To begin with, as a foundation, I need a spiritual self – one that truly believes in a higher power and one that insist that we are here to help others and to utilize the gifts we have for the betterment of the whole, for me that is a given, it is my religion. But in matters beyond that, I have this idea that the two things that make us feel good at the end of the day, when we stop and access, are productivity and control.
Productivity is such a rewarding feeling – and the high from it is directly related to the challenge of the task. In my life, I relate it to the job of raising my children (the most important job in the world) or the completion of a painting or a column or pea seeds popping up from the freshly made garden. Some days, I feel productive just cutting the grass, some days I need more, but every day I need something – if I want to feel happiness. I need to feel productive and the more my productivity enhances the lives of others, the better I feel.
And control…I do not mean this in the negative sense – control freak – I mean this in the sense of being the captain of your ship. You have control of your life as opposed to being a raw piece of meat waiting for something to happen to you. I feel like I would like to scale down the possessions and the duties of my life as I get older – I feel this way because at some point I will not be able to do all that I do now; I will lose control…I will need a smaller life to feel a sense of happiness, a life I can control, less is truly more.
This control feature, I believe, has a lot to do with preparation; it is a good idea to prepare for your life, to equip yourself with tools to navigate the dark alleys and the peaks of sunshine – for both, the ups and the downs of life, are inevitable and they will both set you on a course, point you in a direction and the more equipment you have the better your decisions and reactions.
So, there is my two bit philosophy. I am writing this raw this morning because it burst into my head when I looked at the mess in my kitchen. I realized that it was out of control and I was not very productive on the domestic front yesterday – this is a small insignificant example incapable of making me happy or sad but it did make me think of the bigger picture, the important one about my family and how I hope they are gathering tools.
That’s it, just an observation I wanted to share, something to ponder. We are all trying to find happiness and the feeling of contentedness but sometimes we look in the wrong places, sometimes we think we need to have more, do more, but sometimes having more and doing more cause you to lose control and you find yourself in an awkward spin that immobilizes you and then you lose productivity and that saddens you. Again, I have absolutely no qualifications to say what I just said, it is just an observation of my own life that I thought might be something to think about. Control and Productivity – something to strive for, perhaps.
Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
my daughter is learning a monologue for an acting workshop – Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov – and I really liked this particular part of it.
IRINA. Tell me, why is it I am so happy today? As though I were sailing with the great blue sky above me and big white birds flying over it. Why is it? Why?
IRINA. When I woke up this morning, got up and washed, it suddenly seemed to me as though everything in the world was clear to me and that I knew how one ought to live. Dear Ivan Romanitch, I know all about it. A man ought to work, to toil in the sweat of his brow, whoever he may be, and all the purpose and meaning of his life, his happiness, his ecstasies lie in that alone. How delightful to be a workman who gets up before dawn and breaks stones on the road, or a shepherd, or a schoolmaster teaching children, or an engine-driver. . . . Oh, dear! to say nothing of human beings, it would be better to be an ox, better to be a humble horse as long as you can work, than a young woman who wakes at twelve o’clock, then has coffee in bed, then spends two hours dressing. . . . Oh, how awful that is! Just as one has a craving for water in hot weather I have a craving for work. And if I don’t get up early and work, give me up as a friend, Ivan Romanitch