Friday, March 4, 2011

Are you happy?

What the fuck does that mean? Are you happy? Who is happy? What is happiness?

Yes, there are happy moments in life. There are moments of joy or elation. We all want to be happy. That is the goal, right? But maybe the goal is wrong. What does it mean to be happy? I read a book that discusses this, a book called The Happiness Project. I never finished the book, but the premise was smart, a smart way to tackle this question of happiness. The author is trying to figure out what the components of happiness are (work, energy, family, marriage, etc.) and how to improve her overall happiness by achieving specific goals in each area (i.e., get more sleep, have date night, etc.) I am not sure what her conclusions are but let me make my own…. No one thing makes us happy or miserable. Most of the time we walk around and we are fine…not great, not terrible, but alive, and not hungry, and not asleep, and not dead.

Maybe that is my new answer…I’m not dead. What a downer.
How are you?
I’m not dead.
Ok, then.

There has to be more to this than that. Being alive in itself may make some people happy, let’s say the terminally ill, or someone who just recovered from major surgery—they are probably happy to be alive. What about the rest of us? Is just being alive enough? No. Maybe it should be.

Yes, I do know that I think too much, that I am going over, and over, and over this same question that people have been thinking about for like a million years…or so it seems. What is art? What is beauty? How can we define ourselves? If we leave cave drawings will they know we were here?

The goal of happiness seems silly in the grand scheme of things. But maybe not. Why live all this life if we are just living “through” it. I don’t just want to get through this (alive?) I want to enjoy my life. But wait, don’t I enjoy it? Wasn’t I just smiling and laughing with a friend on Skype? Wasn’t I just playing and smiling and laughing with Babyface? Didn’t I just have a delicious pot roast leftover lunch? Am I not fat and warm and healthy and writing on a nice computer? What the fuck is wrong with me? I have everything and yet I sit here pondering my happiness. What a vain, narcissistic thing to do? Who cares? More circles.

Too much time on my hands? Or wait, I thought I didn’t have enough time for things? Which is it? Maybe it is that life is all of the living we do in between happiness and death. Maybe it isn’t happiness that we should be searching for…maybe we don’t deserve that. Maybe happiness can only be experienced in small moments, in little pieces, in between the other stuff. Can you imagine being happy all the time? What would that even feel like? Would you have to stay high? Shit, you would have to be high, right?
Remember childhood…you were happy right? Wrong, really remember it…you were always questions things, struggling to learn, vying to grow up faster, wanting to be something that you weren’t—certainly that was not happiness. Once again, it was only moments.

More on this to be sure. Maybe I can think on it and get past all this boring crap I am writing now…and come up with something more concrete, more interesting, more real.

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