Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People

Happiness Is…

This started with one my new favorite web sites:

http://icanhascheezburger.com/

Being the person that I am, I can’t just leave well enough alone. I have to ask the question. What is happiness?

  • As a kid, I thought money was happiness, or more precisely, possessions were happiness.  I no longer think that, but I will say that happiness is harder without financial security.
  • As a college student, I thought that happiness was making the world a better place.  I was going to patch the hole in the ozone layer and eliminate smog from the Shenandoah Valley.  Aside: smog is down in the Shenandoah Valley, but I didn’t have anything to do with it (quite the opposite in fact).  Although I’m not sure what it says about me, I have gotten a less global viewpoint over the course of the past decade or so.  I no longer want to save the world.  I just want to save my kids and their future.  Maybe that is the same thing, but I feel more selfish about it, and therefore less happy.
  • The standard response to this question when asked of a parent is supposed to be “Happiness is spending time with my family.”  The problem is that although I do get happiness from my kids and wife, I also get stress and frustration.  You have no idea how happy I was that Dante “asked” to go to the potty this last weekend (my wife relayed this information, I didn’t witness it).  You also have no idea my anger when Dante cried and hit my wife and I because he couldn’t wait three minutes for dinner.
  • I have a specific “Happy Place”.  Section 14, Row L Seat 22 at Bridgeforth Stadium at an early-season football game.  I enjoy JMU football partially because I don’t care if they win or lose (OK, I prefer if they win…but it doesn’t affect me as personally if they lose compared to the Redskins).  I get the nostalgia of being back on campus at my Alma Mater.  The Marching Royal Dukes are always incredible…and the Dukettes don’t hurt either.

Dukettes

I spend time with my best friend (we get season tickets together).    The problem is that, even of a busy season, JMU only has 6 home games.  so, although I am happy when I am there, it doesn’t really define happiness for me.

Do, what is happiness?  Well, I was lying in bed last night.  I haven’t been sleeping and I have been having stress from everywhere…both work and home.  Our van’s transmission died over the weekend and I wasn’t sure how we could pay for a replacement (in fact, we can’t.  We are repairing the transmission instead).  And as usual, I was having trouble sleeping.  Sparky (my 85 lbs Lab/Border Collie lap dog) came up to lay down with me.  I hugged him and snuggled with him and I realized…happiness is a warm puppy.

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March 3, 2008 - Posted by | Random Thoughts

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