Sunday, November 2, 2008

The experiment

So I'm looking for happiness, just like everyone else is. Happiness is elusive. It pops up every now and then. You think, wow, I hope I don't screw this up by saying out loud I'm happy. But you do and then the moment passes. Now you're back to hating your hair, or worrying about the election, or feeling uneasy about your age whenever you're around college students, which in Boston is all the time, which then reminds you of high school, and the popular girl sitting behind you in homeroom sporting her tan from winter break in the Bahamas--well, with all that youthful sun exposure she probably didn't age well, so there's that to make you feel better--or the fact that you're now at the point that you'd rather listen to music you liked when you were 16 than anything playing on the radio now. How is it that at 35, it's still possible to be filled with angst? Isn't being angst-free one of the rewards of getting older?

Anyway, I'm going to try this little experiment I've been thinking about for a while, which is taken from the Buddhist practice, which is living in the now, regardless of what happened before or what will happen next, including death, my current obsession (will I die before my husband, or will he die first, leaving me to fend for myself in the nursing home? Will I make friends in the nursing home and will they all die before me, too?) These thoughts are not going to make me happy. Living in the now, noticing what I have right here, right now, even if it's a little rough around the edges, that might be the key or the portal or the wellspring of increased happiness.

I'm going to give it a try.

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