The Importance of Community

The Importance of Community

hike, hiking, armstrong woods

Rev Kane in Armstrong Woods

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. ~ Coretta Scott King

There are times when we all feel alone, times when we feel like no one cares about us.  We all have these moments, sometimes they are reality but most often they are not, because we all have communities we belong to in our life.    Our families are a form of community, our friends form a community around us but there are others.  One of the things I talk about extensively in my book is the hiking community that exists around the Appalachian Trail.

hiking, happiness, appalachian trail

Overmountain Shelter on the Appalachian Trail

On the Appalachian Trail you encounter an amazing array of people related to the trail.  There are the hikers of course and all of the various forms they come in.  There are thru-hikers, people hoping to complete the whole trail in one continuous hike.  There are also section-hikers (the toughest of the breed) people doing the whole trail over a number of years.  There are also day hikers, which I’d bet we’ve all been at one time or another.  But there’s a broader community, there are the family members of hikers, friends, the people who run business around the trail, hostel and hotel owners, gear shop owners and others.  There are also trail angels, people who help and support hikers out of the goodness of their hearts.

Appalachian Trail, hiking, happiness

A magical spot on the Appalachian Trail

The thing you come to realize when you attempt a thru-hike is just how many people belong to that community, that family of support if you will.  You find it in so many different ways, boxes from friends and family, a ride into town, finding a cache of water and snacks when you turn a bend on the trail.   The kindnesses are amazing on the trail, from folks providing trail magic at road crossings to people who will actually take you into their home, feed you and give you a place to stay.  The community around the Appalachian Trail is truly amazing and there are similar communities around most major hiking trails.  It was encountering this community that was one of the most positive experiences I had on the trail.

Appalachian trail, happiness, hiking

Me and my friend Jim on my first day on the Appalachian Trail

I have been reminded of how amazing this community is once again today, albeit for a not so great reason.  I found out last night a friend, a fellow 2015  AT Hiker, a really great guy who is hiking the PCT is the subject of an active rescue in the mountains of Washington.  He had come through town and visited me this summer and has walked over 2500 miles on the trail in one of the toughest seasons on the PCT in a very long time.  He’s a great kid, an experienced hiker, he’s got the right gear, everything is in place for this story to be one with a happy ending.  But those of us who do these sorts of adventures know how tenuous things can truly be on a trail, so we’re all hopeful, and a little bit afraid.  But watching this community mobilize, communicate, prop each other up and try and support his family has made me happy tonight in spite of the situation.

happiness, hiking, appalachian trail

My Polar Bear Selfie

We know that happiness depends mostly on ourselves but part of what we need to do is to work ourselves into communities that will support and help us be happy.  I’m proud and happy to be part of the hiking community, I hope you have found one that helps you be happy as well, I hope that if nothing else being tied into the Ministry of Happiness community can help in some small way and help you have a happy day my friends.

~ Rev Kane

 

Other Happiness Posts!

Ministry of Happiness’ Best Posts

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is NOT Safety

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Acceptance is the Way

 

 

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Random Happiness: Happiness Quotes

Random Happiness: Happiness Quotes

Tonight a few of my favorite quotes on happiness, have a read and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

happinessIf you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama

Even if you don’t follow a formal meditation program, it is good to sit quietly for a little while every day.~ Deng Ming Dao

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~ Lao Tzu

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.                                            ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.                    ~ Mohammed

Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own. ~ Mother Teresa

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. ~ Buddha

I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.    ~ Saint Francis of Assisi

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Are you Afraid?

Are you Afraid?

fear, adventure, travel

This will give you vertigo

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.                       ~ Mark Twain

So my time at work is winding down, I actually have about 24 work days remaining before my next big adventure begins.  As such a couple of things have been consistently happening, the first has really annoyed the hell out of me.  I’ve had a number of instances where people have started talking to me about something work related and then they stop and say, “oh wait, you don’t care.”

You don’t care

The reason this makes me angry is because obviously these people have no idea who I am as a person.  I’ve been busting my ass not only to wrap up everything I can at work, but to actually leave the position in a much better place than I inherited it.  I’m leaving behind fully reconciled budgets, transition plans, a dean’s training manual and am actually completing work in advance that doesn’t even need to be done until late August.  This has meant a lot of extra weekend hours to get this done.

