On Pinball and Happiness

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Life is so hard! At least, it can really feel that way when New York City is the town you call home. But, every once in a while, a little wisdom-nugget will land in your lap from out of nowhere and, just like that, everything is so simple. Well, that’s what happened to me this morning—the very last of 2015—when a man who runs a laundromat filled with pinball machines in Greenpoint reminded me how simple it is to be happy for the rest of my life.

The key is found in the answer to the question: Why are there pinball machines in Sunshine, the laundromat next to Upright Coffee on Manhattan Avenue? Because, plain and simple, the business partners who run the place like them.

“The happiest day of my life,” Peter Rose said, about the day he first replaced one washing machine with one pinball machine at Sunshine. “Since I spend so much time here, I wanted to bring in things that were meaningful to me, that brought me happiness, and people followed.” One of his customers does laundry there four times a week.

That’s it, everyone. Bringing things into your life—pinball, cookies, sweatpants, art, running, knitting, jokes, really strong coffee, park benches, dogs, anything—that are meaningful to you will bring you happiness. And other people who like those same things will see you enjoying them, which is attractive, so they will talk to you, and hang out. Just like that, you’ll be busy enjoying all those things that make you happy and have brand new friends. Of course, there will be people who don’t like the same things that make you happy. No problem. They just won’t talk to you. But the ones who do, will. And even when they’re busy it won’t matter, because you’re surrounded by pinball machines, and it is the happiest day of your life.

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