I've read that people's happiness level generally stay the same level. So if something amazingly awesome (like winning the lottery) or something not so awesome happens.. their mood may change for a bit, and then it will eventually go back to the previous happiness level.
I sometimes have episodes of sadness and despair. Someone once said, to paraphrase, if you knew all the things that happen in someone's life, you will always have compassion for that person.
And I sometimes will be out with my friends, and will do things, that exhibit a a joie de vivre. Where I order the expensive food, eat the fatty dessert, buy the silly rubber chicken. And I like that about me, that I do such things.
So where is my level of happiness? I've thought that most of childhood I was pretty neutral, and oblivious. In the recent years, I've been more sad. Perhaps it's time to change that level of happiness.
I've read that your nuerel pathways can be changed, it takes time.. it's relearning new paths to take, and making grooves, that become more and more worn.. And it's so hard, so hard to be happy sometimes. Seriously, life is not so awesome sometimes. And when I compare myself to the perceived happiness of the average American, it's not helpful. Because, they're prob not that happy either. And I shouldn't believe that their biggest problems are shallower then mine.
Maybe I should just meditate more, on the feeling of happiness.