Appalachian Trail Happiness: Acceptance is the Way

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Acceptance is the Way

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My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations ~ Michael J Fox

Tonight an excerpt from my soon to be published book, Appalachian Trail Happiness.

When you set out to do a long-distance thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail you know a few things in advance.  You know it will be hard, you know you will be dirty and wet and smelly.  You know you’ll likely lose some weight.  You also know that that you will go through some form of transformation, you’ll change in some way, maybe many ways.  One of the things that hit me while hiking in Vermont and Massachusetts was that the trail teaches you acceptance.

You see when you are out on the trail, life is simplified to the basics, food, shelter, the weather.  The simple fact is that many of the things you deal with each day are completely out of your control.  On the trail you have to accept the topography, whether you will climb big hills, do sharp descents, walk over rocks and in mud, or on heavenly flat trails, you just have to walk.  I’ve taken to not asking hikers I pass going the other way about the trail ahead, it doesn’t matter.  I know the profile and the distances from the guide I carry, but whether it will be hard or easy is first a matter of opinion, and secondly it doesn’t matter.  No matter what the trail holds, we’re going to walk it, so what’s coming really starts to not matter, it’s just another hill man.  You have to accept the trail for what it is and even more importantly find happiness in not only smooth descents, but in the hard climbs and the rocky trails.  If you can’t get to this point, the trail can be a very hard place indeed. And in the end this is an absolutely perfect metaphor being happy in life.

The other big thing on the trail that you have absolutely no control over is the weather.  We all know that we will get rained on while we are on the trail.  However, sometimes it can be a bit daunting.  Starting the trail in early March it rained, sleeted or snowed 12 out of the first 14 days on the trail.  It was a bit much, it almost broke me, I hadn’t quite gotten to the point of acceptance yet.  During my week on the trail in Vermont we got wet and basically stayed at least damp the rest of the week.  When it rains a lot, the humidity stays up, your gear stays wet, it’s unpleasant but it is what it is and you will have weeks like this on the trail so you just have to come to accept it.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t take precautions, I blue blazed Albert Mountain in bad weather because of a bad knee and my poor descending skills.  I’ve stayed an extra day in town or delayed returning to the trail to miss a day of bad weather.  But once on the trail I accept what’s coming, this attitude has made being on the trail a much happier experience.  Being wet, tired, smelly, climbing big hills and hard terrain is all part of doing a thru-hike and with that acceptance comes a level of happiness that sustains you on the trail.

The real trick in life is to find ways to take that level of acceptance and transfer it to life in the default world.  Can you learn to accept that you’ll be cut off in traffic, that pipes will break, the cable will go out and that the package that you paid extra to have arrive on Friday isn’t coming until Monday.  If you can, maybe, just maybe, we can be as happy in our default world lives as a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail. ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You May Enjoy!

My favorite trail photos of 2015

My Reader’s Favorite Posts

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments

My Favorite Little Hiker

A Walk in the Woods

Quitting the Appalachian Trail

 

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Looking Forward

Looking Forward

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I shouldn’t say I’m looking forward to leading a normal life, because I don’t know what normal is. ~ Martina Navratilova

It was a very stressful week my friends, several weeks into a new job and lots of deadlines converging at once.  Several problems also popped up, I made my first mistake, a minor one, but still one that caused a bit of stress.  In the end, everything was resolved and nothing terrible happened.  It’s education after all, no one dies when we have issues.  Of course right in the middle of all of this I had my first doctor’s appointment now that I’m back on health insurance.  Things have been going well for me physically, I’m working out regularly and eating right, I’ve lost a little weight.  So I expected things would be fine but my blood pressure  was 170/90, and would rise as much as 210/90 before the week was over and I had to double up my medication.  It’s currently high, 145/77 but has been dropping the last few days while back to my normal dosage.

So now it’s time to figure out how to reduce my stress level at work.  You see one of the things that makes me good at my job is that I truly care about doing a good job, about getting things done.  Of course, that also means that when things don’t well, it impacts me, I take it too much to heart.  So, for my own good, I have to learn to not let it impact me.  Of course that also means caring a bit less about what I do, a bit of catch-22.

