Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Candycane Happiness -- no, just kidding.

Yesterday evening, when deciding what I'd wear today, I did what I've been looking forward to for weeks, maybe even months -- skipped over to the downstairs hall closet and got out my fleece jacket and scarf.

Yay! The cold season has finally arrived!

This morning I got dressed, wore my knee-high socks and boots (yessss!) and did my old faithful banish-the-cold routine: Scarf on first, two and a half wraps each way, tuck the ends, then the jacket over all, buttoned and belted, thank you.

I clip-clopped out to my car and was on my way to work. I even had to use the rear window defroster! Yup, I was excited about this.

Then, while driving, someone or other on the radio said that we'll be getting up to 75 degrees this afternoon, then up to 80 tomorrow.

Sigh.

Is it because of global warming? I know I'm in California and all, but come on! It's nearly thanksgiving and still not even consistent sweater weather. Not cool. (no pun intended, but it works.)

Yesterday as I was running an errand on campus I was exquisitely aware of the cool breeze chilling my cheeks and neck, and I thought how much more lovely the world looks right now with crispness in the air. Yes, it looks just as lovely in the early spring when the non-frigid winds are starting to thaw everything out, but the loveliness is different. Right now, at this time of the year, it seems to me that you need the cold in order to get the most out of the season.

Then, I realized something. It's only the temperature. How hot or cold the air is should have no bearing on my happiness anyway. It's such a silly thing. Well, maybe not NO bearing - I can understand being just a bit more happy if the weather matches, but less because it doesn't match? There's just something wrong with that.

It seems to me that we're always chasing something. Something material, or a relationship, or things that are career-oriented... isn't it only that what we all really want is to wake up happy, looking forward to the day, then live a happy day, then go to bed - happy? And the things and people that we chase are just ways that we think we can get that feeling?

The sad thing is, it seldom works. For me at least, once I've gotten those things that I thought would give me that all-is-right-with-the-world-and-I-am-all-of-a-sudden-an-infinitely-more-awesome-and-happy-version-of-myself-feeling before, I looked around and realized that it wasn't all it had been cracked up to be in my mind. I still felt like something was missing. It's not that I didn't appreciate what I'd achieved, but I didn't feel like I thought I would. So, it was on to the next thing.

But if that's the way that life is lived, you'll never be happy. What about deciding what things have really given you that feeling? Not what seems to give OTHERS that feeling - I think that's where most of us make the mistake, we see other people happy (or seeming like they're happy), so we think by having the situation or things that they have we can feel the same way. We're not those people. The same things won't make us happy.

So, what does?

Then, how to get it? And, more importantly, how much of it do we already have? Maybe we don't notice, or it doesn't help because we always want more. Well, something that's been true for me is, yes, there can always be more. And there can always be less. So it's good to appreciate what we have. Not as a fear-based "oh my gosh I may lose this" kind of appreciation, just with a gratitude for the things that make our lives sweet.

And, if we don't have what we want, how can we get it? I always used to practice the "what would the perfect version of myself, the one I want to someday be, do right now?" question. It almost always worked. And, it was hardly ever easy.

I should get back to that.

So, in closing, this has been yet another PSA to pay attention! Who knows what you're missing and wish you hadn't?

1 comment:

Stephay said...

Ok, it's freeeezing here. Well not freezing, but I've had to wear my light coat to work for 2 weeks. It's almost (but not quite) too cold for Ward to ride the motorcycle.... or maybe it is too cold, but he just refuses to stop.

We can trade, I'll go out there and take your job, and you can come to Virginia, live in the cold and do mine :) You might even like it.

Well I can dream can't I....wishful thinking and all...

S.B.