So when someone says, “oh you don’t care,” I think they are telling me a lot about who they would be in my situation, not commenting on who I am.  So, it shouldn’t bother me but honestly it really gets under my skin.  I guess it’s part of being a blue-collar kid, I am someone who takes pride in their work and works really hard.  I remember at my first professional job, I worked for a consulting firm and about a month into the job while I was working late one night the Vice President came into my office and sat down.  He looked at me and said, “you broke me.”  I laughed and looked confused and he told me that he believed that he should always be the last person to leave the office, that he should outwork any of his employees but that I’d broke him, he couldn’t outwork me and he was going home.

I used to be incredibly proud of that moment, and to a degree I still am.  Since that day over 25 years ago I’ve learned a lot about life and work balance.  I don’t work like a dog anymore but I still work hard, just much more efficiently and intelligently.  So that pride I have gets a little wounded when people question it.  The second question I’ve been getting a lot lately is are you afraid?

fear happiness

Fear is killing your happiness

Are you afraid?

This question comes in a number of different forms, are you afraid or nervous about: not having a job; moving to Mexico; not having insurance; not having anyplace to live, etc…. All of these questions again, tell me more about the person asking than they do about who I am.  Am I afraid, no.  Nervous? Only in an excited way.  Going through my recent health issue, it looks like things are all good, put a small delay on me doing some of the planning.  But this weekend I’ve mapped out the dates, places, found an apartment in Oaxaca, looked at airline flights.  At my apartment I’m back to organizing and packing my stuff creating plans.  I still have to finalize where I’m going leave my car so that I know what airport I’m flying out of so I can book flights.  So am I afraid? No, but finally now that it’s getting closer I’m getting really excited.  I’ve been working on my Spanish skills for over a month now and feel ok about being able to get around once I’m in Mexico.

be happy, comfort zone

Do something that scares you and be happy

My big adventure is coming, it’s not a time for fear but excitement. I will be pushing a bit out of my comfort zone in the sense that I’m purposely not doing some planning.  I’m not the adrenaline junky people might think I would be given the things I do.  I’m someone who does a lot of research and planning, I’m most comfortable when I have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen.  I’m perfectly good with spontaneity within the plan as long as the overall structure has been set.  On my next adventure I’m planning for a lot more spontaneity than I normally do.  Which ironically means doing less planning, but being who I am, it still means a ton of research.

As my next adventure moves forward it will get less and less planned.  Mexico at least on the first pass is well planned.  Peru, for the three weeks or so I will be there is planned for about 10 days, I’ll be winging the rest. Mexico on the next pass will be set as far as when I arrive and where I’m going to stay.  Back stateside in the US in December and January will start a full on period of wandering.  Leading up to February and when I plan to head to Spain and Morocco and where I’m planning to not plan anything past an airline flight into Spain and my first two nights hotel.  Moving around Spain for a couple of weeks, where I’m going before wandering to Gibraltar, taking the ferry to Tangiers, where I’m staying in Morocco, what I’m doing there will all be done on the fly.  A totally new type of travel gig for me and I can’t wait.  Will there be fear, sure but I’ll let Frank Herbert address how I’ve come to think about fear:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. ~ Frank Herbert, Dune

We all experience fear, that’s perfectly natural, but what is important is how we respond to the fear.  Just like life in general, it’s not what happens but how we respond that makes all of the difference.  When I first read Frank Herbert’s novel Dune and got to that passage on fear I thought it was the wisest thing I’d ever read, in many ways I still do.  It as colored my own response to fear since then and yes, I have literally repeated that passage in my head in times of fear.  So my friends, don’t let fear kill your happiness, fear is a liar, what matters is what is beyond the fear.  I think one of the saddest things I can imagine is someone missing out on something really amazing just because they were afraid. Don’t do that and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

 

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Happiness Resources: Happiness Sites

Happiness Resources: Happiness Sites

So tonight a little tour around the web for some other sites to help you have a happier day my friend ~ Rev Kane

moh butrfly
Sure it’s just a marketing gimmick for a major corporation, but Coca-Cola’s happiness site is pretty interesting

Action for Happiness is a site that focuses on happiness as social change, interesting site.

The United Nation’s Day of Happiness, it was March 20th, can’t believe I missed it but here’s a site to check it out.

One of my all-time favorite sites Zen Habits.

A relatively new resource, Live Happy Magazine.

