Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Plain happy

Funny. I just read a short article about how to be happier, and already I'm happier. And I did not, believe me, sit down at the computer with hidden wells of happiness just waiting to be tapped.

In fact I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about how unhappy I am, and why that might be, and what I might or ought to do about it. And the effort has left me stuck in my misery, feeling like there's no remedy.

And then I go and read some self-absorbed self-help author's five book recommendations on happiness and not only does my mood lighten, I'm searching for Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson at the library web site and thinking I need to start a knitting group or a book group or a Friday afternoon beer-at-a-sidewalk cafe group. And act happy for the sake of the people who have to live and work with me.

Does this suggest that perhaps happiness will not be found by looking inward? Or that I am more suggestible than most people? Does it all comes down to just suck it up, get over it, do something? And act happy, for the sake of those who have to look at you, work with you, live with you? Within reason. I need more than a shimmering tinsel veneer of happiness -- irritating in others, ironic, overblown and ugly in me.

Striving, said the Buddha, is what makes us unhappy. It's the human condition, it's a lost cause. Being a blob is no recipe for happiness either, but working at something--that's good.

Not much wisdom in this post, not much eloquence, not much poetry. Happiness is plain stuff.

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