Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Happiness and sweetness and imperturbability

My baseline happiness has always been pretty high. I'm lucky to have been programmed that way. But in recent years, my happiness has skyrocketed to previously unfathomable heights. To be sure, a lot of that is due to exceedingly good fortune and privilege. I have the luxury of being able to not sweat the small stuff and of having been largely untouched by the big stuff. But part of it is that the older I get, the more imperturbable I've become. Maybe it's some kind of inner peace or self-possession. Or maybe it's just that my ego has left the building, chased off by my inner Dude. The ego frets, whereas the Dude abides. So there's just not much that bothers, upsets or embarrasses me anymore. Maybe I've just grown into myself. Maybe I just realized that my time here is finite, that there is so much I want to see and do, so many people I want to know, and I am running out of time in which to do it all. So I want to spend more of that time caring about people and less time caring about what people think of me. Maybe I've filled my life up with so much love and adventure that there is no more room for self-consciousness or worry. My life is rich in relationships and experiences. And that is true wealth. Maybe it is some combination of all those things.

I'm not sure how it happened. It still catches me by surprise sometimes:

Like when Alison, Laura and I went Extreme SUPing with Jude and Sherry and it was so windy and choppy that I fell off the paddleboard (twice!) and instead of being embarrassed by my total lack of skill and grace, I was delighted by the adventure, the sunshine, the warmth of the bay. Actually, I think falling in the water was the best (and funniest) part of the whole adventure.

Like when Pete says he is going to call or Skype video me later and then sometimes he's unable to do that and my brain is all meh, it's probably not about you instead of what if he just doesn't want to talk to you because no one likes you and you're the worst at everything ever!?! And sure enough, later on he'll tell me that comms were down or they couldn't get a flight back to base that day or offer some other perfectly logical and totally-not-about-me explanation.

Like when I decided to give up dessert for the month of September to tame my voracious sweet tooth and I thought it would be difficult but it turned out to be surprisingly easy. Then Steven and I were having a conversation about diet and sugar's effects on the body and he asked me if I noticed any irritability or mood changes and I said I felt just as happy without dessert as with it. And I realized it's not sugar that makes my life sweet. Being here, this aliveness, is the ultimate sweetness.

So my friends, be sweet on each other. Be the smart and tough cookies you are. Share your slice of the pie. It's a piece of cake. The proof is in the pudding.

Lyric of the moment: "Make a list of things you need, leave it empty. Except for number one, write "love, gamble everything...If you gamble everything for love, you're gonna be alright, alright." ~Ben Lee "Gamble Everything For Love"

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