Am I Happy?

“Am I happy,” this three word question does not have an easy answer and
I suspect it is probably something that people have been asking
themselves throughout time. Though a simple response can be given, it
requires more than a quick answer or a mere thought, but a real look at
our lives in its entirety. Perhaps, I have the mind of a philosopher or maybe
just a dreamer, but I always wonder “is there more out there?’ I am certain
happiness is a goal many of us want to achieve not only for ourselves
but our loved ones too. As a parent, we just want our children to be
happy and chose the right path. However, one person’s happiness can
be totally different from another as this is something I have learned
over time.

Though I do believe that we can’t move forward if we are always
looking backward, this question does require a trip down memory lane.
Growing up in the eighties, we did not have the same amenities
our kids have today. There were no personal computers to make writing
and gathering information easy. We actually had to use pen and paper
to get our messages out and visit the local library whenever a paper was
due. There were no cell phones to stay in contact whenever away from
home, so using a pay phone or someone else home or business phone
was the way to make our calls There were no instant messaging through
emails, texts, or social media and it could take days for us to finally get
any reply back. On a materialistic level, kids do seem to have things better
today. However, I do wonder if the overall quality is better. As kids, we
enjoyed the fresh air and spent our spare time outdoors, running and
playing, nowadays it is hard to get them out the house With gaming
systems and gadgets, their rooms have become “kids caves.”

I must admit the advancement in technology, have made things
easier not only for kids but for my life too. The internet itself has
opened up the whole world to the world. Patience has never been
my strongest trait so being able to get an instant reply back has
definitely been a plus. On the flip side, things that enhance our
lives can also complicate them. In the present, living a discreet
life is more difficult, as everything is so much more visual and
for some it really can make or break them. For me, I enjoy this
faster pace, but sometimes I do long for a more simple time.
So, I ask myself, “was I happier back then or now?”

For many, I know happiness means material possessions and
I must admit if I found a genie my first wish would be “billions
of dollars.” While lots of money, cars, cloths, homes, and anything
else we desire can be a good thing, it can also be bad too. From
personal experiences, I have seen those with very little of anything
who seems to always have a positive attitude and outlook. So,
I wonder “what makes them so happy?” On the other hand, I
have seen others who seem to have it all but they stay in
therapy and rehab. This does lead credence to the old saying
“money does not buy happiness.” So, I wonder “what makes them so sad?’

One thing I have discovered that bring happiness is having
something to look forward to. It gives us hope and allows us to plan
ahead. However, I wonder if it is only a temporary happiness
until it passes. Afterwards, do we grasp on to the next thing
to look forward to, or do we control our own destiny. I do know
there is a big difference between living and just existing from day to
day. In my life, I have experienced both and like others have my ups
and downs. I am grateful for all the good things in my life and never want to
take it for granted. At the same time, my biggest fans lately have been
“me, myself, and I.” I do not think of this as selfish or vain, because we
can never be truly happy if we don’t really love ourselves.

Through life experiences, I have concluded happiness come from within and
not from personal things or people. It comes from that inner peace inside of
us that radiates to our outsides. It is feeling good about ourselves and all
the things we do. Being happy is a emotion that can come and go, true
happiness can take a long time to obtain. On a personal level, it is still a
“work in progress for me”, but with each passing year I do seem to get
a little more closer to it!