Wednesday, June 25, 2014

from TMTOH file:

     Recently I heard myself say, “Yup, I’m happy most of the time.” What’s “most?” I asked myself. Well, it certainly isn’t “all” of the time. So is “most” 75%, 89% 98%? Forced to Google these two tiny words, I discovered the obvious:  “most” represents the greatest number or the superlative of “much.” “All” is the whole amount, or 100% in my translation.

     So who on earth is happy 100% of the time? If they say they are, they are liars, clueless or aliens. You might be asking yourself at this point, “What is TMTOH?” (Too Much Time On Hands). 

     We all know that happiness is a journey; not a destination. Happiness is fleeting. Happiness cannot be bought with gift cards or lottery tickets. BLAH BLAH BLAH. 

     To me, happiness is when I’m smiling for no reason or for all reasons. It is when I have no crises in my life, and when I am not stressing out about something. It’s when I have given whatever and to whomever I should and have a clear conscience. It’s when my closet has some new threads in it, and I have time to take a quiet stroll in the woods alone and not feel lonely. It’s when I can get lost in a fabulous book or lose four hours writing blogs and maudlin poetry. “Quel en est le but?” my French students might ask, quoting me from years ago. (What’s the point?”)  The point is, when we are intro-specting, it feels good to recognize that “most” of the time, life is good, and we’re feeling fine. Au contraire, it begs the question, “What about the difference between most and all?” How are we feeling then, and why?

     For me, the percentage is pretty consistent, and the answer is simple. I fell like shit, and I’m in a state of hysteria falling into the dark abyss. I feel very proud that this “difference” usually lasts less than 24 hours and occurs less than 5% of my yearly quota. 

     How about you? What’s your definition of “happiness?” What percentage of the time do you feel any or all of the above? Who really cares about your answer? Hmm. TMTOH?