Happiness, fun, enjoyable, joyful, wonderful...
These are a few of the words I would think most people would be thrilled to honestly use to describe their lives. I can't see why anyone would want to have a happy, joyful life, for example. And I think in our society it is possible to look on life as be some how unsuccessful if this level of expression isn't experienced. In other words if we are not happy all the time or most of the time anyway then life somehow is a failure.
K-sue and I were discussing this last night in a phone conversation and I think our expectations for our lives can be a rather tricky subject...My belief is most people are unrealistic and that word "happy" is to blame. Everyone feels that is the goal, to be happy. I'm not so sure...
I'm not trying to be negative or a doom and gloom guy, not at all. I just really haven't EVER seen a person, in my life who I would describe as always happy. I just haven't...have you? I suspect if you are honest with yourself you might realize that you haven't either.
Now don't get me wrong...I'm sure it happens to some people, that they truly live happy and fulfilling lives. I have no doubt about that but I cannot picture it as coming anywhere close to being the norm? I think our definition as to what "happy" really is or means certainly comes into play here. I suspect each individual person has their definition of what happiness or a happy life is to them.
So if what I am saying is true and happiness is unrealistic or unachievable...then that really is rather discouraging then, isn't it. Why go on if we really can't be happy? That is certainly a notion that had crossed my mind at various times over my lifetime.
I think what I can do is look at my life today. Now I have admitted at various times here in Shell Shock posts that I believe my live is as good as it's EVER been. And this morning, I still tend to agree with that statement. I would not describe my life as happy but I also wouldn't describe it as sad...I have a fair share of happiness and sadness in my life.
I know some folks will really begin the eye rolling here when I say this but success in my life lately I would define as beginning with balance. Yep...there is that word again! But balance is the end..it isn't the goal...no, it sort of all STARTS there for me.
I think I would say that success in this life today for me is having an active, productive, well-rounded life. To fully PARTICIPATE in life:Emotionally, Physically, Psychologically and Spiritually. That is my goal...and I have a fair share of moments these days where that holds true.
It is a reasonable and reachable goal. But I really think full participation in a balanced productive life is my goal today. I am sure some will say BORING!! What...you want CHAOS instead?! I have had my fair share of THAT kind of life and I'll take this new suggestion every single time.
Kim wasn't fully in agreement with me and hey...that's perfectly fine. I think we have to set our own targets in this life. But I tend to place a LOT of value today on serving others. I achieve more actual happiness doing that then any other thing I do. But the nature of "service" can sometimes mean hard work, difficulty, stress and hardship to go along with the satisfaction and joy that comes with that helping others. It isn't always happy fun...see?
So that was my take, at least so far. I imagine since the wheels of my brain have really been churning with this notion of happiness as the goal of life that there will be more posts coming on this and similar subjects in the next couple of days. But for now just ponder the thought that: Happy isn't NORMAL!