Put more happy in your hours (with or without cocktails.)

Happy Hour. Come on. Just the name makes you want to be part of one, right? For as long as I can remember I’ve been intrigued with the concept…even before I knew what it meant. Happy Hour. It’s just so full of joy.

I attended my first sometime in college. It was at a bar called Los Hermanos in downtown San Luis Obispo.
For five bucks, you could get a pitcher of margaritas and nachos. What’s not to love about that? I’d head down after swim practice with friends probably once a week and they were, indeed, happy hours. The frozen mix of sugary lemon-lime, salt, low-shelf tequila paired with bottomless chips and salsa and bargain nachos left me with a comfy combination of a full belly and light head.

As I entered the working world of television news, those kind of happy hours went by the wayside. When it seemed most of my peers where spending their winding down hours enjoying drink specials and social connections, I was winding up with late afternoon deadlines and live newscasts at 5 and 6. Don’t get me wrong. It fueled my fancy in many ways as much as nachos and margarita specials. But when I decided to take my time out from life as a knew it a year ago, Happy Hours were were toward the top of my list of things I was looking forward to enjoying again.

I did, and I still do. I love being out and about when the working world calls it quits and people head to their favorite patio or watering hole to speed up the winding down process. What I also discovered is how my favorite happy hours come in all different forms.

At first it was being there for sunset, glass of wine in hand for the magic. Eventually I found the joy in doing wind-sprints with a group of like-minded fitness idealists at the high-school track. And it’s hard to beat walking a long stretch of Pismo Beach or Morro Strand and watching the world wind down in their own perfect ways when I normally would have been reading the news.

Those are the moments when I find myself overwhelmed with joy. So completely taken by the magic of the moment and the gift of time I have found to soak it all up. Happy Hours. They don’t always come at quittin’ time or with drink specials and $5.00 nachos. They come in blocks of time when we say “time-out” to the responsibilities that plaque is. The endless to-do list that will never be done. They are our responsibility to schedule, seize and appreciate. And I am convinced they are the moments we will remember most, and best.

So, as I enter back into the work world and realize I’m just not ready, financially or professionally, to retire, one thing that will be non-negotiable are my happy hours. They may come at dawn. They may be lunches that spill over into early afternoon. Most likely they will be the hours that were once out of reach for me to be outside and most definitely, they will paired with Mother Nature. For I have found how deeply I love to be in her presence.

So stay tuned as I share my search for the best Happy Hours. Whether they be seaside at sunset, kicking back at a beautiful winery listening to the talent of our great local musicians, or exploring a new hike through this beautiful country we call home.

I truly believe fun is the best thing to have, and at the end of our journeys we will long for the days we were most happy rather than most successful. So I will seek more happy hours than more money or more prestige. That much I know. So Cheers my friends! Here’s to more Happy hours in your days and lives.

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