Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The way to ultimate happiness

The way to ultimate happiness is actually simple. It's about understanding that life is not a zero sum game and no matter how bad it gets there's always something you can be happy about. My life is currently not exactly all roses and wine. The whole "no money coming in and lots of bills & debts to be paid" thing has my life in a precarious position. Homelessness before the end of the year is very likely. What am I going to do and how am I going to do it. I have pretty much bankrupted my mother because she's always spending her retirement savings on food and stuff. I know she's doing it for my son, her grandson (and me, her son, too) and is doing it of her own volition. But it still makes me feel like I'm causing her trouble she shouldn't have to be going through. Plus school is starting again. That's going to be very difficult, for reasons I don't feel like going into. So - No job, no money, no support (outside of my mother), no potential and no future. I should be already digging my own grave or something. But...

I'm happy much more often than I'm not. Some of this has to do with the meds I'm on (Wellbutrin rocks!) but most of it is due to the fact that I have learned to live in the moment. I'm not worried about what's "down the road" but what I am doing right now. I'll admit I haven't gotten it all worked out yet. There's a balance you need to have where you live in the moment but still work towards the future. If you only live in the moment you end up laying on the couch all day watching TV and getting up only to go to the bathroom and check email. Yes, I've had days (weeks!) like that. If you get caught in that sand trap it can easily become a quicksand trap and you'll never get off the couch again. So I'm trying to get more balanced in this. But I can tell you that while I am with my girlfriend I don't worry about, or even think about, my troubles. I just bask in the glow of her holding my hand or just sitting next to me. Then, at that exact moment, I am very happy.

You know, I've experienced some drastically serious pain over the years. When I was about 12 years old I tore my Achilles tendon. When I was 16 my knee got whacked in a football scrimmage game that tore some cartilage. When I was 18 a doctor (more like a butcher) did a small operation on my big toe and botches it all up to where I was in so much pain I couldn't talk let alone walk (and this is a surgery that should end up with no pain after; I know because over the years I've had it done on both my big toes over 20 times each). And finally I discovered what a 10 is on the 1-10 pain scale. At the age of 38 I had viral Spinal Meningitis. When my knee blew I actually went blind from the pain. All I could see was red. The Meningitis was worse. I went blind, deaf and mute. Nothing but blackness and pain so bad I could actually hear it. Pain was all I could see and hear. Pain that is unsurpassed. Oh, there are other things that might be able to equal it, to be sure. But nothing is worse. There have also been many other times when I was injured or in pain but these are the most severe.

Why did I recount all of that? Because even in through worst of it, in the depth of pain that can consume you and be so bad it becomes your entire universe. Even through all of that I found small glimmers of hope and happiness. Lying in the hospital in so much pain I was virtually catatonic, I remember thinking that when the tests came back and confirmed that I didn't have bacterial Spinal Meningitis it was a good thing because I wanted to hold my son again. And at that moment... That split second of time when I thought of him, there was no pain. There was only happiness.

No matter how bad life can be, there's a flower or a bird song or a snowflake somewhere. There's a child's laugh. A warm breeze. The smell of fresh fruit. The hand of a loved one. There will always be something to grasp, if you want to. It's all in you.

Happy. Unhappy. Every moment of every hour of every day you will find yourself with something good on one side and something bad on the other. It will be your choice as to which one you grab hold of.

Choose the good things.

Choose happiness.


  1. Couldn't have said it better myself... :)

  2. An honored compliment, to be sure.
    Thank you.