Saturday, January 29, 2011

Don't worry, be happy (apparently easier sung than done)

I love greeting cards. I can spend hours looking for and finding the perfect card for the occasion or the person.  If I'm not going to write and design the card myself,  I think the least I can do is find one that says what I wish I could have come up with on my own.  I was at Papyrus the other day when I saw this card, had to buy it, not to send to anyone but to have for myself, to look at daily as a reminder to be positive and quit complaining about every small hiccup in my life.

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy".  "Guillaume Apollinairo"
Colorful Quote

That sort of stops you in your tracks doesn't it?  It did me.  Of course, like most things, this good thought lasts until I run into the first bad driver of the day, my $3.25 morning latte that tastes bitter, or one of many other "minor" inconveniences that might occur.  But do they really have to ruin the day, or even mere moments of the day at all?  I guess the trick to it all is to be as nonreactive to these little irritants as possible, smile and just breathe your way through it.  Here is where having a Staples Easy Button would come in very handy.

Staples Easy Button
But happiness is elusive, it seems as if it is just around the corner.  What is it exactly that we are wanting or waiting for to feel complete, to feel happy?  A feeling of euphoria that never goes away?  A permanent smile that shows off our pearly whites, eyes that never cry, sadness, disappointment or hurt that never seeps it way through?  Most of us think we are one or two things away from being happy.  As soon as we get new carpeting, or the wood floors are refinished, a new car, a boyfriend, lose ten pounds, or . . .  We spend so much of our time waiting.  I'll be happy as soon as . . .   And we occasionally get to fill in some of the  . . .'s , only to add more to the "as soon as" list, and then we're off and running, getting that much closer to being happy.  Unfortunately that list is a never ending list that gets added to at a far greater rate than the existing items get crossed off.  

So maybe something really big?  Something legitimate, these are things we should truly feel unhappy about.  Loss.  Loss of life, loss of love, loss of friendship, loss of health, loss of income. But loss of a brilliant shine on the black oak wood floor?  I think not.  

As Jackson Browne said when referring to love, we "Wait around for the one who fits just like a glove."  Well that is all fine and dandy, unless the glove shrinks, or gets a tear, or we lose it somewhere on a cold and windy street, or sadly, never find the glove that fits in the first place.   And then we are back to our "unhappy" place.  Dreamily watching the Calvin Klein fragrance ads, the sexy young models entwined, knowing that a love like that is out there somewhere, we just have to find it.  Add it to the list.

One of my favorite pieces of art, a sculpture by my friend and artist James Lloyd is called "Narcissus Meditation" -  It is this extremely beautiful, sleek, smooth sculpture with it's only "imperfection" being a small pimple size bump (purposely placed of course) in which the sculpture is entirely focused on.  The idea being that with all of this beauty, the only thing she sees is this minor flaw, neglecting and never realizing her true beauty and potential since she is too preoccupied with what she considers this overpowering distraction.  

James Lloyd, Narcissus Cosmic Meditation

Everyday we hear of some situation where we thank our lucky stars that it didn't happen to us.  We hear of some tragedy that makes you appreciate, just momentarily, your life and good fortune.  And for the moment, you get it.  You really feel it and swear that you will live life fully and with absolute certainty that you won't waste another minute.  But it seems those moments are fleeting.  Listening to Michael Douglas the other night on TV being interviewed about his cancer, Matt Lauer asked him what was the biggest thing he took away from this experience.  His answer was what many others have said, how he really appreciates his friends and family, the old cliche of "stopping to smell the roses."  But then he also said,  "It's put a timeline on my life."  And as much as we are all aware of that, why does it take something like almost losing our life to truly cherish the one we have?

I had an inquiry this past week from a woman wanting a Feng Shui consultation.  She was at the end of her rope, telling me of the "bad luck" that her family had endured over the past 8-10 years.  Some of the unfortunate events she had experienced were her own bout with cancer, her husband having a slip and fall accident, then a heart attack, making him unable to work, her daughter being raped as a teen and then attempting suicide, and her teenage son developing both a liver disease and, if that were not enough, a brain tumor.  They were all still alive, for which she was appreciative.  She even managed to laugh at her "good luck", saying "Well, at least no one died."  And again, just for a moment, as I sat listening to her, I thought "shame on me" - for even spending another minute being sad, or feeling sorry for myself for things I have lost, or things I think I need to have, to be "happy" -

Some lessons we don't seem to learn from the experience of others, we need to experience it for ourselves.  Well, this is one major lesson I wish I could learn from watching others and absorbing their information and experience and taking it on as my own.  No need to try it myself, this time I'm taking you at your word.

What is this blog about?  Focus.  It is about taking what and who we have in our life right now, and focus with our full attention the positives that all of those things bring forth. We need to quit dwelling on the imperfections, the small annoyances, and focus on the true beauty of being alive, stop wasting our short time here "waiting" for that little package of happiness to arrive at our doorstep.  It is about knowing when to be happy and when to be unhappy. Because we need to be both.  It is called being human.  The goal I believe is to strive for contentment.  To be at peace with ourselves, whether or not at that moment in time we are laughing or crying.  I am going to try and live by the quote on the card, quit trying so hard and just be happy.

**Pam, a question for you.  Is it wrong to wipe out an entire bag of baked lays in two days if it makes me happy? :)

1 comment:

  1. Never wrong if it makes you happy, and we know it tasted sooo good!
    Can't believe it took you two days!