I have decided I want my life to be simple – a roof over my head. Food to eat. Clothes on my back. Good work to do. People to love. Fresh air and sunshine and rain and trees and oceans and mountains to take in.
That is all I really need to be happy.
Hope that life CAN be simple. That the world’s problems can be solved, one person at a time. That despite how quickly everything is changing and how weak the economy is and how many thousands of dollars I owe in student loans and even how many people were killed yesterday in Japan’s earthquake – everything, somehow, will be okay. That love will win out over hate; generosity over selfishness; compassion over fear.
I listened to a couple of TED talks today, and was reminded of all the good changes that have happened in the world in the last 100 years. Diseases that have been eradicated, freedoms that have been won, prejudices that have been eroded, if not yet completely conquered.
I have nothing to be unhappy about. Everything I need, I have, and so much more. And there are good things happening in the world. Things I can be a part of. Things I can do to help make sure that other people have what they need.
How I feel day-to-day about life, I am realizing for the hundredth time, has little to do with my circumstances, and everything to do with my state of mind.
And my state of mind, in turn, seems to depend almost completely upon following, ridiculously simple factors:
Getting adequate rest
Getting adequate exercise
Eating a balanced diet
Staying connected to people in my life
For some reason, when I think about happiness, I picture Steve Martin in “The Jerk”, wandering half-dressed through his mansion after a big fight with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, mumbling, “This chair…and this paddle-ball…and this TV set…and that’s all I need to be happy.”
Don’t worry. The whole movie is a joke. Not a drama. It makes me smile.
And I think to myself, “A goodnight’s sleep, a good run in the rain, a good meal, and a good conversation with a dear friend…and that’s all I need to be happy.”
And it really is.