So why is the title of tonight’s post looking forward, because that’s what you do my friends.  You stay positive, you solve your problems and you keep heading toward what makes you happy.  For me that means continuing what I’ve been doing, and working towards my goals.  It also means remaining grateful for what I currently have in my life.  That’s the secret friends, move forward, stay positive, be grateful for what you have, work toward your goals and you’ll have many happy days ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

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Happiness is a Quiet Sunday Morning

Happiness is a Quiet Sunday Morning

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When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Today the heat broke in the desert, it’s a temporary reprieve, we’re still in the midst of Summer with at least another month of really hot days ahead of us.  In the high desert where I live the heat breaking means it will only 101 degrees today.  I know, that doesn’t sound like much of a break.  But the break is that in the high desert the temperatures drop at night, so when we get days hovering near or below 100 degrees, it means we get nights in the high 60’s and those nights make for amazing mornings.

This was one of those mornings, I woke up earlier than expected, the air was still, 68 degrees.  Clear blue skies, the rabbits and the partridge were lazily walking around on the lawn.  I made an omelet and went out and ate on the deck.  The animals on the properties around me were also waking up for the day, the donkeys were braying, dogs barking, the roosters not wanting to be left out of the chorus made their presence known again and again.

A perfect meditative morning, meditation doesn’t always have to be done on your cushion at your altar.  It can be done sitting in a comfortable chair, on your porch, in the morning summer air on a perfectly happy day.  I hope you’re having a happy day too my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

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Happiness on Facebook

So tonight Facebook blocked my post on being happy at work, perhaps by embedding it they will let it post. ~ Rev Kane

 

How to be Happy at Work

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How to be Happy at Work

How to be Happy on a Hard Workday

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Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.              ~ Kurt Vonnegut

So the other day at the office I was having one of those days.  You know, the kind of day where you finally get to your morning to do list at about 4:30 in the afternoon.  The day starts innocently enough, then fire after fire erupts that you have to put out.  You had a project to work on, but 2 others suddenly take precedence.  Of course there is data/information that you need, if only that person would just email you back you could actually get something done.  By the third email, well you feel like this.

furious businessman throws a punch into the computer

And of course it’s Monday.

So how do you keep it together, retain some semblance of your happiness on a day like this, you go back to the basics.  First, remember to breathe, literally, take some breaks throughout the day for a couple of minutes to just do some deep breathing.  It will calm you down, clear your head and loosen up those shoulders for a couple of minutes.

Remember to move, find ways to get up out of your chair and walk around.  We all know that sitting down all day is killing us.  But on a tense and stressful day it’s doing it a little bit faster, we have to work, our jobs are in an office but we’re not chained to the chairs.  So move, get your circulation flowing, instead of calling the office 50 feet away, take a quick walk and have a conversation.  In addition to the benefits of walking, some face to face human contact will do you good.

Take a break, not just to do some deep breathing, or walk down the hall but an actual break.  Too many of us hunker down, eat at our desk and work like prisoners in a cell.  Even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes, get out of the office, go for a walk or a drive.  Go sit on a bench and stare at clouds.  Taking a break has even bigger benefits long-term for both you and your employer.

Finally, find a way to laugh, a favorite video clip or some reading material to get you to crack a mile.  Getting back to basics can actually help you have a happier day my friends    ~ Rev Kane

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How to be Happy Everyday

How to be Happy Everyday

27Every Sunday morning I start out the day wondering what I will do for my Sunday night post.  I try to make these more reflective, a little more focused on my everyday life.  I try to eat fairly low-carb, a result of having inherited some blood sugar issues and having a small addiction to Coca-Cola.  So I watch what I eat and usually don’t eat cereal but occasionally I get a craving for fruit and cereal and buy a box.  I am particularly fond of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but there’s a trick to this, like many cereals.  You see, you have to soak it in milk long enough to slough off enough cinnamon to form the cinnamilk at the end, but not so long as to lose the crunchiness of the cereal.  As I was admiring the fact that I had pulled off that delicate balance this morning, it hit me that I had my post for tonight.  Appreciating the small things.

