankets of the world. I do tend to be little-miss-positivity. Sure, it’s a strength, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.

(So, I’m sorry if I bug you but, frankly, you’re easy to bug.)

The quest for happiness sells a lot of books and people spend time and money and every other resource they have in search of it. But joy doesn’t have to be such hard work, I don’t think.

Perhaps it’s uncool to be easily impressed, easily pleased. You can’t have very high standards if you’re so easily won over.

Okay, that might be true, but neither does this guy…

And he’s having a particularly grizzly time at the moment. Teeth are making their cruel imprints on his gums. His parents are making the boundaries known with nasty consequences, like time-outs in the hallway and no-chocolate-if-you-throw-food. Ouch.

But it’s okay because in the desk drawer there lives a bag of balloons and Mum can blow up a new one when this one pops.

As an adult, jaded and whatnot, it’s harder to find joy. It takes more of a conscious effort, a dedicated attitude of mind. One of the easy simple pleasures is food. I have to buy the ingredients, come up with an idea of what to make, even research a recipe or two, and then do all the hard work of actually cooking… and then later on do the dishes. I might even feel guilty for all the extra calories that come from cooking with real butter. Way to kill a good meal.

Tonight we had delicious crispy sweet-potato chips. Also, paprika and parmesan baked chicken with mushrooms. And for greens: grilled courgettes with balsamic tomatoes and mozzarella. It was scrummy. Although I couldn’t help but note that the chicken was a bit overcooked.

Actually, I have loads to find joy in. There’s a healthy baby brewing in my belly. My Obstetrician checked me over yesterday and can confirm that all is well. Life may not be easy this close to the due date, but there is joy in it nonetheless.

And perhaps that’s where the search-for-happiness often runs amok. A difficult life and a joy-filled life are not at all incompatible. In fact I might venture the opposite. Facing challenges gives us greater capacity for joy.

So I might not get much sleep tonight, I might itch like crazy, and feel awful in the morning, and have no patience for Louis. I might just want to go back to bed – in fact I might do just that. I might feel a bit useless because I’ve done nothing productive all day.

But I will find the joy, damn it, if it’s all that I manage.