If the definition of stress is "responsibilty without control", is the definition of happiness the opposite? Maybe it is - one thing is for sure, nothing makes for more stress than having to "do what you have to do" rather than "do what you want to do". I think this is more true of women than men (but I don't really like to generalise) - it always seems to be the women who put aside their own "wants and needs" to take care of someone else's. True that it is usually loved ones that we are putting before ourselves, but sometimes not, and loving someone, be it spouse or child or parent, doesn't necessarily make the chore easier to undertake.
My sister was telling me how she was feeling happy because she had had a day to herself, doing what she wanted to do, sitting in the sun reading her book, having a swim when it got too hot - sheer bliss. It's quite amazing to think that simple pleasures can make us so happy - I like nothing more than a day to myself to read and potter around doing as I please - no noisy televison, no incessant chatter - just silence. Of course every day spent like this wouldn't make me happy either, but a day or two of calm works wonders for the soul, just doing what you want just for oneself. I wonder if selfish people are happy? I don't think they can be, because helping someone and making their life easier or bringing them some happiness is its own reward.
So, if as the mug says "happiness is a cup of tea and a new magazine" - I hope you manage to find time for a cup of tea and a new magazine today.