26You see we can talk all we want about the big changes in life that will make us happier.  Those things are legitimate and what you should strive for in the end.  But what can you do to be happier along the way.  Recently a study identified gratitude as the single most important factor in happiness.  Whether or not that is true, it certainly is one of the key things that makes people happier.  Long-term happiness is typically most closely associated with strong ties to family (biological or selected) and friends.

For tonight I want to talk about gratitude.  We need to be grateful for the things we have in our life that make us happy, the small as well as the big.  Sure we are grateful for family, friends, good health, the money, food and shelter that has been provided for us.  But if you want to be consistently happy you have to do two things.  First, you have to remember that your attitude, how you choose to react to things, determines most of your happiness.  The second is to appreciate all of the little things around us that bring us happiness.  A beautiful blue sky, a partridge running across the yard, a magnificent sunset or maybe the roses in your garden.

25I often see in November people post 30 days of being grateful to their Facebook pages, that’s great, but if you only have that level of gratitude in November, well then it’s sort of like a fad diet.  You make yourself happier for a time but then lose those gains when you stop.  What I’d rather see people do is a gratitude Monday once a week, that way at least gratitude would stay on your mind year-round.  Maybe I’ll start doing a post on gratitude once a week.

So tonight my friends, be grateful for what you have, remember the little things that make you smile and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

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Happiness and Missing Some Perfect Days

Happiness and Missing Some Perfect Days

fix utah silouhetteI don’t like nostalgia, unless it’s mine. ~ Lou Reed

Today I’m allowing myself a bit of nostalgia, I’ve been back in the default world for a little over a month now.  I’m adapting, I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been hard.  I’ve been working through the final edit on my book, Appalachian Happiness, and it’s been making me miss my time on the trail.  But that’s not what I’m specifically nostalgic for today, today I’m dreaming about my time in Utah.  When I took my first break from work a little over ten years ago my big trip was to spend 22 days hiking the high passes of the Himalayas.  In order to prep for that trip I needed to spend some time doing a little altitude training.  I’m lucky that my family has a cabin near Bryce Canyon National Park and I stayed there for three months.

fix utah red rocks

fix utah navajo 2My time in Utah was an idyllic experience, my days were absolutely perfect.  I would wake in the morning, cook breakfast, pack a lunch and then spend several hours hiking in one of the national or state parks in the region.  I’d return home, work in the yard a bit, eat a meal, read for a time and then take a late afternoon nap in my hammock.  I’d wake up, watch the sunset, eat dinner then sit down to write for a couple of hours before bed.  It was a wonderful and simple time.

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fix kodachromeSo a short and simple post tonight, a little nostalgia as the default world grinds me down a bit.  But never fear my friends, I have a plan and things are moving forward and I’m having happy days my friends, I hope you are as well.  ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Great Hikes & Treks

Happiness is Taking Risks

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

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Sometimes Happiness is hard…

Sometimes Happiness is hard…

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You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

This is not my normal type of post for the Ministry of Happiness, but these my friends are not normal times, or maybe they are, and if so, then I’m really sad.

I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning.  It started with the fact that I’ve tweaked some muscles in my neck and it eases up during the day but stiffens overnight.  So raising my head this morning to get up was a painful proposition.  So I laid back down and got lazy and grabbed my phone and procrastinated getting out of bed.  I quickly encountered the news about the officers who were shot in Dallas, there was information about a black man found hung in Piedmont Park in Atlanta.  It was quickly deemed a suicide, too quickly some believe and no autopsy is too be performed.  It’s hard right now to simply just trust the authorities after the recent news about the deaths of more black men being shot on traffic stops or while selling CD’s in front of a store.  I don’t want to have that distrust but these days it is pretty hard not to.

The news hit me harder than I expected, I laid in bed for a while feeling what I can only describe as despair.  Sure, I got up, I went to work and while engaged in all of the busyness of my job I was distracted and felt ok.  But once that ended it was back, throughout the day via Facebook I saw posts that made me hopeful, posts about hope and unity going forward.  But I also saw far too much hate in the responses of people to the events that have happened and it filled me with despair.

I’m a lucky man, I have friends of all types scattered all over the world (I wish they were nearer).  My selected family is composed of a wonderfully diverse set of humans and this set includes conservatives, deeply religious Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, flaming liberals, libertarians and people who really don’t care at all about politics.  I have gay, straight, bi and trans friends, I have monogamous happily married friends, swinger friends, even polyamorous friends.  These friends come in every shade of human and within all of those sets and there are some combinations of descriptors that make for some seriously lovely and unique humans.

