Be aware, this is a whole post that I could have just filled with quotes from wiser men, but my own lobes needed the exercise, so you get mine. It's been a gobsmacker of a series of lessons lately, and I just wanted to get the bones of them written down, now that I can somewhat think straight again. ;)
1. Lesson one, the big one: Don't confuse fun with happiness. One feels good all on it’s own and that’s all; the other is a deeper condition of health and positivity that makes everything feel better.
2. Lesson two: Do pursue happiness, and don’t be surprised when you can often find it in different places than fun. For example, working out for an hour every day might not be fun, but being in great shape will bring you happiness.
3. Lesson three: Pursue fun too, but only when you can afford it. Fun that you can’t afford – in money, time, or damage to other things – is never fun for long enough to be worth it.
4. Lesson four: Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward. (OK, so I am stealing some quotes for this.) Watch out for your natural tendency to value good-feeling fun over not-so-good-feeling acts (and restraints) that bring you happiness. To do so is equivalent to valuing a pound of coal over an ounce of diamond. Also, don’t automatically recoil from pain: It serves a purpose that nothing else can serve, and its presence is a reliable hint that there’s a lesson nearby which can bring you closer to happiness – but you must have the courage to look right at it and see it for what it is.
5. (Because there are always five ;) Fuck guilt; we are all flawed and our lives are supposed to be affected by those flaws. Don’t hate yourself; instead, know yourself and do your best to steer accordingly. Apologize to others when you screw up, and fix it if you can, but don’t apologize to anyone for being a person who screws up – they’re one too, guaranteed.
Alright, time to continue reeling into the holidays – hope it’s going well for all of you so far! And for a little holiday cheer: