Stop The Possibility Of Future Happiness, Determining Whether You Are Happy Now

Happiness, as everything else in life, is fleeting. It is temporary. This is not scary, or negative. It’s a fact. You hurt yourself, you are in pain, then it goes away. You run, you are tired, and then it goes away. You are enraged, you are all consumed by some startling revelation… And then eventually it does subside. You’re sleepy, you go to sleep, and so on and so forth. It’s all temporary, regardless of whether it’s a minute, an hour, a day, a week, or years at a time. It is temporary.

The problem with that, is we must accept that we have to let go of the moment. That time, that feeling, or that possession we felt belonged to us. At some point, although it cannot be identified, we must let go of the current moment, for the sake of the next. And while we would like it to return again one day to a moment we enjoyed in some form of another – the sheer fact we cannot guarantee it brings about our anxiety, or our reluctance to truly let it go. It brings about a unique sadness, where we may not experience the moment, for fear of it not returning again one day. Similar to when you are sad while you’re on holiday, because you know you will be back home in a few days. This is silly. You’re allowing the sadness of not being on holiday, ruin your happiness while you’re actually on it. So now in both moments, you are not achieving your full potential, because you’re sad in the moment, about being sad in the future, about a moment where you were happy, where in fact now you are sad! Which is maddening, and confusing altogether.

If you were to wake up every morning, and consider that today may be your last day – you would drive yourself to the point of insanity, despite the fact that ultimately it is true; it COULD be your last day. To fear the content of the day for fear it is your final one, would be a very negative way to live.

It should not matter if you feel you have one more day to go, or twenty thousand more to go. Make that day count.

If you are to be sad that day, be sad. If you are to be happy that day, be happy. If you must when you are sad, remember that at some point you will be happy again. But to detract from some happy moment, because it may not last, is altogether not worth your time.

While it may be difficult to let go of the beauty as the sun sets, know; you will next have the stars to enjoy.

 

There Isn’t Enough Time With You

There was a time when as the stars passed by in the night outside my window, I would stare out at them with hopeful eyes. They were most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So full of potential, so full of life, so grandiose and yet so small in comparison to the black sky. I saw my future in them, every star a new possibility and awed at their very presence. And they filled my heart, with such great wonder.


Isn’t it amazing that we share the same time as every other person on this planet Earth, and yet when we are together, each passing moment seems to move so unforgivably faster.

How ironic it is, that no matter how much time I get with you, each second still seems to shorten its length, and that the time I do get vanishes, more fleeting than he last. The more I love you, the more that time seems to slip away from me without my permission. And as I love you more, each and every day. And each and every day I come to realise, more so than before, that no matter how much time I get with you, it will never be enough.

How remarkable it is, that mundane tasks are now no longer taxing. As I make coffee in the morning; if it is for myself, my feet scuff along the carpet and my eyes roll around my head uncouthly. I loosely lift the kettle and the weight of it clashes against my mug. I rub my eyes and shield them from the light of day, as I consider returning to bed instead, and snoozing until I no longer can.

But when I make coffee for you, when I have the pleasure – my heels lift off of the floor as I walk to the kitchen. I select ground of coffee that look the freshest, I stir for longer than usual, to make sure the sugar that you like does not settle at the bottom of the mug that I bought you. I clean the rim with a dishtowel, to ensure it looks as good as I hope it tastes and then I carry it slowly, and I bring it to you with a smile on my face.

I will never tire, not for one day, at the look you give me when I enter the room. The way your resting body seems to come to life, and your eyes meet mine. The way your body rises, with new air, and the way you seem to brighten up the room with every breath. That smile that you give me… that beautiful smile that appears from nowhere. It renders me vulnerable every time.

As the day begins to pass with you, never once is there a moment when I am not completely and utterly in love.

Never before, could I imagined that a human so beautiful, so thoughtful, so kind, and so wonderful could exist in this world, let alone choose to spend their time with me. Never before, could I have thought someone could be so delicate and fragile, and yet so strong and fierce all at once. So caring, so clever, and so determined as you are. Never before could I have dreamed, that a room could be brightened, and that the grey of colours could dissipate into the background, just by your very presence. You bring about the sun to shine the smiles of faces. You are the warmth, through the night.

I could watch the hair fall over the corner of your glasses a thousand times, and still catch my jaw in awe of falling strands. I would watch as your curled fingers grasp around them, and pull them back into place behind your left ear. If I’m very lucky, you’ll smile at me as you do it. And just as in the morning, it will take me by surprise. Suddenly I’m smiling too; although I think I have been for a while and not realised it until now.

