On happiness

A friend reached out by text last night to ask me how my hiatus in Florida is going. Without really thinking about a prepared answer, I replied that I’m reading a lot, writing more than ever, and doing some hard thinking. My friend must not have found that out of the ordinary, based on her reply “Cool, have fun”. But I took a look at the sentence I had typed and saw more in what I had said. For starters, what am I “hard thinking” about? And since I always think in such a manner, why did I feel the need to mention it?
I soon realized that this trip, this hiatus, is an escape for me. It is, and not to put myself in too high of a category, a Hemingway-esque retreat. I am not just escaping the great “never-ending NH winter of ’23”, I am escaping the life I have been leading.
I am at a crossroads in my life.
I haven’t shared with anyone here my current situation. I have taken a hiatus from the job that I enjoyed so much. It was a very difficult decision, one that I agonized over before, during, and after my notice was completed. It pains me to say that I still don’t know if I made the right decision.
I was good at it.
I was diving in, I was helping people, I was using the few talents that I had attained over a long, disappointing, and fucked up life to actually help people. In my 6 months as a Recovery Case Manager, I made a difference. My life, for perhaps the first time (other than being a Dad to 4 amazing children), had a purpose.
As not to lose my reputation of being a fucking idiot, I left it.

I’m not prepared to go into the many reasons I made the difficult decision that led me here. But they make sense. I have a terrible history of making poor decisions and then rationalizing them to fit the desired comfort level. I’m not doing that here. Everyone I have spoken to about this, including the people I worked for, agree that my decision was the right one and for the right reasons.

Let’s just say for now that I am at a point where I need, and am able to, do something for myself. My life and career, mostly up and down with brief flashes of potential, has never been about me.
I want to work on my happiness.
Happiness is not guaranteed in life and nobody knows that better than I do. I am, if nothing else, a realist. But I am in a position in life where I have an opportunity to pursue it. I do not believe I am selfish for wanting to make the back nine holes of my life about what makes me happy. I have never done that. I make no complaint or selfish claims; my life has been like that of so many others. Raising a family, getting involved in community, working for other people and being paid to advance their causes and sell their products. It’s what we do. But am I selfish for wanting to advance my own causes and agendas?

So here I sit, reading Kierkegaard, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca, making notes and entertaining ideas of how to create and maintain a simple and fulfilling life. I’m creating a new template for what and who I am going forward. Make no mistake, I still have every intention of fulfilling the promise I made to the universe of humility, faith, hope and charity. But I need to do so in a way that makes me happy.

Some people at my age are just reclaiming their happiness. Me? I’m just finding mine for the first time. This may be my comeback.

5 thoughts on “On happiness”

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