The Pursuit of Happiness

March 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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It’s literally written into one of the most important documents in history — we, Americans, all have a right to pursue a happy life. So we spend each day trying to live, chasing the dream or trying to figure out how to reach it or just trying to figure out what it is.  What is it that makes us happy?  It changes, as we all change, as time changes, as circumstances change.  We may reach some level of contentment and even satisfaction, but are we ever truly happy?

Some of us are, some of us are not. Life is unequal, even if we do all have this equal right.  To be happy takes a perfect combination of reasonable desires and expectations, hard work and a stroke of luck, it seems.  Being happy can be a fleeting moment, as all emotions are, but it always seems that good emotions are the ones that last for the shortest amount of time — you really have to recognize those moments and live in them.

Because the pursuit of happiness is just that — a pursuit.  We will forever chase this feeling, attempt to capture it in a bottle to hold onto forever.  We will remember the great times, and some of us will be lucky enough to be able to identify the happiest days of our lives.  The real lucky ones will be able to tell when they are living their best days.  The optimistic ones will say that today is great, but tomorrow will be even better.

Sometimes, you will get lost along the way on your pursuit, unsure of what it is that will make you happy.  Sometimes, you will have to let go of things to make room for better things.  Sometimes you will feel low, and you will need to feel low just so you can have that happiness high again, and have it mean something.

Happiness. What is happiness?  In bits and pieces, it’s smiles, it’s warmth, it’s hugs and kisses, it’s laughter, it’s falling in love, it’s accomplishing something.  These are all happy moments, but to be in a permanent state of happiness? Well, that is what the pursuit is all about.

On Heroes and Angels

December 18, 2012 at 7:31 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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The recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has rocked this nation to its core.  Unlike past mass shootings that have occurred in our lifetime, this one claimed the lives of such young, innocent victims.  This fact alone has made for a serious emotional communal state of being, and as is typical of human nature, we all want answers.  We all want to know how this happened and why, and what can we do to stop this from ever happening again.

There are so many debates, so many fingers being pointed, so many are accused beyond the gun man himself. It’s the guns, it’s a lack of safety precautions, it’s mental health, it’s the mother of the shooter’s fault.  It’s the media’s fault for sensationalizing it.  Someone has to be to blame so we know what to change.

The blame game has played out all across social media, with everyone expressing their opinions, their anguish, making up quotes or believing stories before the evidence was able to come out.  We have no patience for answers, not when children’s lives have been lost.

I was one of these people searching for answers, jumping to conclusions.  The one thing I didn’t do was to jump to solutions.  I still need time to figure out how to cope with this emotionally and what I can do as an individual to honor those lost.  I did a lot of reading.  I turned off social media, turned it back on to see if anything anyone said resonated with me.  I found things I agreed with, and things I did not. I read comments from hysterical mothers and aggressive anti-gun advocates.  I read the thoughts of teachers, and the stories of the heroes.  I studied the faces and names of the fallen, the heroes and the angels, attempting to etch them in my memory and not let the villain win this round.  I researched elementary school massacres and learned about the 1927 massacre in Michigan and its villain — a school board member — trying to understand the motives, the profile of this kind of evil.

But I didn’t jump to solutions because this I know to be true.  I know that there will always be evil in the world.  I know that evil will always find a way. I know that whether evil comes in the form of mental illness or just plain bad to the bone, it is something regular people, most people, will never understand but will spend their lives trying to.

I know that for every evil soul there are many more good souls, many more who want to protect, who will without question become a hero in a heartbeat to do what’s right.  I know that we lose many good people, perhaps more good than bad it may seem.  I know that there are those who are unlucky and those who are lucky.

But right now, I’m feeling pretty darn lucky.  Lucky to have walked the same ground as these heroes and angels.  Lucky to still be here.

Luck of the Irish — What about the rest of us?

March 17, 2011 at 7:31 am | Posted in Life and Living | 3 Comments
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photo via

I honestly don’t know if the Irish are anymore lucky than any other group of people.  I have never witnessed a lucky moment of an Irish man (I happen to live in an area with a huge Irish immigrant population, which would up my chances of seeing a moment like this).  I have witnessed Irish men drink an exorbitant amount of alcohol, more than seems humanly possible, and live to see the next day, but that’s really about it.

What I do know is that I have no luck.  OK, maybe I have some luck, but it’s mostly bad luck.  I have never won anything I didn’t work for.  Not even a raffle.  Literally nothing.  OK, maybe like 5 bucks on a scratch off ticket, but nothing substantial ever.  You may think having no good luck wouldn’t really effect one’s life, but it has.  I don’t find gambling to be fun, nor do I enjoy playing the lottery.  Call me crazy, but I just don’t like seeing my money slip away so quickly for nothing because there is no way I am going to win. “Winning?” 🙂

It’s not that I don’t like to take risks, but I just don’t like my odds in the game of chance.  I don’t know if I believe in destiny, but I do believe in fate. Being in the right place and the right time.  I don’t know if everything happens for a reason, because I’ve seen some lucky bastards win things who definitely didn’t deserve them, but I guess that is often characteristic of luck.  Luck is not merit-based.

I still say things like, “wish me luck,” and “good luck,” but those are just sayings really. I mean, I really do wish that I could have some good luck.  I have a tendency to have a lot of bad luck poured on me at the same time.  But I guess people have a tendency not to recognize good fortune when it is upon them. Because things always could be worse. Seriously.  I’m lucky to have my health, my love, my family, my freedom, my job, my home, my friends.  I could be sick, single, an orphan with no job or friends and call prison home.  But I’m not.

But I will always want more.  I am a good person.  I know a lot of good people who do good things.  I wish luck to all those who deserve it. If only there was some fairness in luck.

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