Thursday, March 11, 2010

Inflammatory Statement Number Four: I Believe in the Pursuit of Your Own Happiness

Martyrdom is awfully hip.

Parents do it: we'll stay together-- for the kids. We'll work jobs we hate-- for the kids. We'll spend all our free time at soccer games and music lessons and ballet classes-- for the kids.

People with jobs do it: I'll pull an all-nighter, I'll skip lunch with my spouse, I'll work on Saturday and through dinner and never take a vacation.

People who have had anything at all happen to them do it: My mother was mean to me, my spouse cheated on me, my sister called me fat and my dog got hit by a truck.

There are people in this world who can legitimately not choose happiness-- the sick and the suffering. We know what happens out there. The women in the Congo; the parents of terminally ill children; the victims of hate and rage and oppression.

But for the rest of us? I think it is our duty to the truly afflicted to choose to be happy. I think it is our duty to our parents, our spouses, and our children to wake up every damn day and thank God for this chance to be alive. And so I think it is absolutely vital that we be "selfish" and do what we can to be happy, soul-nourishing inwardly-happy.

Like live near the people we love (working on it). Like start a business, like take a nap, like turn off your personal communication device and drink a cup of coffee in the sun, like take a morning off to sleep in late with your honey and plant a garden.

Sometimes what we want isn't within our power (get someone sober; buy the perfect house; retire). But a whole lot of things are, and I believe in identifying what IS possible. I can let K take the children to Vermont so I can have a week to myself (omg best decision ever, by the by). I can decide to start a hops farm (kudos, Jon). I can buy a home and live with my sweetheart (that's you, Natalie). Or whatever.

I don't know what makes YOU happy, but you should. And you should choose happiness, as often as you can, because it is a privilege-- and a sacrilege to waste it.


Sarah said...

Hey Sweet girl!

First: I've been reading these, and I'm still unsure how they are categorized as "Inflammatory Statement"s. I just think they're common sense! :D

Also - where did you find the Happiness Strategies? Is that just a fun jpg, or did it come from somewhere fun?

Y'all are always in our thoughts. Much love to your man and bbs!

Anonymous said...

it takes real guts to be happy.
So much easier to be miserable.

smartinof4steve said...

A fun exercise that helps me stay thankful and happy in the now.

Think about what you have now that you like. Friends, family, possessions, reputation, activities, abilities, whatever.

Think about not having those things tomorrow.

Feel really grateful and happy that you had them today.


Moonpie said...

HAPPINESS? THIS IS NOT HAPPINESS!!!!!! I spent the last two nights covered in toilet water on my knees in a bathroom trying to stop faucets from leaking.. this is NOT fun..

By the way i LOVE your inflammatory posts.. you should write one about polishing silver next! ;)