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Random Happiness: Unique and Bizarre Vacations

Random Happiness: Unique and Bizarre Vacations

Tonight a way to feel happy by breaking out and going out on a really wild vacation and hopefully you’ll have a happy day ~ Rev Kane

 

Feel like a giant

little people

Disney World, SeaWorld, Six Flags… All great family getaways. There’s no doubt that, despite the chaotic atmosphere and the overpriced snack stands, a theme park vacation is a must-have experience for every child and thus, every parent. These days, there seems to be a park to suit every interest, from chocolate to construction, Jesus Christ to Dolly Parton. But just when we thought that every void had been filled, the Chinese pulled a fast one with the 2009 opening of Dwarf Empire, an amusement park catering to — and almost entirely staffed by — little people.

Perched on a hilltop in Kunming (about 1,758 miles southwest of Beijing), this small troupe (whose members all measure four feet or shorter) functions as a true kingdom, complete with an emperor and a parliamentary government. According to Travel and Leisure, “The park … gained worldwide media coverage for employing many of the country’s height-challenged, who traditionally have had a hard time finding work. Thanks to the park, many of China’s dwarves are now gainfully employed as everything from janitors to crown-wearing empresses.” The employees all live and dine together on-site in exchange for performing costumed expositions like break-dancing performances and gourd-instrument concerts for hundreds of curious tourists.

 

From Flavorwire

Island of the Dolls

Not far from Mexico City is an island that has become one of the southwestern country’s biggest and weirdest tourist attractions. Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas) wasn’t originally intended for curious crowds, but the story of a drowned child and the man who found her and felt haunted by her death has drawn visitors in droves. The story goes that after a child died in a canal, Don Julian Santana saw a doll floating by and hung it from a tree as a way to honor her spirit. He also wanted to protect the island from further tragedy. Eventually it became an obsession, and he adorned the island with broken, creepy dolls. There are many urban legends surrounding his bizarre behavior, but one thing remains truly terrifying. In 2001, Santana apparently drowned in the same canal as the little girl. His family now runs the island as a tourist hot spot, but many are fearful of its haunted past.

island dolls 2 island dolls

From Winowseatblog

Go Zorbing at Pigeon Forge, TN

zorb

 

Visit a cargo cult on Tanna, Vanuatu

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6363843.stm

 

tanna

 

Go to Europe’s largest fire festival  Up Helly Aa

up helly aa up helly

Other Great Vacation Posts!

My Polar Bear Adventure

My Mt. Everest Adventure

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Swimming with Whale Sharks

 

 

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Happiness is Creating

Happiness is Creating

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  ~Pablo Picasso

art happiness

When the idea for this piece first hit me I had planned on calling it Happiness is Making Art, however I realized that many times when you talk about making art people have a funny reaction.  You see most people’s idea of making art is limited to a subset of what creating art is all about.  We have a tendency to only think of painting or sculpture as art and that’s a really limited view.  I get this; it has taken me some time to come to the broader realization that art includes writing, singing, painting, drawing, photography, knitting and on and on.  If you create you do art, if you do art, you’re an artist.  The realization for me happened when some of my colleagues on a couple of occasions called me an artist after seeing some of my photography work.  However it’s taken some time for me to become comfortable with the idea.

Creating is a wonderful thing, you don’t have to be particularly talented, it’s not about the quality of your creations  but about the act of creating.  Creating is a particularly good release, it’s an excellent way to relax and lose track of time.  There has been a lot written about the benefits of creating:

Make More Art: The Benefits of Creating

The Brain Benefits of Making Art

The Benefit of Making Art for Kids

It’s common to be afraid of starting out on the road to practicing art, here’s a piece on the 5 Fears That Can Destroy An Artist, although pointed more at people trying to make art a profession it has a lot of relevance to those of us just creating for fun.  Finally here’s a couple of pieces to help you get started on the creative process:

How To Get Your Creative Itch Back

How To Start Making Art Again

And a video,  Art: How to Start Creating Now 

So my friends, carve out a little time, do a little creating and have a happy day ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness, Woodstock, Burning Man & a Common Compassion Movement

