Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the key to happiness

My boss said that the key to happiness is having reasonable expectations. People are often unhappy because they want too much--they want what they can't have. 

I agreed with him. Sincerely. I thought, I have great kids, a loving husband. We're healthy. We live within our means and don't try to own more. I'm happy. 

Though of course, not wanting is not a complete philosophy. If we're all content with only what is reasonable to expect, the society would stagnate. Businesses would fail. We need to want what we maybe can't have in order to write novels or invent things. Creativity requires a certain amount of desperation.

I went back to my desk. And found myself thinking:

I want chocolate.
I want music.
I want to draw pictures.
I want sleep. Now.
I want to go outside.
I want sex way more often.
I want a Coke Zero. I don't want to pay vending machine prices.
I want to play with clay.

Driving home tonight, I kept thinking:  I want a new car, but I know it won't make my commute any less long.

When I got home, my husband had set up the new TV I'd bought last week. He'd finally decided we should keep it, even thought it didn't have the VGA connection that the salesman at Best Buy had told me it did have. It was still a good price. Not too large. Reasonable. It doesn't squeak like the old one. It will make us happy. For a reasonable length of time.

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