If you are looking for a recipe, come back tomorrow- I promise!
A lot of what I have been going through recently has all led me back to one main thought: what makes me happy. I watched a documentary about Ayn Rand (in her own words) and what resonated the most was that happiness is up to the individual person and while I know that there is a lot to factor in this, the main principle rings so true in my life. I then realized that much of my unhappiness came from waiting for other people to do something. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve said, “I’ll be happy when this happens,” or “Things will be better once this happens.” While it’s not always easy to judge what will make me happy, I’ve realized that whatever my happiness is exactly that, my happiness.
This post started in my head this morning as I was walking through the woods with a rather large cup of coffee in my heads. The temperature had a slight chill with morning fog and a light mist off the lake. This is my Sunday church. While my dog explores the woods, I have alone time to really think. The only sounds in the air are birds and a few grazing deer. It is at this point that I remember to take big breaths and feel refreshed. This is where my happiness begins.
Between the documentaries and books I’ve read recently, I have a renewed interest in good food. Somewhere along the lines I also stopped emotionally eating. During my past relationship I gained thirty pounds. In the past three weeks, I’ve lost four by changing nothing except the want to eat (and overeat) crappy food. Four pounds may not sound like a lot but to me it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve also really thought more about the whole concept of being a “locavore.” I’ve been fortunate to live in an area that has rich farming lands and to have people who care enough to grow local produce. To know that almost all of the produce in my refrigerator came from me picking it makes me feel happy (the rest of my produce comes from other local farmers.) To know that the taste of the apple I picked off the tree will have a completely different one from the apple that was transported half-way around the world and eaten days have being harvested makes me happy as well. I love crafting and building things with my hands; food falls easily into this.
Ever since I chose music as a path I wanted to pursue in college, I’ve felt lost. I really had no direction and I never tried hard enough to pursue one path. I love music as art and with that mentality; it’s not easy to find a job. I knew I didn’t want to perform for a living and composition has always been a weakness. Seven years after choosing music, I found where I’m supposed to be. I love teaching college. I love my students, I love my colleagues, and I love the whole academic environment. I push my kids hard and they always rise to meet the challenge with minimal grumbling and complaints. Teaching college allows me to grow a love and respect for music as art. Again I feel fortunate that I received this opportunity at such a young age (not many other 25 year olds are college professors.) While I’m not necessarily thrilled with heading back to school so soon, this is the path that I want to continue down. I know that now and thus the applications for doctoral school need to get finished.
I’ve expressed before on this blog how much it has shaped my love of photography. While I have always loved photography (thanks to my father,) it wasn’t until I got a camera in my hands and actually learned to use it that the love fully blossomed. I am a very visual person and a well-taken image moves beyond one sense and will encompass all if them through feelings and memories. While I am not one to live in the past, recalling a previous time through images evokes a special feeling (one that I am hard-pressed to explain.) As school begins to settle down and fall creeps in, I will be with my camera more and more.
Adopting him may have been one of the best things I’ve ever done. He brings happiness into my life when he greets me at the door or gets me out of bed in the morning to go for a hike. At a time when relationships and dating are a pain in the ass, he brings me stability and love. Growing up I always wanted a dog, I just never realized how big of a part of my life he would be and I couldn’t ask for a better partner to have in the woods on a Sunday morning.
Stress and unhappiness are things that I think almost everyone succumbs to at one point in their lives. I’ve realized that I can’t go through life caring what other people think about me, no happiness has ever been gained that way. It’s time that I dance to my own beat and be damn happy doing it. Life is full of ups and downs but I have also realized that there is no reason to waste time stressing and worrying.
Whew… that’s what I call a Sunday reflection.