At night you sit on the couch with a blanket cradling your toes. Your legs are folded underneath you, and if a book is not in front of your eyes then you hand rests gently against your chin as you “watch” something on TV. Really, we’re both just trying not to stare at one another. Still, I play the game. I’ll watch random iridescent images flash in the iris of your eyes. A slightly skewed version of those images on your eyes reflects onto your glasses, dancing. You close your eyes. Slowly, your eye lashes begin to open, and you look at me.

I still melt. Every time. If I’m lucky, you’ll give in and look at me first. You’ll shake your head – same as I do. We’re laughing; we’re smiling. Because still it is unbelievable a concept to us, that we love each other as much as we do.


There was a time when as the stars passed by in the night outside my window, I would stare out at them with hopeful eyes. They were most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So full of potential, so full of life, so grandiose and yet so small in comparison to the black sky. I saw my future in them, every star a new possibility and awed at their very presence. And they filled my heart, with such great wonder.

But that was a time.  Now, as I walk to bed, I do not stare up at the sky, and the splendour of the great beyond outside my window. I close the curtains; I don’t need them anymore.

I lie in bed, and struggle to stay awake for as long as I can; for the dreams I’ll have, could be no comparison to the reality of you. My eyes begin to falter, and I stare at your face as they do. I wish for just one more day; so that I can spend it with you.

And as sleep comes over upon me, I do not miss those days when I gazed out at the sky. For I no longer see my future in the stars, but instead I see them in you.

Quote of the Day: What Day?

“What day is it?” asked Winnie the Pooh

“It’s today.” squeaked Piglet.

“My favourite day.” said Pooh.

Shorts: Bittersweet Sunday

A Sunday is such a bittersweet day,

Where joy is shadowed by Monday not being so far away.

Where you lie and the clock doesn’t seem to slow,

As the time and the dials pass faster than you know.

It appears to be the shortest day of the week,

And it never quite fulfils the relaxation you seek.

But nevertheless, you’re grateful still,

As it starts to recharge, some of your will.

If you’re lucky you lie, with the person you love,

And you cosy with blankets, and thank stars above.

Although time flies; you wouldn’t have it any other way,

For what would a week be, without this bittersweet day.

 

 

 

Quote of the Day: Kindness

“You are never too important, to not be kind.”

Shorts: The Call of the Void – (L’appel du vide)

You’ve had a great day at work. Perhaps someone complimented your appearance, or your hard work received the recognition you feel it deserves. You’re going home to your favourite meal, and since you’re ahead in all your chores, there is little to do but put your feet up, and relax the night away. You stand at the train station, as a light rain pours down, with a smile on your face as you think of all these simple delights that await you. At some point, you glance over, and see that a train is approaching. It is not your train, and it does not stop at this station so it’s going at a fairly high speed. And although you are happy, a coldness washes over you. You stare blankly at the lights on the front of the train. And from somewhere in the attic of your mind, you suddenly think, “Jump.”

It’s a thought and a whisper and a command all at once. “Jump… Jump onto the tracks. Right. Now.”

The train blazes by. It’s gone undisturbed. The train driver is still smiling, completely unaware of what you just thought about doing. You watch the train for longer than usual, before staring blankly ahead. What just happened? Why did you think that?

L’appel du vide. The Call of the Void.

A french term, referring to that feeling we get, even for a brief moment, where we just think – “I could do something terrible in every sense of the word right now. For no particular reason at all.”

It can range from the example I’ve given above, to thinking you could just crash your car into a tree while the kids argue in the back. Or perhaps that you could push your beloved friend over a mountainside as you both stand enjoying the view. It could be to cause damage to yourself, or to a loved one, or just generally do something horrible, like knocking an ice cream cone from the hands of a child, simply because you can.

While this is a scary thought to think about, and we often feel at our most insane in these moments, the good news is… we all have them. You are not bad. We’ve all thought about doing something like that, and sometimes frequently. But most importantly… it’s completely normal. You’re not saying you WILL do them, or even thinking you should. It’s just a combination of a sudden feeling of power revealing itself at an opportune moment. It’s a sudden realisation that in this moment, you have control, and a power to do anything, regardless of whether it’s good or not.

It’s actually beautiful in a way, because for a brief second, we feel truly empowered. It just manifest’s itself negatively, because thankfully we don’t often think these thoughts, and so we seize our brief moment to do so.

