The Happiest I’ve Ever Been
There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. ~ Henry David Thoreau
So this is my 1300th post on the Ministry of Happiness. I realize that 1300 isn’t a typical milestone for anything, but it is for me and the blog. You see the core function of this blog has always been through story, example and resources to help people live a happier life. This concept has actually gotten a bit of derision in the last few years and even a bit of satire. There have been several posts in the last few years, unfortunately I couldn’t track them down, making fun of the pursuit of happiness. I get it, like just about everything good, people eventually will go overboard, the media will blow it out of proportion and it will get talked about incessantly until we are all utterly annoyed with the idea.
And yes, obsessing over happiness or anything else, is not the best thing to do. So if you spend all of your time obsessing and worrying over happiness, trying five new ways to be happy every week, you’re probably not very happy. So moderation in everything, even the pursuit of happiness is a really good idea. Becoming obsessed and worried about anything is a sure ticket to becoming unhappy, as I’ve written about before, worry is the enemy of happiness.
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know that a big part of the reason I started this blog was because I had struggled with depression for a long time. And as I learned more about how to be happier I started to pass that information on via this blog. The blog has morphed over time, I’ve gotten less nail on the head, and instead have tended to talk about my life and travels and tried to draw lessons from both to remind us all how to be a little bit happier. I feel that I’ve had some success in this respect, I get this from some of the comments and personal notes that have been sent to me. I have always said that writing this blog has been the most rewarding writing project I’ve ever done. I certainly get as much or more out of writing it, as you do reading it. So thank you for reading and participating and especially for your comments which I really appreciate it, it lets me know how I’m doing.
The big reason this is such an important post for me is because of a realization that recently occurred. In conversation with a friend it dawned on me that there is nothing dragging down my happiness right now. Over the years I’ve dealt with the long-standing issues we all drag with us out of our childhood. Currently, my job is going really well, there is no major drama in my interpersonal life. I’ve moved to a great place, made some new friends, and reconnected with others. Recently I’ve finally worked my way past the biggest remaining interpersonal stressor in my life. As such, my mental and emotional landscape is flat, no obstacles in any direction. That reality has produced a mellow and happy, calmness is my life. This does not mean my life is perfect, I have some health issues to deal with, I need to lose another 20 pounds, I haven’t been romantically inclined with anyone in several years. But my outlook on life has certainly improved, and this new state of mind has definitely allowed me to view things more positively.
So the natural question is how did you get to this point? I could be a bit snarky and say, you only need to read the previous 1299 posts, and I’d be thrilled if you did. And although that would give you the insight, let me be a little more direct and a lot more brief. I’ve worked on myself, and that’s a popular and totally nebulous phrase. What I mean by that is that I’ve taken the time to examine my life and myself. I’ve looked at what has gone right and wrong and took an honest look at my role in each. After that I try and continue to do the things that made things better, and not repeat the things that made things worse. Sounds simple, but it takes years to go from where I was in my twenties to where I am now.
Let me give you an example. In my life life some of my relatives were negative influences, the type of people that are uncaring, unsupportive and at times downright overly critical and mean. On the other hand, my granny was my biggest cheerleader. So I eventually cut the negative people out of my life and spent more time to in contact with my granny. I’ve done similar things with losing weight, with getting out of my comfort zone and achieving some of the other goals in my life, including producing this blog every Sunday night. So tonight friends, a thank you for your support and a hope that your work is progressing as well as mine and that you have many more happy days. ~ Rev Kane