The pursuit of happiness

For some people, I've heard, happiness comes from hard work, but I wouldn't know anything about that. Some folks find happiness in helping others, and I respect that and give a little to United Way, which makes me momentarily happy, sure. Money can't buy happiness, we're told, though it's better than being broke.

For me, these days, happiness just means putting my feet up on the ottoman and reading something, or watching a show or surfing the net. I'm easy to please.

Happiness comes from doing what you choose to do. Seems fairly obvious, no? What baffles me, though, is that people often don't do what they'd honestly choose. They feel they're pinned down by other people's expectations, by societal norms, or by some promise they made years earlier and they're unwilling to reconsider.

"I started college, so I have to finish, even though I hate it."

"My job drives me crazy, but it pays OK so I stay."

"I married that man, so I have to put up with him."

Do you, really? A college degree is good, and so's a job and so's a wedding vow, but happiness is better. Gotta look out for yourself.

I've made a promise to myself, to enjoy this one life I'm given. It's not my most important promise. I also want to be a decent person, make the world a better place, and all that. But generally speaking, what makes me happy is what I'll do.

My family wants me to attend a video-conferenced birthday party for my one-year-old nephew. Nope. At that age the kid doesn't even comprehend what a birthday is, and me and the family will chat some other time. I have no interest in his birthday party.

A friend likes to call and yak, and calls a little too frequently. I hate talking on the phone, so: Nope. There's an answering machine attached, or even better, the phone can be unplugged from the wall. Gotta love a landline — people can't even leave a message.

The office wants me to work overtime, because they're extra busy. Nope. Know why the workflow is overflowing? It's because you didn't fill the position when Shelly retired six months ago.

Also, I'm just not feeling the work thing this morning, so I'm taking the day off. 



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