During the worst ten years of my life (that would be the last ten years) I began to wonder if I'd come to identify with being unhappy. I wondered if I was able to be happy. It wasn't that I liked being unhappy I just ...wasn't. I wanted to be able to feel my real emotion and tell the truth about it. Einstein said he thought well being and happiness shouldn't be an absolute aim. He compared such "moral aims" to the "ambitions of a pig." I took some kind of validation and comfort in that idea. I felt authentically unhappy. I wanted authenticity.
My living room makes me happy.
I am, generally speaking, happy these days. That doesn't mean I haven't had bad moments or bad days.
For a few weeks unpacking got slowed way down. The nest was a vacation rental and full of furniture most of it was taken to a very nice consignment store before I arrived but there was a table, some chairs, a bed and some art. The very cool woman from the store had been busy and took awhile to come back. Once that stuff was out of here I could do some unpacking but I was also waiting for the guy who is helping me with things like repairing my desk and painting the walls and stuff. He got busy with other jobs and a vacation. I was set up enough to cook and sleep and watch TV and use my computer but I wanted things to be in place. So I've had some frustrated days. Some grouchy days. Some lonely days. But then he showed up and so much fell into place. I still have more books to shelve and stuff to put on the wall and more to do but the living room is in pretty good shape. It makes me happy. The kitchen is coming together as well. There are no more boxes in the hall way.
It's not like I was never happy during the last ten years. I was. And it's always been true that I can fill up with happiness over really random things. Like books on a shelf. Or plants looking healthy. I've never been so far gone that I couldn't see beauty and feel sentiment. But it was harder.
I'm almost as worried about this ... happiness... as I was worried about my lack of it. But it's not an absolute aim.