Happiness, Woodstock, Burning Man & a Common Compassion Movement

w1

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~ The Dalai Lama

A few days ago I noticed on one of the movie channels that Woodstock was being broadcast.  It hit me that although I’ve seen a number of clips and generally actually know the film a bit, I had never actually watched the whole thing through.  So over the last few days I’ve been doing just that in bits of 30 minutes to an hour.  The film has really had a surprising impact on me, you see the world was very different in 1969 and although I get that culture, business and technology change I felt that unfortunately people seemed to have changed as well.  It feels like we’ve lost a level of civility that existed in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

w2

At several points throughout the concert there are quiet songs played by folks like Richie Havens and Joan Baez, including a very quiet protest song by Joan Baez.  She’s playing in front of 300,000 people and you can hear a pin drop, no screaming people, no woohooers, no one just yelling to hear the sound of their own voice.  An actual reverence for the performs and more than that a respect, consideration and compassion for the performer.  I can’t imagine this happening at a concert today; people are far too interested in hearing their own voices, attending to their own needs.

Watching the film if really feels like we’ve lost something in America, which is extra-ordinarily sad when you consider that the Woodstock Generation is now the generation in power in America.  That we’ve lost something feels certain, the question nagging me for several days is what have lost.  The answer I have come to is that we’ve lost common compassion.  Sure when extraordinary events occur, earthquakes, typhoons, etc…we have compassion, we donate money we provide assistance.  But what we seem to have lost is the common everyday compassion for those around us and the impacts our own actions have upon them.  We seem to go through the world ignoring anyone but ourselves.  I think this attitude is most visible in movie theaters, on the road driving, and in grocery stores where people often act amazingly selfishly and get angry if anyone points it out.

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I was a five-year old kid living about 30 miles from Woodstock when the festival occurred.  I have one distinct memory of that time and that was seeing the footage of the cars blocking the New York State Thruway, the big highway in this kids life.  I guess that’s why Arlo Guthrie’s infamous, “the New York State Thruway is closed man,” has always resonated with me.  So when they announced Woodstock 94 I had to go and I did.  A friend and I without tickets of course,  hitchhiked and walked into the festival actually hiking down the railroad tracks to evade the roadblocks that were stopping anyone without tickets.  We ended up hitching a ride after the roadblocks with a van full of highly interesting folks down to the festival.  Once there we ended up jumping the fence and camping for the night next to the grandson of Max Yasgur’s grandson and girlfriend.  We shared a breakfast of Kit Kats with a couple from Japan who spoke no English and we wandered on into the throng of people.

It was my first experience with anything that could be called a sea of humanity and it was amazing.  Too be honest, the music was the least of the attraction.  The people, the energy, Joe Walsh just sitting on the ground playing guitar with a little sign that said, “hi, I’m Joe Walsh,” it was amazing.  It was also peaceful, there were a lot of drugs no doubt and very little alcohol by comparison.  However eventually, as happened in 69 eventually the gates were opened to all and the beer runs began, and as the place turned from peace and amazement to stumbling drunks and rain storms my friend and I slipped out and hitched and hiked back upstate in the rain.  It seemed in one day in 94 I really saw the whole evolution of culture from 69 to 94 and quite frankly it was a little bit sad.

fix man s6

I attended my first Burning Man Festival in 2004 and the parallel I draw between the two is in the attitudes of the people.  On the Playa at Burning Man there is a lot of the common compassion that is missing in our everyday society, people are genuinely kind and welcoming.  In six trips to Burning Man, I’ve never seen a fist fight.  However much as I saw at Woodstock in 94, once people leave the environment they fall back into their rude, self-absorbed everyday selves.

So what do I draw from both Woodstocks, from Burning Man, well it’s simple people can show common compassion for each other.  Without a doubt the environment helps, people fall more easily into compassion on vacation or at a festival, but the environments we create at these festivals are created by us.  So my friends we are capable of creating a personal environment where common compassion is the norm.  Then all we need to create a similar local, regional or global environment is for our friends and loved ones to follow our example.  So today my friends I’m calling for a common compassion movement, one person at a time, starting with myself and now with you.   So show a little common compassion and we can all have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Other Happiness Posts!

Happiness, Mindfulness & Decisions

Happiness, Attitudes & Simple Pleasures

Appalachian Trail Happiness: My Best Posts

 

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Happiness Resources: Balance

Happiness Resources: Balance

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~ Thomas Merton

life-balance-elephant1

Tonight a little twirl around the web to find you all some resources on one of my favorite subjects, balance.  One of the things that I frequently see people do is lose balance in their life.  This typically comes in the form of working too much, or at least losing the understanding that work is not your whole life, that other things are more important than work.  Is this you?  Well if you think you can’t take a vacation, or when you are home or on vacation if you can’t unplug from work you may fall into this category.  It’s not easy the first you truly unplug on vacation or at home, but unless you’re a medical professional or someone similar no one dies if you don’t answer the phone, but remember my friends you only get one shot at life, one shot to hang with your kids at the age they are at right now, so wind down, unplug and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

From our friends at Zen Habits, 5 Essential Zen Habits for Balanced Living

How to create a balanced life

From the folks at life hack, 10 Simple Ways to find Balance in Life

A nice piece from Whole Living, How to find Balance

Finally a TED talk, How to make life-work balance

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Happiness is accepting life as it comes

Happiness is accepting life as it comes

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. ~ William James

plumber

So today I’m sitting here waiting for the plumber to come, that is almost never a good phrase.  Worse, the reason that the plumber is coming is that I did something incredibly stupid, I accidentally dumped a bunch of hot grease down the sink.  An absent-minded moment that will cost me money and hopefully drive home the lesson about mindfulness that I’ve tried to impart in my post on Happiness & Mindfulness.  We need to be present in our lives at all times not just for existential reasons but also for very practical ones, like not absent-mindedly dumping grease down the sink.

I really hate when I do something stupid, we all do, especially when it costs us money.  In addition to that there is a level of stress involved and that’s not good for us either.  This is where acceptance comes in, we have to accept what life and the universe throw at us.  At the end of the day it is only going to be a little time and money.  Not money that I want to pay, but in the end hopefully the plumber will arrive shortly, snake the drain and be on his way with me only being a couple of hundred dollars lighter.

Of course we also stress and worry, I’m worried that my stupid act is not the whole problem that the plumber will turn up something more significant both in scope and price.  But I can’t change any of that right now, all I can do is wait and see.  But I am no Zen master, last night when I realized the situation I was angry at myself, frustrated, stressed, I didn’t sleep very well.  But in the end there are three questions you have to ask yourself: Did I do everything I could do?;  What will I learn from this experience?; How do I get past this?

So right now I did what I could do, I have learned a lesson in mindfulness, I already know better than to dump a bunch of grease down the sink, finally I get past it by forgiving myself for my stupidity, paying the bill and really realizing in the scope of things how unimportant what happens around this will be.

So I’ve been working on forgiving myself today, tonight I’m having a massage and hopefully tomorrow this will all be behind me.  Breathe Michael, relax and release the anxiety, take life as it comes and keep things into perspective and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness – On Being Alone

HappinessOn Being Alone

hiking, alone, lonely, happiness

Alone on the trail

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone. ~ Paul Tillich

Inspiration for these posts comes from a lot of places.  Recently an old friend contacted me and said that they had a friend who was considering hiking the Appalachian Trail.  He asked me to reach out and see if I could be a source of information and support.  I’ve done this for a number of folks attempting a thru-hike, I really enjoy doing this.  I both get to be helpful, make a new friend and get to relive through them my time on the trail.  The most recent person I did this with shares a lot of similarities with me and likely the reason my other friend asked me to reach out.  They are around my age, single, a definite individual and it goes without saying since they were attempting an AT thru-hike, adventurous.

Recently they posted a little thought to the universe about being alone, they’re tired of it.  They are tired of going to dinner alone, traveling alone, hiking alone, of seeing movies alone both at theaters and at home curled up on the couch.  I didn’t respond to the post, but I get it.  So tonight when I sat down to do my Sunday night post it hit me as something worth writing about for a lot of reasons.

I have spent most of my adult life alone, to those who know me well that really isn’t a shock.  I’ve never been a settled person, a good friend in college used to say the song the Wanderer by Dion really made him think about me.  I’m someone who has always had a desire to travel, as a kid when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always not here.  Yes, I was even a smart-ass as a little kid.

People look at me and they see someone who has a successful career, who has traveled the world, I’m intelligent, well spoken and a decent human being.  Heck, and according to my granny, I’m a damn good-looking man.  So people often wonder why I’m not married.  I’ve had other people in my life, confused by my wandering, ask me what I am running from.  Other people have assumed I have a fear of commitment.  None of those really explain the big question folks have about me.

Why am I alone?