The next time you do have one of these moments, be comforted by the fact that it is so common place, the French have a name for it. Be comforted knowing the kindest people you know, have thought these things also. And be thankful that while you thought them, you did not do them.

Instead, watch the train, or the tree, or the shrinking mountainside go by, smile and laugh to yourself, “L’appel du vide…”

What Are You Worth?

What are you worth?

It’s not a thought that often crosses the forefront of our mind, but I’d wager that for many, an arbitrary value exists somewhere in the recesses of thought.

This topic was brought about by a conversation I had with some close friends, where I proposed them the following scenario with a single question;


 

“Suppose you are diagnosed with a chronic illness. And unfortunately, the doctor informs you that this illness will bring about your imminent demise. In fact, you will die, tomorrow.

However, the doctor informs you that while there is no cure, there is a treatment, in the form of a single pill. Now what this pill does, is keep you effectively staving off the effects of the disease, for one day.

There are many of these pills, and they are readily available to you. The pill cannot be stacked, but it will work continuously.

i.e. You cannot take six pills and live for six more days, but for every pill you take, you get to live for one more day, specifically the following. So you must take this pill every morning, to continue living for the rest of that day.

Now for the question; at what cost, do you STOP paying for the pill?”

*Perhaps answer the question for yourself, before reading any further.


 

I found this such an interesting question to pose to my close friends, particularly because of the first response I got, when I had asked a clearly startled colleague

Although I am not afraid of death, and in fact, I struggle to identify when you can even call someone truly dead (a topic for another day), I still would always answer – “I would pay anything for the pill.”

I assumed this was an obvious answer, that everyone has the same zest and desire for life, and that my colleague would respond in kind. But instead she replied, “Nothing. I would not pay anything for that pill.”

I was shocked. This completely bewildered me. My colleague doesn’t come across as an unhappy person, and yet I must confess, this was my immediate reaction, although I did not vocalise it. But then immediately, she followed it up with, “I wouldn’t want to leave anyone behind, with a burden of paying for that medicine.”

In a roller-coaster of emotion, I now felt incredibly selfish. I had not even considered the people I would leave behind. In my mind, I thought I would do anything to continue paying for that pill, in the sense of I would accept every inch of the responsibility. But then on further examination of my conscience, I think even if I did leave a burden upon the living… I don’t know. I think my answer still might be “I would do anything for that pill.”

While I cannot know for certain, and it is indeed all a thought experiment, I cannot think of a time when I would condemn myself, to my final day on Earth, voluntarily.

And yet, I then decided to propose a different scenario upon myself alone, based on the famous trolley question;


 

“Suppose I am working in a laboratory, and there is an accident with a spilled contaminant. This contaminant bubbles and breathes gas into the lab. This chemical is lethal when inhaled.

You and your lab partner, the only people in the room, rush to the two hazmat suits in the corner. But unfortunately as you get there, you discover one suit has been ripped, and is rendered useless.

The person who does not wear the suit, will not die a painful death. But they will die over the next minute. There is no cure as of yet, and they will not be revived.

Your partner has abstained from making the decision, and will readily accept yours.

Do you take the suit for yourself, or do you give it to your partner?”

*Again, perhaps answer the question for yourself, before reading any further.


 

Now with this question, my answer immediately would be, “I would give the suit to my partner.”

But again upon closer and initial inspection, it seems that there is a bit of an oxymoron between these two answers on my part. It doesn’t rightly make sense for me to fight so unyielding for my life, and yet on a different breath, give it up so readily.

Now perhaps I am perfectly willing to sacrifice my life for another’s. And I’m sure most people would like to believe this also. Hopefully we will be fortunate enough never be put in that situation, and have to even find out.

But here is where I am torn. I believe you should work hard to leave some part of you on this universe. That you should leave it in some kind of better state than when you found it.

And the idea of granting someone a life, by sacrificing mine helps me fulfil that. But just giving up on my life, doesn’t necessarily fulfil it for me. I think that’s why I fight so hard for the pill. With the pill, I can still try. I can still try with every second of my life to make the universe better in some way. But what if in doing that, I actually make it worse for those I leave behind?

What I’m also concerned with, is I think I would fear the idea of my last day, and my last thoughts, not being good ones. The idea of going home, putting on some TV, calling up far away family members to tell them the news, and gathering with closer family to be with me, and then just passing away – I don’t think it makes the cut for me. I could not have, an ordinary day be my last, without knowing if I truly made the world a better place with my time spend on it. But with the chemical spill thought, I can at least die a hero. Regardless of what I’ve done, some of it may be redeemed, and my successor can continue to do good in this world, because I gave them that chance.

