List the things (from your past and present) that feel like blockades in the way of happiness:
- Not enough money. I’ve had a running list, all of my adult life, of things I want or things I think I need once I have enough money. The list has changed madly over the years. So much, sometimes, that I think to myself, “Thank God I didn’t come into a windfall, or I would have…[whatever stupid thing I wanted to do or buy that no longer seems desirable or sensible]” There are things I’ve managed to acquire, that have not brought me the satisfaction I thought they would. Others – though I never managed to get them – that I got by very well without. I know money doesn’t buy happiness. Still, I know there are ways that the lack of it stymies my pursuit of things that would bring me great satisfaction.
- Not enough time. I guess, if money were no object, I would have more time. They kind of go hand-in-hand. If I didn’t live hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck, and always a little bit behind, I could spend more time with family and friends. There would be more time for the studio. More time for long walks, for sitting with a good book, for just sitting. The more I dwell on the idea of “time,” the more I know that I’m ready to spend less of it working for others, and more to follow my own heart.
- Too much “crazy.” I’ve been wondering, lately, if perhaps I have Attention Deficit Disorder, left undiagnosed in my whole long life. Why must I have three – or more – things going on at once? I can watch a movie…if I am in my studio, simultaneously sorting odds and ends while working on at least one art project…with a book nearby. I can watch a television program, as long as there are commercial breaks when I can jump up to do a few jumping jacks, or put clothes into the dryer. Usually, during the program, I toggle between that, Pinterest, Facebook, and the news. Often I use cleaning time to also catch up on telephone calls. A day off overwhelms me with all the possibilities, and all the directions I want to follow. I know my mad pursuit of “everything all at once” gets in the way of truly appreciating any one thing.
With all of that being said, I think the most important words in the instructions are “feel like.” Because, really, the items I’ve listed are pretty minor in this large world. War, poverty and natural disasters take their toll; political disagreements and division cause bitterness; sickness and death know no boundaries. I am affected by all of it…we all are. We can’t avoid it. We can decide how we proceed, though. I rant and rail against injustices and heartbreaks large and small…and yet I am content. Not every minute, or even every single day, but, mostly, I’m happy. Because I choose to be.