Probably the first and most important thing is that being married was never something on my life list.  Not a box I needed to check off of that list.  I really love kids, my nieces and nephews are incredibly dear to me, I had always hoped to be a father, always thought I would have been a good one.  I was always a little less sure about the idea of being married.  Honestly, although I know some people who have great ones, a see a lot of unhappy ones.  But that has never left me opposed to the idea, if the situation was right.  I have been in love, really, deeply in love three times where I thought there was a chance for something special to work out.  But it didn’t, sometimes it was that the person turned out to not be who I thought they were, usually for me it was terrible timing.

Of course I’m a tough ticket, I’m an utterly curious person and the reason that makes me a tough ticket is that it is that curiosity that drives my incessant need for travel and new experiences.  So if someone is going to be with me, they need to be of a similar mind, and have a willingness to see far enough out the box to build a life that fulfills that.  There are not a lot of people who fit that bill.

Getting older

As you get older and life gets more established, dating becomes a really difficult thing.  When you’re in college there are a lot of people to meet who are around your age and at a similar point in their lives.  Then you move into the workforce and there are some people your age but more who are older, married, settled, your options for dating, hell even for friendships begin to diminish.  For me it was more extreme, by the time I finally left grad school and was working full-time I was 38, the others in a similar position were in their twenties, not 15 years on from that point, the other single people in the same situation are still in their 20s.  I’m not complaining, I’m good with the decisions I’ve made and the path my life has taken, just stating reality.  Of course it doesn’t help that I’m also a pretty strong introvert.

Rev Kane on his first day on the Appalachian Trail

I don’t like people

This statement usually catches people off guard as they see me as a fairly social individual.  The thing is, most people usually don’t understand what being an introvert really is all about.  Introverts are people who gain energy from time alone, more importantly we get drained by spending time with people in social situations.  Now, a lot of times that pairs up with people who are also uncomfortable in social situations, so that’s where the stereotype that introverts are socially awkward comes from.  However that’s not me, I’m social but being social absolutely wears me out.  I’m someone who far prefers one on one deep conversations to social situations and small talk.  Doing small talk drains my energy at an incredible pace and I find it incredibly boring.  As such I’m not the biggest fan of people, in general they drain me.

On being alone

So given that I’m not driven to be married, that my romantic timing has been terrible, that I’m a tough ticket and that I live an unconventional life it is not particularly a shock that at nearly 54 I find myself alone.  Now I know some of my friends and family might argue the point that I’m alone, and I get that, I have great people in my life.  But because of my lifestyle those people are spread all across the country, heck, all across the world.  So like my new friend posted on Facebook, although I enjoy solitude, hiking, going to the movies, shopping, etc…alone.  At times, I too am tired of going to dinner alone, taking vacations alone, more importantly not having someone to sit and talk to at night.  Of course, I’m not even sure I could live that life, I’m incredibly set in my ways, my high need for solitude has always been a bit of a barrier for others.  But of course, that’s what the “right” person is all about, someone who fits with who you are and what you need, while being that for them.  Sure, there’s always going to be some give and take, things will never be perfect, but I’m not willing to go there unless I think the situation would be pretty special, who I am is not something I willing to comprise.  If that position means I live my entire life alone so be it.

slower pace of life, can make you happy

A slower pace of life can make you happy

Being alone is not terrible

Being alone is not terrible, sure there are times when you wish you didn’t have to do some things alone.  But there is a lot of freedom.  I’ve felt the downside a lot lately as I’ve been going through some medical procedures and you need a driver.  Many of you have someone who you automatically turn to in those situations, I don’t.  But I also have a level of freedom most people dream about.  As an introvert, I’m able to easily get the space and solitude I need for my own mental health and the life I lead (alone as I may be) has brought me to a place of happiness.  A place where I’m able to share what I’ve learned and try to help others live a happy life as well.  I’ve had a really great life, sure it’s been an absolute roller-coaster, I’ve had more than my share of pain and tragedy, mistakes that I have and still pay for, but I’ve also been very fortunate.  I’ve worked hard, been able to travel the world, experience things many people never will, I’ve been blessed to have some really amazing people to call my selected family.  And hopefully, I have a long way to go and a lot more to do.  And hopefully, sharing some of it will help you have happy days as well my friends.  ~ Rev Kane

A little post-script to the post, my favorite writer’s take on being alone.

Alone with everybody ~ Charles Bukowski

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

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