Ultimately; I don’t know.

I don’t believe for the time being I have an answer to these questions both. I think it will take many more conversations and much more time thinking about this before I could propose an answer. Maybe by the time I come to the conclusion, my thoughts on the whole thing might have changed. This, I really do not know.

But with my thought and opinions as they stand today fully out there, let me ask you; What are you worth?

Shorts: Adelante

It does not matter how far you go, and certainly not how fast.

Whether you run, walk or crawl; go forward. “Adelante.”

Sometimes you’ll move on flat ground, and other times it will be considerably more mountainous. The destination is always changing, so don’t worry about reaching the pinnacle. It is a false peak. And that isn’t something to be worried about, in fact it’s magnificent. You will always strive for bigger and better.

And when you are on that journey, don’t worry about looking for a path, or necessarily even a guide, for those paths often travelled may not have the best view, and the ground below may be worn. Also, while you may take the same path as someone else for whatever reason, there is no telling what kind of shoes that person wore, how far along the path they started, or if they were carried there by someone else.

Do not compare, comparison is the enemy of joy. Instead keep a goal in sight, and off-road your way there. Learn to enjoy the bumps in the road, rather than wallow in anticipation of them.

If you find that you’ve got yourself turned around; either because you’ve been blinded by fog, or you’ve had your eyes closed for so long, don’t worry about it. You can turn right around, realign yourself to your goals, and march. Maybe you tripped. Maybe you failed. Don’t worry. Realign. March.

Sometimes obstacles will get in your way. Not only that, but they will push you back and with great evil intent and fervour. You may be kidnapped for a bit, to another place. Perhaps convinced to head in a direction, you wish you had avoided. You will be pulled and prodded, bruised, and tired. You will wear, and tear, and find yourself short of breath. Beautiful trees around you may be replaced with the winter worn. Colours may conspire to grey themselves, and your destination may look bleak.

Life may not be kind. It may be unfair. And when it beats you down, it sees its advantage and it beats you down even more.

But when you lay on hand and knee, after you’ve been beaten by the day.

Simply whisper to yourself; “Adelante.”

Shorts: Mother’s Day(s)

According to the dictionary, to mother, is to;

  1. bring up (a child) with care and affection.
    “the art of mothering”

And so apt a definition it is. It’s an art, because it’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It’s hidden in plain site, and often it’s significance forgotten. If you’re looking for a definition of kindness, or a reason to continue believing in this world in a time of tempest and uncertainty, motherhood should be your guide.

Your mother has held you in the cold, with cotton wrapped around your infant body. She has held you against her, when tears have streamed down your face at matters trivial or otherwise. Your mother has taught you; inspired you; in ways more than one. She has clothed you, paid your debts, and listened to what makes you unique as an individual. She’s cared about it, and listened for countless hours, for the stories you tell her, she will surely tell to anyone who will listen, including strangers, in moments of pride.

She does all this from the moment you are born, knowing you will one day lie to her. Knowing you will one day upset her, move on to other things without her, and act selfishly towards her. You’ll put your feelings first, you’ll reject her advice, and you’ll forget in the moment, all that she has done.

And yet still, unwavering, she will be waiting with forgiving arms. She will not remind you that she told you better, she will not put you down, but raise you up, and she will not ask for favour in return. But only love.

I cannot think, of a kindness, grander, than a mother’s. The act once itself, is so gorgeous one could write a poem. But more astonishing, is rather the constancy of the act.

To all mother’s out there, thank you. For birthing and raising every one of us, since the dawn of human kind. Thank you for your unimaginable kindness, for so many years. So grand a span of time, to consistently be kind. Thank you for listening to us, seeing who we truly are, caring for us, and sharing yourself with us, so that we may learn, and grow.

And to my own mother, thank you. Words sadly fail me, for I cannot describe how wonderful you are. How inspiring you are, every day of my life. How decisions I make, and thoughts I have, are done with you in mind. You’re a thought that does not leave my mind, even though some things pressing may appear for it to be so. I love you with all my heart, for everything that you’ve done.

I love you for your support, your kindness, your friendship, and for being my inspiration to be a better man, for as long as I live.

Happy Mothers Day.

P.s. Spoil your mothers. Treat them. Remind them you love them, and you’re thankful for all they have done. Just be sure, not to limit it, to this one day.