What is joy? Is it a hearty belly laugh? Is it jumping up and down as the saying goes, jumping for joy? It is walking around with a smile on your face? How long will it last and what will prompt it? How tight do you have to hold on to it to make sure it never leaves? Is it a state of mind or a feeling within? Is it an outward appearance or an inner sense?
What is happiness? The saying is you have to find happiness within yourself and not with outside things. How do you find happiness when you don't know what it is or what it looks like? Will you recognize it when it slaps you in the face? Will it drift in the window like a spring breeze? Or will it flash like a 4th of July spectacular? Will it creep in like a thief in the night; not knowing it was there until it is gone?
How do you measure success? Is it by the dollar amount in your bank account? Is it a level on the ladder? Is it a job you enjoy immensely? Is it a large house, cars of your dreams, 3.2 children, a spouse you want to spend the rest of your life with or maybe the respect you garner from those around you?
What is contentment? Is it a calm feeling within your soul? Is it a serene sense around you? Is it laying back and relaxing without a worry? Is it doing what you want to do? Is it a fulfillment that is impossible to define? Is it a peace that descends on you when you least expect it? Is it something you can work for, but fail to fully grasp? Is it "walking on cloud nine" and just where is that located? Is it linked to happiness and can only be obtained when you obtain happiness and joy?
Are all of them linked together? Do you have to have all of them to know one of them? Does one lead to the other? Do they lend themselves to each other?
So many questions with very few answers.
Life! Now that is the ultimate question. Is it more than a breath? Is it activity? Energy? Growth? Being? A career ? "Just the way it is"? Participation? Or a period of existence?
I guess all of the above are a facet of each other. Maybe to access each to build on the other is the routine of daily living. If we are able to attain one, each or all of them, will life be complete?
I am going to cheat and post something I wrote 3 years ago. I think, without meaning to be egotistical, that it is timeless. I think regardless of the time of history it applies to life. Regardless of the century, personal age or current events, it is something every person thinks about. At this time in my life I am in the best spot I have been in for a LONG time. I have always been an extremist. I am either extremely happy or pathetically down. I have always had a hard time with the middle ground or the even keel. I even have a hard time with idleness. I am working on that though. In the last couple of months I have learned not to be “obsessive” about the”what if’s” and the “how about’s”. I’ve learned to let go of that which I have no control. I’m not totally there, but many things that used to upset me and bring me to a screeching halt now have little effect on me. I think that is growth. Anyway, I think I am more comfortable in my own skin and don’t need someone else to make me feel that way.
Now back to why I chose to dig up this relic writing. I once again began pondering all these things. I don’t know that I have any more answers than I did before, but I am certainly more comfortable with not having the answers. I know life will not be complete just because I think I have attained one, several or all of these. I think there is no way to fully attain any of them. I think they come in waves throughout life. They ebb and flow like an ocean. The ocean does not cease to exist just because it is at low tide. It isn’t any more evident because it is at high tide. It just is. Much like life—it just is. Each day is another chance to master the plan. The ending is written in the stars and only God knows when that will be. So for today, I must live it with the challenges, the mundane and the excitements that flow into my life. So what is joy? What is success? What is contentment? All wrapped together the simple answer is, they are life. Life must be lived by the moment. It must be lived for the end—eternity. That is where all of these will merge together and be fulfilled. Until then, I choose to live each day with the blessings and trials that come with it. I will keep pondering them all, because that is what keeps me striving to be better. The difference now than in the past? Now I can accept the uncertainty and anticipate the results as they come, instead of worry about if they will come.
Peace to each of you. I hope you will find time to ponder too.
When everything is coming your way,
You just might be in the wrong lane.....