It’s time for a shift in perspective.
I’ve stated too often that I’d rather be happy and poor than to be rich and miserable. Or said another way, I’d rather have choices and freedom than any beautiful house, car or luxury. I realize it’s time to update that picture in my head because it’s not an either-or choice. I need money. I want money.
Nowhere else in my life do I let myself off so quickly. In my work, I put in the effort to get it right. With my remodeling or repair of my house, I have some darn high standards. So why would I lower my standards in my finances? There was a point I was trying to make when I first said I’d rather be happy than rich. It goes along with the proverb,
It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home.- Proverbs 25:24
After living with a workaholic for years and longing for his companionship, my twisted logic kicked in. Happiness suggested less money than we had before. It sounds silly I know, but beliefs and life scripts don’t always make sense. I’m no longer in that situation, so I’m updating my knowledge.
It’s a fool’s choice. It’s not real, much like fool’s gold. You have what you have. You either have the money, or you don’t. There are no crossroads to meet the devil on, no trading of your soul for fame and fortune, no genie, no lamp, and no damn lucky rabbit’s foot. Work, rest, enjoy what you have.
Check out Stories We Tell and Change It Up and the original Meager post from 2014.
Happiness, to me, is a natural result of health and love. It’s thriving. It’s like the moment my car is tuned just right. Or maybe when my cat is purring on my lap. What would it take to fill up my happiness container? And why did it get low in the first place?
How do you equate happiness? Is it a switch you turn on or off? Or a bucket you fill? This is a lot like the glass half empty or glass half full question. It’s funny since most people think of this as a right or wrong, optimist or pessimist problem, but I don’t see it like that. It could be both.
If happiness is a bucket we fill, then load it up with lots of big stuff first. Vacations, toys, experiences. And don’t forget the ice cream. No one is happy without ice cream. It’s a proven fact. Somewhere there is scientific evidence for that, I’m sure. My friends and I have determined that anything can be cured by ice cream. Breaking a nail? Wreck the car? Lost your job? I guess the only exception would be death. That’s the one thing ice cream isn’t helpful with. Unless you serve it at the funeral.
If you want to be happy, be.
If you see happiness as a switch or a button, what will it take to turn it on? Medicine? A brisk walk? Sleep? Talking with a friend? Maybe some more ice cream will do it. Maybe happiness isn’t the perfection I’m striving for. Maybe it’s just being in the moment that is. Not with everything perfect and in order. Control freak here. I have to remind myself that happiness can be just having the ice cream even if the rest of my life is in chaos. That’s my on switch.
Here is one of my favorite quotes that reminds me of that moment. I had it on my refrigerator for a long time to remind me of this truth.
“Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.”― Epictetus
For a little fun check out this link:
Cyanide and Happiness