22 dec It doesn’t have to make sense to others,
Only those who can NOT recognize the richness of pursuing one’s private joy in life, are thieves of their own happiness. I just simply can’t stop writing about the fact that life is all about discovering, defining and appreciating the pleasures that have meaning for you. Oh, and accepting the fact that it is OK if no one else sees that particular value.
If it makes you happy, it doesn’t have to make sense to others
“So, what is it that makes you happy?”, he asked in a curious way. I like those kind of questions .. Even though he asked it in return, after not being able to fully shape his own response. It took me years and dedication to discover my own answer. Why? I guess because there is always that kind of pressure of having an extra ordinary answer, an astonishing list of things that make you happy. But in fact, my list just radiates simplicity. One by one I started to mention the things that make me happy: “Reading, taking long baths, travelling, cooking, vintage shopping, cinema visits, long walks, writing” and so on.
Simplicity, the ultimate sophistication
The difference between his and my answer was that I actually had one. I have spent a lot of time figuring out what I want, but most of all need in life. And I’ve noticed that we tend to make things complicated, while life is actually really simple. My list consists of things that make me relaxed and therefore the things on my list are the key to my happiness. Cutting food makes me relaxed and a tasteful dish as a result brings me the ultimate satisfaction. The heat of the water in the bathtub makes me feel relaxed, even though it took me a while to master the art of bathing. Travelling enlightens me and keeps reminding me that the best things in life aren’t things. Watching movies is what I did with my father when I was a little kid, it somehow offers me a way to escape in a story other than mine and I love to escape sometimes. Vintage shopping, well .. Is a way to explore on a different level, I would compare it with treasure hunting. You just never know what you will find.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook
“Well, okay .. Those are things I like to do too. Doesn’t everybody likes these things?”, was his reaction. I sensed that he had perceived my list as “What’s new Suzanne?!” – Well NOTHING, duh!
It may look like an easy things-to-do list, but in fact it’s not. Especially when FOMO is always lurking around the corner. It takes great effort and dedication to actually choose the things that are on my list. After a while I figured that these were things that actually make it possible for me to be eager to greet each new opportunity. I rely on little rituals in my daily routines and immerse myself in my favorite things-to-do but mostly I immerse myself in PEACE.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet
“Everything that you just mentioned is having to do with serenity”, he said. That was more accurate. Obviously everyone selects the things they like to do, but that’s not the main reason I selected my things. I handpicked them, deliberately. What’s most important to me is my peace of mind and the things that I do align with it. While doing the things that I mentioned, those activities turn themselves into moments that actually add peace to my life.
“It does sound like a simple enumeration .. But guess what, LIFE just isn’t higher mathematics”, a Dutch proverb translated in English.