Nicole Losacco is a single mom struggling to make ends meet. She has a college degree but works a waitress job with a 90-minute commute to pay the bills. But despite all that, Nicole says she's truly happy. She finds her joy in other places.
"It's in my mother, my sister and definitely my son right now," she says.
The good news is, she's not alone.
A city-wide survey by the Seattle Happiness Initiative shows Seattleites rate their general well-being a 7 out of 10.
"That means they are able to get by financially and emotionally," says Happiness Initiative Director Laura Musikanski.
But there are plenty of people who are unhappy, especially when it comes to the relationship between what they have to do, and what they'd rather be doing. It's a relationship that for mamy of us that is out of balance.
"There's always demands at work. Just never enough time to spend with the family," says Seattle worker Mike Lufkin.
Traffic plays a big role in our unhappiness. Seattleites report a daily one-way commute of nearly 30 minutes. That's something the city is going to look at as it examines the survey.
Perhaps the most surprising finding from the survey is the unhappiness of young people. People between the ages of 19 and 24 are the unhappiest of all. The continuing Occupy demonstrations across the city show a sign of their growing discontent.
"The ability to get meaningful work is something that, a generation ago, was a given. Today, it's can you even get a job," says Musikanski.
To see the full results of the survey, and to take it, visit www.happycounts.org.