Interview Essay - Jacey Hart
J.C. Hart is a native Californian, and was born June 10, 1927, in Inglewood. She has been married to her husband, Jim for fifty-two years. Together they have raised one son and two daughters, who also reside in Southern California.
J.C. feels that her family and marriage have provided the foundation for happiness in her life. When she married Jim in 1948, she found great happiness just in spending time with him. Over the years her definition of happiness has changed. J.C.'s children were of foremost importance in her life and added to her happiness. Certain years spent working also contributed to her happiness. She said, "The emphasis has changed, but not the foundation." Sometimes J.C. knew she was happy because she felt euphoric, but mainly her feelings of happiness come from being content. She said that she feels more satisfied than happy now when accomplishing something.
"I'm not likely to reach out, because negative emotions were not always welcomed." But she feels that her husband, Jim has played a significant role in helping her cope with unhappiness. Because of his sensitivity towards her, J.C. hasn't experienced any "serious sorrows." She doesn't like to spend time feeling low. Physical activities and a sense of accomplishment help lighten her mood. She enjoys participating in Saddleback College's exercise classes that are held in Leisure World. Companionship, singing in her church, and watching sunrises, sunsets and the moon are important activities for J.C.'s sense of happiness.
There are a couple of things make J.C. unhappy. One is when she gets discouraged when her time is spent unproductively. She is a fan of PBS, and enjoys spending some of her time watching their many fascinating programs. She also feels that she reads too slowly. There are so many interesting articles in the newspaper to read but she can't read them all. This results in what she calls "a mixed blessing" of being able to enjoy her activities, and of feeling unproductive, as well.
In regards to others attitudes affecting her happiness, she says that she is stable enough to not let others get her down. She experiences positive feelings when her kids call or when the family gets together. Jim is a strong source of moral support. He makes her feel very lucky.
When asked what influence her childhood had on her sense of happiness, she said, "My mother was a super woman. She was able to do so much. As a child, church was very important to her." J.C. continued saying that this was during the Depression, and her dad worked very long hours and wasn't home very much. She spent her time gardening, taking piano lessons, performing in recitals, and taking dance classes. She didn't realize, at the time, that her parents were sacrificing greatly so that she could be happy.
JC felt very secure as a child. She said, "Mom didn't believe in kids being involved in adult problems." As a result, her parents provided a stable, balanced...