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of the communities my friends exist in get attacked, from Orlando to Minnesota, from Baton Rouge to Dallas, yes I have family and friends who are cops as well.  I’m sick of it, I’m tired of the hate, the ignorance, the political polarization, the myth of an exceptional America.  An exceptional country does not harbor the levels of disrespect, hate and racism that exist in this country.

We have to change, for the savior of our country and our very souls we have to do better.  These issues are not the fault of liberals or conservatives, the media is not the problem, President Obama did not cause this.  We are the cause of all of it and that is both the good and the bad news.  The good news being that if we caused it, we can fix it.

unityWe have to get off of the stereotypes, but we also have to correct the problems of bias and racism that are cooked into the very structure of our society.  Let me tell you how I learned about white privilege in fourth grade.  In our elementary school locker room we had baskets we left our clothes in when we changed for gym class.  Some idiot flipped a bunch of baskets over while we were in class and our clothes were jumbled.  No big deal, there were three of us and there were three pair of underwear.  One generic pair that were pretty ratty, and two pair of Fruit of the Looms, one pristine, one in good shape but with a little split near the tag.  The three of us, one white, one black, and one brown.  Now two of us were middle class, one was very poor and as such he immediately and accurately was given the non-Fruit of the Loom pair.  That left two of us and I honestly believed that my underwear had no damage.  My friend Joe, also believed the same thing.  The gym teacher came in, heard the claim and without blinking gave the split pair to the black kid and gave me the pristine pair.  I felt vindicated until walking down the hall a little while later I remembered, mine did have a split.  For a long-time I didn’t understand why I was automatically given the best pair.  It took me being older and reflecting on it to realize it had simply been the color of my skin.

The way people look should not be how we determine how to treat them, but it is.  We treat white, black and brown people different.  Beautiful people are treated better, I get far better treatment in my work clothes than I do on the weekend in a pair of jeans.  If we determine someone looks gay, whatever the hell that is supposed to look like, we treat them differently.  Dressed like a hippie, have a big beard, be anything but 1950’s normal white in this country and you are treated differently.

I saw a post from someone today about how they were incorrectly pulled over and they listened to the cop and nothing bad happened.  The person that wrote it was white and the implication was clear, that if black people just behaved themselves they wouldn’t have any problems, wouldn’t get shot.  The post made me incredibly angry, this person’s world view is myopic and bigoted whether they realize it or not.  It made me sick that people liked the post.  I don’t fit the 1950’s stereotype of white America, I have been pulled over for driving while looking like a hippie, this past year a cop admitted that the way I looked was the reason for the stop.  I have had cops try to do illegal searches on these stops, I’ve been roughed up, I once had my driver’s license whipped into my eye.  Black and brown drivers have it way worse than I do.  So no, just obeying the law and doing what your told sometimes isn’t protection against harm, and when it happens often enough to a person, they understandably get frustrated and angry.  None of this justifies being unjustly shot by a cop and as horrible as the ingrained racism in our society is, the reaction can’t be to start shooting cops that’s equally unjust.

stewartI’m afraid for my country tonight, a hot summer Friday night with passions running high and protests in many, many places.  We may be seeing a return to the type of violence and upheaval we saw in the late sixties.  I would have hoped we could have gotten to the kind of positive change we saw after that period, without the violence, but it doesn’t look like that will be our path.

What can we do?  You’re one person, you can’t fix society, end institutional racism, de-polarize America’s politics by yourself, and you’re right.  But there are things we can do, simple things that may seem silly but may have more of an impact than you imagine.  First, smile at people, especially people who don’t look like you, especially people who are likely on the margins of society, hell go crazy and say hello or have a nice day for no damn reason, hold the door open for them, thank them if they hold a door for you.

Call out the bullshit in your world, if your friend or family member expresses an idea that is bigoted call them out.  Ok, you’re 90 year-old grandma gets a pass, but no one else. There is no need to do it publicly and start a fight, delete the comment, message them directly and have a conversation friend to friend without name calling or anger, the purpose is for everyone to understand each other, to understand the impact that our words have.  If someone can’t do that, do you really want them as a friend on your social media account?  I realize confrontation sucks, but allowing bigoted remarks to stand on your page is tacit approval of what’s being said.

