How Are You Pursuing Happiness?

Talking with people, listening to others. watching movies, reading books . . . All show us something about others  . . . and about ourselves . . . 

There are kids with cancer who just want to live a normal life . . .

Aspen, CO.

There are people in dead-end jobs who can’t quit, because it pays the bills and provides for the family.

I’m finding “stuff” doesn’t make us happy. Maybe for the moment or when someone compliments us on what we’re wearing or how we look or where we live . . . But, it truth, it isn’t about “stuff” it’s about you and what truly makes you happy. It could be playing a musical instrument or singing . . . You may not become rich and famous, but you enjoy it nevertheless. It could be making paper crafts or some other hobby using clay or wood, glass or some other medium. Or walking with your dog out in nature.

You may be a sweatshirt and jeans type of person . . . but you know you need to dress better when you leave the house. You may just want to live in a comfortable home in a nice neighborhood with comfortable furnishings — nothing fancy and impressive. You live within your means and drive an older car, but it runs well and looks good. You may not be beautiful or handsome, but you don’t frighten people. You’re happy more days than not. You have a wonderful family who loves you just the way you are.

That appears as though you have found happiness. Your pursuit is over.

Yet, others may not view you as successful or affluent . . . they may judge your appearance and not allow you to join some community clubs or groups. There is a standard . . . and you may not match up to it.

Initially, my thought is who cares about their opinion . . . and then I think how important it is to fit in . . . but then, if the goal is to be happy and you’re happy with yourself . . . Why do you need this club or group?

I can go back and forth with this until my head spins . . .

We are social beings . . . and that means interacting with others . . . joining in and being , , , social . . . The alternative is being alone . . . isolated . . . secluded . . . excluded . . .

No one really chooses the latter . . . but some people have made it work . . . at the expense of being referred to as odd or strange or a recluse. And perhaps some unflattering judgmental terms . . .

I don’t have answers . . . just thoughts and observations . . .

For me, this began when I found this picture of a Tim Holtz Village Surf Shack . . . It has its charm and appeal . . . but would you want to live there? Would you be embarrassed to invite your friends and family?surfshack1

It’s kind of like Gilligan’s Island . . . Do you remember that television sit-com?

They made due with what they had . . . and their daily goal was to get off of the island . . . But life also happened on that island. They had good times and hard times . . . They had fun and adventures . . . They made it work . . . and knew they would make it for however long they needed before being rescued. So, basically, they made the best of an unfortunate situation.

There is something appealing about that . . . to a degree . . . villagedwellingbayoushack

And, here is another Tim Holtz Village Dwellings that someone made . . . and got me thinking about what I’d like to make and how that contradicts how I would like to live . . . I don’t want to be embarrassed by my home, but I don’t need to live in a mansion. But there is an appeal about a bungalow or a place on the bayou . . . or an old log cabin . . . a place in the woods . . . Nothing fancy, just functional . . .

I love the bricks holding up the dwelling, the hides on the side of the house, the barrels . . . the steps going into the shack . . .I may want to add some crates . . . 

It does have a certain character to it . . . makes you wonder about the person who lives there . . .

I’m beginning to think that what appeals to be is the structure and how creative I can be when building a shack as opposed to building a nice place.

I have a friend who lives in Alabama who has a non-functioning still in her front yard. It is a work of art . . . she decorates it for Christmas. I imagine in its day it brewed plenty of moonshine . . . A relic of long ago . . . And maybe the type of village pieces I want to create have that same appeal , , ,  I may not want to live there . . . but there is something unique and genuine about it . . . Maybe I came from very simple roots . . . That’s why I don’t go for the fancy or give much thought to what people think of me . . .  What’s important is what I think of myself . . . and whether I’m happy . . . And yes I am very happy.

I’m a blogger. I’ve been out in the world of work and keeping up appearances  . . . but now that I’m retired . . . I don’t have to dance to the tune of others . . . and I don’t have to fit in . . . I can be me . . . genuine, honest without pretense . . .  It makes life easier . . . and much happier.

During this fall/autumn season before Thanksgiving, it is positive to take a moment to reflect . . . Think about how truly fortunate you are . . . You may have goals to achieve and things to do . . . but deep down at this moment, you are happy . . . It doesn’t mean you don’t have to achieve your goals or do the things you want it do . . . it means that you’re happy now and you know how to achieve happiness in your life . . . That is truly an accomplishment . . .

I share my random thoughts from time to time . . . Just to get you thinking . . . As I’ve been thinking and striving for clarity and understanding . . . It’s not about being right or wrong . . . it’s about understanding here and now . . . and maybe tomorrow or next month or several years from now, you’ll find your thoughts and ideas and goals and aspirations have changed . . . You have a different perspective . . . which is neither good nor bad . . . it just is . . .

It’s comforting to live without judgment . . . from yourself or others . . . because it doesn’t really matter . . .

Thanks for stopping by!


What’s In Your Trash?

Trash is on my mind because I’ve been wrestling with the barrels.

In front of every house on the street is a house waste barrel, a yard waste barrel and perhaps the recycling barrel. trashbarrels

This signifies the bulk of your eating and cleaning up your yard for the week.

What conclusions can be drawn from this?

I don’t go into the barrels on the street. Once in a while you do see one that has been dumped . . . do you look or glance away? Of course you look! You see the egg shells, a bacon container wrapper . . . a frozen dinner or two carton . . . a frozen pie container . . . cereal boxes . . . You may learn they use soy milk . . . or other interesting things.

Have you noticed that when two barrels have been dumped side-by-side, one is yours and the other a neighbor that you can distinguish your trash from that of your neighbor . . . egg shells pretty much look alike . . . but you know . . . you just know!

It’s all those subtle things . . . pancakes . . . what do they put on them?

Do they make them from a mix or buy them frozen?

Are they a nut-free household?

These aren’t things you discuss with your neighbors . . . but their trash is a fountain of information.

Then, there’s the recycling!

The soda they drink . . . regular or diet . . . which cola?

Maybe not cola, but root beer or Orange Crush . . .

Maybe beer and wine . . . or hard liquor . . . Those bottles get recycled regularly.

You can even find out their brand of pickles . . . and condiment . . . the very basic stuff of their life . . .

Do we judge?

I don’t pay attention to what others buy at the grocery store, but I’ve noticed some interest to what is in my shopping cart.

Do I feel guilty?grocerycart

Sometimes . . . when I’m buying frozen stuff and junk food . . . not when I’m buying fruits and vegetables and healthy stuff . . .

I do like a blueberry muffin and buying them from the bakery section is so much easier than making them from a mix. And that goes for cookies, too. We find what is good and easy and what our family likes . . . There’s no mystery to that.

I have a grocery shopping day coming up . . . so that’s why this is on my mind.

I have to decide what I’m going to put on my list and not go crazy once I get to the store.

I try to eat healthy, but I also like to have something to snack on from time to time . . . and a bit of variety is always welcome.

I’m sure none of us have a shopping cart full of healthy stuff we’d we proud to display on a website. Maybe . . . depending upon the topic of the article . . . In reality we have a mix of healthy and fun food . . . and easy food to make . . .

We may not be winning any awards for our shopping and the meals we make, but we’re healthy and happy with healthy and happy families. We’re real . . . some people go to fast food places to fill in the gaps of their grocery shopping . . . I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I bought fast food . . . it’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not on my regular route.

Well, all I can truly say that trash day and shopping day are highlights . . . at least I highlighted them here. I’m sure you have an opinion about this . . . please leave me a comment.

Thanks for stopping by!