I have a friend who used to say all the time that he was just a simple man. What he meant was his needs were simple, but at the same time, he was rarely happy and content with life. Conversely, I am not a simple person, and if I were to even suggest it, I’d be shouted down. Yet, for all my complexity, I am happy and content with my life and feel as if I am living a rich and full one. I think the difference is that his happiness came from externals — the next gadget, toy, event, meal, you name it … so once those things were attained, dissatisfaction crept back in. And let’s face it, there is always going to be something new on the horizon.
My happiness tends to be more internally focused, starting with the basic “have my needs been met?” and as long as that is happening, I am genuinely content. That doesn’t mean I don’t have goals and aspirations … because I do, but those are things I will make happen, if not today, then tomorrow or the next day, and so on. Part of the pleasure in my life is the journey toward the goal, especially as the journey lasts longer than achieving the goal itself. Have you ever set a goal to finally achieve it, then look around and wonder what next? Because once you reach it, the journey is over and you need to set your sights on something else.
It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
I love the pic of the kid with Play-Doh because as a kid with that many colors of Play-Doh, you had the world at your fingertips. You could and would create worlds, and hours would be consumed by your rich imagination — happiness in individual buckets. The older we grow, the more responsibility we take on, the more monsters we have to slay, so how do we find that same simple happiness we used to find in a small bucket of colored clay?
It’s the little things. I have always been a hot-natured individual, so while everyone else is freezing I’m usually wiping off a few beads of sweat … but since the advent of leukemia, my system has gone completely haywire. Yes, I still sweat at the drop of a hat (or anything above 72F while sitting perfectly still), but I also get cold more easily and it doesn’t depend on the weather. For example, we have been enjoying some nice cool temperatures where it would get into the 40s (and on occasion upper 30s) at night and I was quite content with those temps, but then they were followed by some 80F (and higher) days. On the hottest day, my feet were freezing — go figure. But I realized when I was too hot to sleep and it was 58F that I needed to do something. And I found this little blue plastic gem of an air conditioner. It’s one where you simply add water and the fan blows mist out the vent. (yes, the fuzzy white stuff in the image is actually the mist)
I am SO happy with it. It is portable so can go where I do, you can have simple fan or chiller mode and it COOLS me off when I’m in the midst of night sweats. It honestly looks like something meant for a kids’ toybox, but as simple as the construction, it is truly all I need and I don’t have to run the full house Air Conditioner, which as you will admit would be ridiculous and probably freeze it into a solid block of ice if I tried to get the house cooler than 58F to make me comfortable when my internal system is running hot.
A problematic issue solved with a simple thing that will help keep me comfy and happy throughout the spring and summer and I’ll be able to better concentrate on building worlds and putting words down on the page — the thing that makes me truly happy.