Happiness Is…

I’ve come to the realization lately that, for the first time in a long time, I’m happy. From the outside, my life may not look like a gay, mad dream (Ringo’s description of Elenor Rigby’s life compared to his own the the animated feature Yellow Submarine), as it’s certainly far from perfect; but I’m happy. I still live a payday-to-payday existence, I still play a lot more catch-up withy things like the rent than I’d like to have to, and I still have the pawn shop clock ticking on far more of my possessions than I’d like to, but, generally, I’m a happy guy. Life, for the most part, is good.

To what do I owe this new found frivolity? I didn’t get a new haircut or a fancy new gadget. I didn’t get a new suit that I look particularly fabulous in. I do have a new girlfriend (relatively new, anyway – we’ve been together almost four months, give or take), and she’s certainly a big part of it, but I think I’ve finally realized that I’m… content.

Contention makes me happy.

Religious people like to say “count your blessings,” and, while I don’t agree with that mindset (everything i have I worked for… everything I don’t have I was either unwilling or unable to work for – there is no invisible man in the sky dumping manna on my head), I am very much a “glass is half full” person and the good things in my life are outnumbering the bad at this point in time. That coulde change tomorrow, of course, but I don’t think about the next medical catastrophe, natural disaster, loss of a loved one, or whatever that could befall me. You’ll drive yourself nuts thinking that way. Instead, I’ve chosen to be happy with all these positive things.

Ignoring the negatives makes me happy.

I often see religious posts on social media that say things like “Today I woke up and I was breathing. Thank you, God for another glorious day…” and the like. Please don’t confuse this for something like that. I can’t help but feel like that’s setting the bar pretty low, especially once you throw God into the equation. And, really, isn’t that pretty fucking arrogant? “God, today thousands of children were stricken with cancer or HIV, thousands more died of disease or starvation or murder, but thatk you for helping my car start this morning. You rock!”

Nope. Not me. I did wake up breathing this morning and, sure, I’m pretty happy about that. Not because this day or any other was a gift especially to me from an imaginary parent figure, but because every day is another chance for me to enjoy the wonder of our world and our universe. I’ve been watching the Neil DeGrasse Tyson-revived version of Cosmos the last couple of weeks, so please excuse my thinking on such a grand scale. Have you seen that show, by the way? It’s fantastic. Every bit as informative and awe-inspiring as the original with Carl Sagan (the original rock star astrophysicist who Tyson clearly draws inspiration from) and perhaps even more entertaining. I remember Sagan being the butt of a lot of jokes back in the 80’s, (usually with television impersonators mocking his manner of speech), but no one seems to do that with Tyson. Neil makes his own TV appearances (and has for some time), being a regular on shows like Real Time With Bill Maher (where he uttered his now infamous quip, “The beautiful thing about science is that its true whether you believe it or not.”). Neil is THE MAN. No one makes fun of Neil.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos makes me happy.

Also, laughing at “faith” makes me happy.  Also, I’m tired of hearing about faith being a virtue. “He’s a man of faith” is supposed to be some kind of a compliment. Fuck that. “Faith” is the willful supression of critical thought. It’s the acceptance of a concept or idea without any evidence whatsoever. It is nothing to be proud of.

And, then there is Lisa. I’ve gushed about my lovely lady here in the past and yes, I’m gonna do it again. The girl is just so… cool. I might sound like a kid in junior high talking that way, but I don’t have a better way to put it. She’s awesome. The things that are important in her life are many of the things that are important in mine.She’s passionate about Star Wars, for example (maybe not quite as much as me, but then again, who is?), and she loves Kevin Smith moviesand its her that I watch Cosmos with. We almost see eye-to-eye on religion (she does believe in God, she says, but, as a former Jehovha’s Witness, her “belief” is nowhere near as fervrent as it could be and she firmly believes in things like marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose; where her religious upbringing could certainly have sabotaged her world view, it hasn’t), and the few differences we have there are non-issues for either of us. To shorten this paragraph and limit my schoolboy gushing, I’ll just say that, for me, she is the perfect woman.

Lisa makes me happy.

So, there you have it. Happiness is: life, in my opinion. At least it is in my rather bohemian, skewed, unique way of looking at it.

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