Friday, September 3, 2010

The Gift of Happy

Good and bad. Pretty and ugly. Happy and sad. Did you ever notice that these things usually travel in pairs. Sometimes the “sad” happens first, then hopefully followed shortly by “happy”. But sometimes it is the other way around. The best we can hope for is a lot more “happy” than “sad” in our lives. I have found a whole bunch of “happy” while living and working in Turkey for the last three months. I have seen things that are so awesome that words and photos only begin to tell their story. I have met people from the four corners of the earth and have found them to be, for the most part, just like the rest of us, with just a few cultural differences. I have flown a hot air balloon carrying 12 passengers from 7 different countries into the depths of one of the most beautiful little rock canyons in the world, shared a champagne toast afterward, and not once even considered them as “foreigners”. The last two months I had the good fortune to share this place with my partner, my wife, and best friend. (It works out well when they are all the same person). So the “happy” in my life has been pretty much dominant for a while now. But she has gone home to check on the homestead and the grandkids and I am left here alone. The flying is still great. The people are still wonderful. The scenery is still as breathtaking as always. But of course now, “sad” is trying to take over and make me feel like crap. But you know what? I’m still smiling, cause as far as I am concerned, if all I have to do is experience a little “sad” in exchange for two months of adventure and “happy”, that is a pretty dang good trade off. I’ll take that anytime.
If we could just figure out a way to make sure that the good times outweigh the bad, then life would not be so hard. Someone close to me, made a comment recently about nobody’s life being perfect. I suppose that is true, however, I really think it depends on who is doing the evaluating. How many times have you thought about someone you know and either said it out loud or at least thought to yourself, “now that person has got a perfect life!?” I am guilty of that myself. But if we could get into that person’s life and actually live in their shoes for a while, we just might find that we get sore feet. Do we have any control over our lives, really? In my humble opinion, of course we do. Can we determine if life is going to be mostly “happy” for us instead of “sad”? Maybe not. But, if I had it to do all over again, and it is probably a good thing that is not an option, there are a few things I would at least try to do differently. So these suggestions are for those of you who are still trying to figure out your journey.
Educate yourself. The more you know, the more you grow. In other words, it’s OK to be stupid occasionally, but you don’t have to stay stupid. And remember, if you insist on being stupid, you gotta be tough.
Prepare yourself to get lucky. Life is kind of like flying a hot air balloon in competition, trying to reach the target at the end. It is about 20% skill and 80% luck. If you are lucky enough to find the right wind, you still have to be skilled enough to take advantage of it and get to the target. Sometimes the percentages change and if you are truly prepared, you only need a little luck. Luck will always find you, but you have to have the skills to take full advantage. Your quantity and quality of “happy” depends on it.
Find out what you like to do, and just do it. It’s your life’s work and you should not spend it doing something you hate. Now if you are “lucky” enough and “prepared” enough, it might even be something you can make a decent living at.
There’s lots more I could recommend, but whose listening anyway. When given the choice, I will choose “happy” over “sad”. I know that sometimes we have no choice and it’s hard to accept things that do or do not happen to us or our loved ones, that cause us to be sad. In search of the perfect life may be foolish, but while doing so, a lot of good things can happen to us. Some of them will be because we are prepared and expecting the “happy” to be in our lives. Some of it will be because we are just lucky, or a combination of the two. The “happy” and the “sad” are all gifts given to us to do with what we will. I hate it, but I really do believe, that which does not kill us, will make us stronger. And the stronger we become, the more prepared we are to accept and enjoy the “happy” that finds it’s way into our lives…

1 comment:

mary_ellen1414 said...

It's important to have both. Sad times are for reflecting. If you had happy all the time, would you appreciate it as much. When we look at our little blessings--they add up to more than we realize. A man was heavy-burdened, his cross he could not bear. And so he went to see the Lord, knowing He was fair. and he was taken to a room, with many crosses there. And God told him to simply choose a different one to bear. So carefully he looked at them, inspecting every one. And though it was quite difficult, at last his job was done. With heavy crosses everywhere, he saw against the wall a cross that seemed perfect, because it was so small. He thought this cross was suitable, quite certain it would be a cross that he could bear each day, and do so willingly. But God was quietly amused; the man had searched for naught. For he saw the cross the man had picked was the very one he brought. by Anne Peterson--I always like this story.