Happiness Revisited

It was rather cold this morning for August.  Driving with my back windshield fogged up because 1378211213_8f5b7900cdI’m too lazy to wipe it off and being awake and on the road before 8 in the morning made me feel like I was going to high school again.  However, instead of staying in the 50s all day like most school days, the sun came back and summer showed its face again.
Today was probably just as nice as any other day this summer.  Playful sunshine and soft breezes, swaying trees and all that wonderful summer beauty.  Yet, because I woke up cold and had to put on jeans and a sweatshirt on this morning, changing into a skirt and sandals made the day seem so much more delightful.
I find it sad that I can’t appreciate how wonderful life is until I have something to contrast it with.  I don’t see the sunshine until I’ve lived in the shadows.  I can’t muster up any happiness if I never feel sad.
Today was probably just as nice as any other day but today was more wonderful than any other day.  I have reflected back on my summer and realized it was even better than I thought.  Its been a fun experience and perhaps more importantly, a learning experience.  Even without test scores and grades to validate me, I am quite assured that I have learned just as much in the last two and a half months of living life than I did over the past year.
I’ve learned how to balance my to do list and organization and obsession with getting things done with enjoying others around me and making the most of my limited time.  I’ve learned how to balance listening and talking, being home and being away, hiding in my writings and expressing myself out loud, staying aware of the world while staying delightfully oblivious.

I’ve learned how to deem things irrelevant, such as having a balanced life, so I could live to extremes.  Quite obviously, I’ve also perfected the skill of contradicting myself.  At the beginning of the school year, I wrote this: http://86400seconds-smiles11.blogspot.com/2010/12/theory-3-happiness-is.html.  If you don’t feel like taking the time to read it, I basically said that happiness was a worthless goal in life.  I still think joy is way more important yet hard to come by sometimes.  I have tested my theory and have lived an equally full life being indifferent to happiness as when I embraced it.  I’m not going to make happiness the main focus of my life by any means but there is more value in it than I originally supposed.

Here is what I have found happiness to be good for:  Until I let myself feel happy, then I can’t feel sad either.  Not feeling sad bothers me more than not feeling happy.  I suppose switching the order would make more sense, that it makes more sense to feel sad first so happiness means more when it comes.  Either way, a juxtaposition between the two emotions is needed, therefore happiness does have a valuable purpose.
Saying goodbye to family, friends, familiar places and memories in the next two weeks will be sad.  Yet it wouldn’t be genuinely sad if those things didn’t represent genuine happiness at one time or another.  This heartache is well worth years of happy memories.

Side note:  This is my 50th post in the span of roughly a year.  Thank you all who make it to the end of these long-winded posts.

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