Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Focus, dearie

Is it relentlessly self-centered of me to only want to be happy?

Some argue that this response is that of a child. But I think I may have to argue my side.

1) To be happy, for me, means that I am a good person. I could never be happy if I was murderer, a thief, a molester. I rarely have urges to be mean, vindictive or snotty. And I figure (or hope) that others are just as plagued by those infrequent thoughts.

2) Being happy means that I am content with myself. Certainly there are always ways I can improve--- but knowing that I am a work in progress is enough to give me a certain amount of contentment. In fact, that's all I can hope for in that department being as how God is the only one I hold to a certain standard of perfection.

3) It also means I've given a certain part of myself, and therefore my life, to other people. No, I don't work in a soup kitchen or tirelessly work for the release of animals in captivity... nothing so grand. Currently, it just means I love my friends and family with utmost devotion. It means I do whatever I can to make sure that having me in their life is always a blessing and not an obligation necesitated by genetic lottery, pity or boredom. It also means I find a way to let those people in my life know how blessed I am to have them in mine.

4) And finally, it means that I try my best to do the right thing. By everyone. It means I stand up for myself when necessary and back down when obligated. It means I pick my battles, smile at those that may not be in my favor and complete those projects I start in an effort to be better...smarter... wiser... and happier.

I don't think my answer to what I want out of life is unreasonable. There will, naturally, always be certain aspects in life that stress me out: making my car payment, my rent, my credit cards... deciding what to do about careers... doing my best not to throw my neighbors dogs out of the TCBY buiding... But I think mine is a better answer than 'being pious', 'being successful', 'making money', 'being famous', etc, etc.

And now... I am in the process of making myself happy. I want to be happy when I walk into work everyday. I want to pay off my credit cards and make my bills without fail. I want to take my mother to a beach and sip margaritas (non-alcoholic for her, of course). I want my friends to know how much I need them and love them. I want to make things better, even if it's just one person, one time.

Self-centered? Yes. Without question. But I don't really feel that bad about it.

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