Sunday, November 15, 2009


"To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness."  Bertrand Russell

I came across this quote months ago and have only just begun to understand what it means.  My first thought was how sad, that people resign themselves to living without things and just try to be happy with some sort of absence makes the heart grow fonder garbage about how missing a thing makes you so much more grateful when it returns.  That sentiment screams lies to me during these long days when my husband is traveling, or busy with work, or running to rehearsals or meetings that someone else feels are essential to their happiness.  One of the things I want is a partner in all of this and being without his help does not make me happy.  That isn't what this quote means and that's not what this message is saying to me at all today.

I do believe that happiness is, in part, a decision.  That with a healthy mind, it is possible wake up everyday and not give happiness a second thought...but give it your first thought.  Before you think through your agenda, before you process your to-do list, before you consider the ones who need breakfast or to be let out, or to be let in or all the other thoughts.  Making a mindful choice to embrace Happy is possible and that's where the being without part comes least for me.

I have decided that for me, some of those things I'm going to be without, in order to come closer to the happiness of right now, are those things that I demand of myself.   I have considered lowering my standards, more on that later, I'm not sure I want to do that.  But that's just it.  If I was less capable, I wouldn't have so much do do everyday because I wouldn't demand it of myself.   If I was less organized my do-to list wouldn't be so long.    If I cared less, I wouldn't have nearly as much to do.  That quote says to me that its important to want things.  But happiness comes when the things you want get resolved by priority.  I want wonderfully prepared meals made from sustainable ingredients, and an organized home, and folded laundry, and to be able to find my sunglasses, to keep my children from wiping snot on the couch, and to watch my favorite TV shows, and a home filled with guests that are enjoying themselves, and a pair of really hot jeans, and to feel valued as a thinker, and lots of other things.   If I could be happy getting less done then I would have more time for myself.  And right now what I think I need most is some time for myself.  To be without some of those things I want is going to be an indispensable part my happiness.

Simple.  Yes.  Easy.  Certainly not.  But I have already decided what my first thought will be tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. simple is so wonderful, though hard as nails. . . good luck with the morning... :)