Watch your assumptions.  I see people jumping on each other because they assume intent that may not be there.  Not every black person hates white people, not all whites are racist.  Just because someone supports Black Lives Matters it doesn’t mean they don’t think other lives don’t, don’t assume they do.  Equally, don’t assume that whites who feel frustrated or feel under attack are racists, you can feel the pressure of change, you can feel embattled and not turn to hateful thoughts.  We all must find a way to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Actually talk to people.  We have to talk to each other about these issues, not on social media, not in sound bites, but face to face.  We have to have discussions about the issues in this country, those conversations can be uncomfortable as hell.  But if they are done with open hearts and open minds, if we are respectful of one another’s feelings, we can do it and foster understanding and empathy.

My friends we have to try an understand each other, we have to care about each other regardless of whether or not we share a religion, a skin color, a sexual orientation or a political party.  Almost every person I know has either a religious belief or a philosophy that they adhere to in life.  I’ve made a point in life to be familiar with most of these and from Islam to Christianity to Taoism, to agnostic ideas of right and wrong none of these philosophies espouse hate as a way to a better life.  Sure, none of them are perfect, they can be interpreted in ways to create the “other” or outsiders.  However the core message that Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mother Teresa, Khalil Gibran or any of the other philosophers of life we read espoused was simple, love one another, be good to each other, don’t kill each other.  If we could just do that, we’d all have happier days my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Independence

Happiness is Independence

flyI ask only to be free.  The butterflies are free. ~ Charles Dickens

I thought, given today is Independence Day in the United States, I would write about being free.  If you read this blog you know that I’ve recently gone back to work after an 18 month vacation.  The comment I get from folks when they first hear about that is, lucky you.  But it’s not luck.  Once I say that the conversation often turns to the fact that I’m not married.  There is some merit to that discussion but it’s not really about me not being married, what it is about is me being less encumbered than they are in life and that’s a choice.

Often times, we believe that the reason we can’t do the things we want in life, the things we dream about doing, is that we have all of these things holding us back that we can’t do anything about.  Of course what we often forget is that we placed most of the chains that hold us down on ourselves.  There are few obligations that we have in life that we didn’t place on ourselves.  Marriage, kids, a mortgage payment these are all choices we make in life.  Where we live, how we live, what job we have are all choices we made.

Sometimes it seems like these aren’t choices at all, society’s expectations, love, the fear of being alone leads to marriage.  We have kids because we want to, because our partner wants to, because our parents want grandchildren, for the survival of the species, because it’s what’s next.

The reasons are somewhat irrelevant, we love our partners, we love our children, we do our best to be good people.  We do what we think is right often without a thought to the consequences down the road.  We’re human, imperfect and that’s ok.

The message I want to send in this piece my friends is that no matter where you are now, those dreams you have are not out of reach.  This is not a theoretical proposition, during my travels over the last couple of years I encountered people at every level of their lives chasing their dreams.  I met retired folks following society’s script, people who dutifully waited until they had retired before they chased their own dreams.  I also met people who waited with their partner’s for that day, only to have their partners die before they could enjoy their time together.  I met families with young children chasing their dreams together.  I met husbands and wives pursuing their dreams with supportive families at home.  What I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that the old adage, where there’s a will there’s a way is true.

You can do it, you can chase and achieve your dreams, you just have to increase your level of freedom.  How do I do that you ask, when I have bills to pay and people who depend on me?  There are a few steps  The first, the biggest and absolutely the hardest is that you have to decide to do it, to commit to following your dream.  Whatever IT is.  Once you have decided that you will do it, the rest is logistics.  Planning is the obvious second step, along with a healthy dose of patience.  Reality does get in the way, initially you may not be able to fully accomplish your dream but you can make steps towards it that can make you happier.

For me, my dream is to be a full-time writer and traveler.  I may not have a wife and kids but I do have people who depend upon me, people I feel obligated to be there for when things are tough.  I’ve also encumbered myself with my choices in life.  I have significant student loan debt, my possessions are an issue, without a wife or children, I’m basically on my own in retirement.  All of these things create obstacles to me just walking away from my current life and becoming what I want to be.

