July 27, 2008

What Makes You Happy

Today was a day filled with a number of highs and lows. It was the day in which we threw a birthday party for my daughter. She was so excited. All morning long she bounced off of the walls asking if it was time for her party.

I looked down into a pair of dark piercing eyes and promised that I would let her know when it was time to leave. She put a hand on her hip and admonished me not to be late. "Don't get stuck on the computer, the telephone or doing push ups."

(Side note: Her comment shows that I am doing a good job of being dedicated to my exercise program. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

I promised that I wouldn't and set about to take care of a couple of chores. Soon enough the party girl was in her party dress and we were off. In a short time the guests arrived and four year-olds briefly took over the world. At least some of them did, there were several that never showed.

It irked me. I don't care or expect every kid to show up. Don't need to have a million kids to make my children feel loved. But I expect the courtesy of an R.S.V.P or a telephone call to say that you can't make it.

Her big brother surprised me by noticing that some of these kids hadn't made it. He made me smile because he was upset. When I asked why he told me that he was afraid that his sister's feelings would be hurt. I told him that he was a good big brother and that we need to focus on the important things.

That led to a discussion of what makes you happy. It seems to me like a bunch of his friends don't really know what makes them happy. They expect their parents to take care of everything. They can't play by themselves because without mom or dad they don't know what to do.

Inside this house that dog don't hunt. I can't tolerate raising children to be incapable of taking care of themselves. It is important and necessary to let them fail a time or two so that they learn how to deal with it at an early age. If you don't teach them how to cope the day will come when they will find themselves in hell.

The question of what makes you happy is one that I periodically ask myself. Every now and then I consider where I am heading and try to make sure that it corresponds with what makes me happy. Life is too short, too fragile and too hard not to. I try not to live in the past or focus on regrets.

But sometimes I find myself thinking about the road I didn't take. Sometimes I think back to that January day in Jerusalem. It is pouring rain and I am soaked, but I don't care. I am walking aimlessly through the city, but it doesn't matter. I have made the decision to go back to the states long enough to pack up my stuff and move back.

It didn't happen, for a whole host of reasons. It is bootless to cry about it. Can't say exactly what would have happened, but I have my ideas. I like to think that destiny brought me back. I like to think that something bigger is behind this, but I don't really know.

If you are wondering I didn't get into the deeper end with my son, but I did speak with him about how life doesn't always go the direction you think or want it to and why it is important to figure out what makes you happy.

Because if you know what makes you happy than you can act upon it. There are moments when it is cool to be spontaneous and to let the current take you where it will. But there are also times for action. I told him that when he gets older he'll understand some of this better and that there will be moments when it will pay to be bold.

Perhaps I'll share more on this later.

4 comments:

orieyenta said...

She put a hand on her hip and admonished me not to be late. "Don't get stuck on the computer, the telephone or doing push ups."

I SO want to make a snarky comment about this. ;)

But seriously...I think we all have a pretty good idea what makes us happy - I think the problem lies in the fact that too often (for one reason or another) we don't do what needs to be done to attain that happiness. Maybe not because we don't want it but because we sometimes lose sight of it when you factor into the equation all the other stuff that comes with life.

Baila said...

Sometimes your post make me go "Hmmmm". [with head nodding slowly up and down].

Richmond said...

And happy birthday wishes to you daughter! :)

Jack said...

But seriously...I think we all have a pretty good idea what makes us happy - I think the problem lies in the fact that too often (for one reason or another) we don't do what needs to be done to attain that happiness.

It is easy to become complacent and stay with what is easy and comfortable.

Baila,

I hope so. Hate to think that I am the only weirdo out here. ;)

Richmond,

Thanks. She is darn proud of herself. Cute little princess of mine.