Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happiness is...

Lately, I've been devoting my blog to less thought provoking subjects like pro wrestling and the Pirates. Today, however, I want to do an entry that hearkens back to the main reason I wanted to do this blog.

I've not only needed an outlet for my writing, but I've also needed a place to express some of the thoughts going through my mind at a given time, good or bad. As topics have come and gone, one has remained at the forefront - my current mental state.

Those who know me now or in the past have known that I can be rather... morose at times or even downright miserable. In short, I just wasn't a very happy person for some reason or another. But lately... lately something has happened. I don't know if there's any one specific reason I can point to, but I just seem to be much happier lately.

I've always taken great pleasure from the simple things in life that I enjoy the most - a cold beer and a piece of pizza, my Sunday afternoon nap, cooking out, watching one of my obscure DVDs and other things that I won't go into. But it seemed like life in general wasn't bringing much joy to my life. Sure, I could enjoy the things that I enjoyed, but the basics of life just left me rather unhappy.

For a long time, it was my financial situation or lack thereof. Other times, it was my love life or lack thereof. And there was also my mom and dad's respective sicknesses which both contributed to me being pretty darned miserable at times.

I didn't like myself when I was this way, but I often felt that the fates of the world had conspired against me again and again (I think I stole that line from an episode of Pinky and the Brain). In short, I was blaming everyone and everything else but myself, and I was also unwilling (or as I thought, unable) to do anything about it.

So what's changed? What's made me wake up not dreading the day so much, even when it was 20 degrees with 2 feet of snow on the ground? What's made me not get so frustrated so much with my lot in life? What's made me appreciate the hand I was dealt in life?

The answer? No, it's not God or Jesus Christ. Sorry, if you were expecting that, then you don't me very well at all.

So what is the answer then? It's pretty simple - I just decided that my life is pretty good, and I shouldn't waste my time or energy on being so miserable when I could actually be enjoying my life.

Now, does that mean I think my life is perfect? Of course not. I'm still about 25 pounds overweight. I like my job, but it's not my dream job by any stretch of the imagination. I still don't have a girlfriend and the prospects (despite daily visits to eharmony.com) aren't very encouraging. But that's okay. No, really... it is.

I know I can get back into shape if I get off my lazy ass and actually, y'know, try. My job? Well, one of these days, I'm going to get serious about opening my own sports bar & restaurant and leaving the world of title insurance behind. As for my lack of a love life... well, I know that I don't do enough to "get out there" as a former friend used to tell me ad nauseum, but I've also come to the conclusion that not every person out there is going to find the love of his/her life. It's kinda sad, but it's true. I sure as hell hope I'm not one of those people, but I've prepared myself for the possibility that I might be. I've also decided that it's just not worth getting all worked up about like I used to when I would lie awake at night wondering what was wrong with me and why I couldn't meet someone special. I'm not the most patient of people, but I've learned that these things take time, even if I wonder what taking so damned long from time to time.

And there are other, more tangible reasons why I'm a lot happier these days. When my mom passed away at the end of last November, it was like a huge burden was lifted from my life. Gone were the thrice weekly trips to the nursing home. Gone were the dreaded phone calls from the nursing home asking for money. And gone was having to worry about her continued suffering. My mother is at peace now, and I feel a lot better because of it.

Now, as for money... well, money may or may not be able to buy happiness, but not having to worry about it so much is very good for one's frame of mind. I don't have a mortgage. My car payment isn't ridiculous. Yeah, I have bills (like a school loan that won't be paid off until I'm 60 at this rate), but I also have money to buy things I want (like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century on DVD, for instance) and not have to worry about every nickel I spend.

I also have been a regular user of the anti-depressant Lexapro which has been a great help to keeping me on more of an even keel.

And one more thing, something rather strange has added to my current happy state - the end of a relationship. Now, this will be addressed at length in a future blog, but before the end of last year, a long time friendship finally ended, and that was a good thing because we were driving each other up the wall every time we spoke. Any common ground or interests we had was constantly usurped by arguments or apologies or other crap. So, when my friend and I finally said goodbye, I did a little Dance of Joy because I didn't have to put up with dealing with them anymore. It needed to end, and I'm glad it did. And while this wasn't the first time it had ended, it will be the last. I'll never go down that road again.

So, what is happiness to me? Happiness is my life, a life which, upon further reflection, is pretty darned good.

Thanks for letting me share. Be back tomorrow. Go Pens!



  1. You're right about most of it, except the part where you think you won't find love. I can't tell you how to find it, or where... But I can tell you how I found it: I stopped putting conditions on love (the person must look/act/be a certain way) and opened myself up to the possibilities. Bam! I had more than I could handle - because I took what was waiting for me, instead of trying to make something for myself.
    You're a great guy, John. I don't know if that's what's stopping you - but if it is, WHY?

  2. Dank,

    I like your way of looking at things now. Half way through reading the blog I thought that you were about to go all religious on me :P Not that it is a bad thing, but. . . you know. I didn't know that you eventually want to own your own sports bar - that is great! Anyway, I am glad that you are happy and have decided that happiness is a choice everyday. If you ever need to chat, don't hesitate, k?