Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Happiness is a warm gun

Ok, so I got a Beatles thing goin on here today.

Happiness might be a warm some people. Might be a million bucks'll do it for another. But to
  • Mark
  • , it's "a life well lived".

    I know his post is almost a week old. I shoulda linked to it sooner, but I've been thinking about it while I've been workin on another 'project'...transforming our patio into a tiki bar. Stuff like that makes me happy. But I've been thinkin a little....deeper...than that. About happiness, I mean.

    (Y'all oughta be scared...I'm just NOT a 'deep' thinker.)

    In general, I tend to agree with Mark's obversation that the young are never happy...truly happy. Look at your average teenager. The only time they are happy is when they're miserable. The drama...the angst. They seem to thrive on it.
    I pretty much agree that you can't be happy...truly happy...until you're older...more (ahem) mature. Until you've had plenty of time to figure out just exactly what it is that trips your little happiness trigger.

    "The happiest family I ever came across was one that my wife documented with a DVD with interviews and pictures of their lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren all set to music. They lived well, they traveled, they served their children by instilling genuine virtues of love and risk-taking and thrift and service and family and friendships and adventure and a liberal education and physical and mental activity. These parents looking back on their lives, their children, and their grandchildren, could genuinely claim to be happy."

    The thing is, I'm not so sure that a 'life well-lived' can guarantee happiness. It certainly can't hurt. But I think that there are an awful lotta people that have had well-lived lives that still find themselves on the short end of the happiness stick.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those (like me) that haven't exactly had "well-lived" lives that can say they're truly happy.

    Though my life has had it's ups and downs, I can honestly say that I've been a happy person through most of it, and never more so than at this particular point. I seem to have sorta stumbled through life with no ultimate 'goal', other than to be happy. At least, that's the way it looks from this end.

    I'm not always a "nice" person. I can be selfish as hell and sometimes do things with no regard for the other person's feelings. Ok, not often, but it happens. I'm lazy and opinionated. I certainly wasn't anyone's idea of a 'perfect' wife and to be completely honest, I wasn't a very good mom and was even worse as a daughter.

    But the thing is, I know all those things about myself. I've accepted them. Yea, I've tried to change a few things, but in general, I can still be a selfish bitch. I accept that, too.

    I think that's my definition of happiness...accepting yourself. It's not money. It's not how many 'things' you have. It's not power or prestige or recognition. It's not a big, gorgeous mansion or a ridiculously expensive car. Happiness can't be bought or sold or traded.

    Money or things sure can make life easier, there's no arguing that...but neither can guarantee happiness.

    Looking back, it seems as though I shouldn't really have any right to be happy, yet happiness has come to me almost effortlessly.

    Sometimes I feel kinda guilty that it has come so easily for me and that there are sooo many that people struggle their whole lives to be happy.

    But not very often.



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