Mr. Althouse has been a very busy beaver! What with summer-time household chores, social activities, kids - and the work at this time of year always keeps me hopping - it’s a wonder there is time left for anything else. Ok, it’s not as bad as all that and despite a hectic and irregular schedule, there remains plenty of time for my personal pursuit of happiness. And a very good thing that is, for happiness is exactly what I am currently pursuing.
Although my posts of late have been decidedly upbeat, I must confess that the external part of what drives my attitude is nothing different than it was a week ago, a month ago or even almost seven years ago when I was in a near fatal accident. True, there are major changes in my physical condition today, my physical surroundings and my place in society have improved, but none of that really has much to do with the harmony I now enjoy. Indeed, much of that good fortune is resultant, not causal. The change came from the inside - external realities remain largely unchanged, despite the obvious and vast superficial improvements.
It is my nature to question things. I am quite sure I inherited that quality from my father. My mom had a part in it as well, I am sure. When things weren’t going all that well in my life, I tried to analyze what could possibly be going wrong. Oh sure, there were some poor choices, and definitely some shortsightedness on my part, but that didn’t explain the terrible luck that cursed me so. It seemed to me that no matter how hard I tried, how much I thought I had it coming or that it surely would be my turn this time, it never went my way. I couldn’t explain it and my only response was to build a wall. The best offense is a good defense, or so they say.
It should come as no surprise that, now that my life seems to be experiencing the harmony I truly believed would never come, I would try to figure that out too. Why leave well enough alone? I have this insane urge to deconstruct everything, even serenity. Fortunately, I have come a long way in just the past few years and one thing I have recently begun to conclude is as simple as it is profound: Nothing has changed. Nothing external anyway. The change in my world stemmed from a slow but gradual progression towards the positive. I didn’t know it at first, but every little setback and all that bad luck didn’t have to effect me negatively - and today it doesn’t.
I have come to the realization that it has always been this way. Not just for me, but for everyone and forever. There have always been some who are more upbeat than others. Why? Circumstance? There’s a wealth of evidence to refute that claim. Luck? That doesn’t stand up either. It has to be something more. It has to be a choice one can make because in the final analysis, anyone can be happy. It is a lifestyle that can be learned and taught and perhaps my drive to document my experience in coming to this paradigm of life is an attempt to pass along what I’ve discovered.
The really crazy thing is that the more positive my attitude becomes, the happier I am - and that is the reward - nothing more. It’s not a house or a car or money or prestige, it’s the ability to walk on the bright side of life. And then, “things” start to happen. Things that do not necessarily add any greater happiness - but they add greater comfort. I didn’t do the things I did to get here for this stuff - I did it because I was dying inside and if nothing changed - I was going to die on the outside. Today, it’s all brand new and along with the happiness I coveted so much came the things that I thought would bring it. Little did I know it was the other way around. And just when I thought I had it all, recently more has been revealed… And it all fits so neatly and harmoniously together. That’s what it’s all about.