So I’ve committed to getting there and I’ve started planning.  Several years ago when the housing market crashed I bought a house, turned it around and sold it when the market came back.  It paid for my 18 months vacation, what that time was, besides absolutely wonderful, was a test run.  The process of stepping into a completely new life was complicated.  How to you cover your monthly bills?  How do you keep health insurance?  What do you do with all of your possessions?  Learning how to do all of that was a vital step toward reaching my dream.  I’m finishing up editing the book I wrote about my time traveling, another learning process.

I wish I was closer to my dream, I’m still years from getting there, but I know I can now.  It’s not a theoretical construct anymore, it’s a process that has steps.  Currently, working again is actually one of the steps, coming back to California and working keeps me in the retirement system, that pension is a piece of what I’ll need to put together to make my dream workout.  I’m also taking other steps, getting my debt taken care of, and reducing the amount of my possessions.  If you are traveling you have to store your stuff, the less you have the cheaper it is to store things.  I once read that if a possession isn’t something you frequently use, or adds to the beauty in your life, it’s not worth keeping.  I’m currently employing that filter.

I relate these personal details to show you that you can do it, you can pursue and achieve your dreams, you can make them real.  Your circumstances are not mine, the things that you need to overcome will be different, maybe harder, maybe easier but you can make them happen.  We live once, this isn’t a practice run, make your dreams happen or they never do, that’s just the way it is.  This is why I write this blog, I want you to be happier, I want you to fulfill your dreams.  If one of you reading this take these steps, gets closer to your dreams because of these words, then I’ve succeeded and my days and yours are that much happier my friend. ~ Rev Kane

Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Our Best Happiness Posts for 2015

Revisiting Some of Our Best Posts & Pictures

Readers Favorite Appalachian Trail Posts

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Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a Choice

529cToday I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it. ~ Kevyn Aucoin

So I moved to the desert, I have taken a new job and the job I’m happy to say is working out really well.  I rented a great house on five acres with beautiful sunsets.  The house has also been incredibly difficult, there have been a huge string of things that have gone wrong, over the last couple of months I’ve also had a break-in and theft at my storage space, my credit card has been cloned and I’ve had to fight battles with a number of different major corporations over incorrect bills and other frustrations.

People keep asking, did you flip out, who did you go off on?  The answer is no one.  I’m also not bummed out, not falling into old pitfalls like getting depressed or angry, I’m not stressed out.  My attitude, beyond small moments of frustration, has been fairly zen, I’ve remained in a good mood.  Sure I’ve eaten a few unhealthy meals on frustrating days but a couple of cokes and a milkshake are not the worst things I could do.  I’ve remained happy and the question is why?

I point to two things, first was my time on the Appalachian Trail, which I miss terribly every day.  Being on the trail taught me a lot of things, but most of all it taught me patience, to take my time and not let things get me upset as easily.  Today, in the midst of what was a difficult day, I ran into two Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers at lunch.  It was awesome, we had a hiker in common who I met on the AT, it was absolutely wonderful to be called hiker trash again.

The second reason I’m doing well, is something I’ve learned as a result of writing this blog and my research on happiness.  Happiness is absolutely a choice, things happen to us, some are good, some are not so good.  We can’t always control what happens to us, life throws things at us we can’t see coming.  What we can control however is how we react to those things.  I know that sounds quaint, one of those lovely sayings that we think is nice but not real.  I’m telling you it is, it just takes a moment at the beginning of the day to express some gratitude for what you have in your life.  You need to take a minute to give yourself some perspective on whatever problem you’re facing.  I’ve worked hard in my life, I have a good job, great friends, I’ve spent the last 18 months on an awesome adventure, I get to write to you good folks.  I have a good life, so even though today might be a total shit day, tomorrow likely won’t be and a lot of days before haven’t been, so there’s no need to become unhappy.  I can and I do choose to have happy days my friends and with a little effort, so can you.  ~ Rev Kane

Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Our Best Happiness Posts for 2015

Revisiting Some of Our Best Posts & Pictures

Readers Favorite Appalachian Trail Posts

 

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