Nebraska: Definitely a Happy State...Unless...
In 2010, Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed adults from ages 18 and older about whether or not they were happy living in their chosen states. Not surprisingly, Hawaii won as the happiest state. Nebraska came in tenth. In the survey (based on six categories of well-being that included personal satisfaction, emotional health, work environment, healthy behavior, access to health care, and physical health), it is apparent that Nebraska residents were not surveyed prior to viewing their new license plates at the DMV.
Let’s face it—life here is pretty darn good most of the time. But truthfully, living the good life can also be challenging at times. Therefore, I’ve compiled a Top 10 List of Reasons Why Nebraskans Generally Feel Happy…Unless:
- We’re driving behind Grandma Moses in the fast lane on the Interstate.
- The Huskers have a losing season.
- We’ve just spent three hours shoveling our driveway after a blizzard when a snow plow drives by going 50 mph and throws enough snow at the end of our driveway to build three snowmen, a snow fort, and an igloo.
- We hear a rumor that a new law is being put into place that forbids men (and women) from wearing baseball hats in bars.
- We just had to detour five times around construction zones during a three-mile drive to work.
- We hear that Lady Gaga’s boyfriend’s family has moved out of Springfield.
- We’ve just been told by the tow truck driver on the coldest day of the year that we’re 400th in line for a jump start.
- The newspaper announces that Council Bluffs and Omaha are merging into one city.
- We hear Runza is moving all their operations and restaurants to Hawaii on the same day we open a letter from the county that informs us our property taxes are going up again.
- We lose two tires, a muffler, and three teeth after we drive over a pothole the size of Texas on our way to the grocery store.
All humor aside, Nebraska is still a great place to live and an even better place to grow corn. Many years ago, before my husband and I knew each other, we both packed up and left Omaha in search for happiness on the West Coast. A few years later, we both returned, seeking the sense of community we had always known and loved while growing up in Omaha. Now some twenty years have passed and we’re still here—raising our children and enjoying all our beautiful state has to offer.
I think Dorothy had it right when she closed her eyes, clicked her heels three times, and made a wish. There is really no place like home. And the next time you’re stuck behind a cattle truck on a two-line highway on a hot summer day and the guy next to you won’t let you in his lane, my advice is to just keep repeating that line out loud. I just hope you don’t end up in Kansas by mistake because it is the fifteenth happiest state.