Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Be Happy

Sounds easy enough. Short. Sweet. To the point. Why am I Not? Am I not? What gets in the way? What compels it? I find I must examine these issues periodically in order to stay on the straight and narrow path of happy.

Once upon a time, hanging out with friends, drinking copious amounts of intoxicating beverages and ingesting other intoxicants made me feel happy. On occasion, it still does. I learned somewhere along the line that moderation leads to more consistent happy than over indulgence in anything, including restraint. I also know that over indulgence in self restraint often leads to not happy. Balance. It's all about balance. What once made me happy fails me now. Parties, rock concerts, pounding it out full blast in the fast lane now make me decidedly not happy.

Sitting in the sun is happy. Laughter, of course is happy. Dogs, friends, food, shelter, transportation - all happy. Healthcare. Well, I don't like going to the doctor, but healthy is happy. Not healthy is not happy. Not smoking is both happy and not happy - the result is happier in the long run than otherwise. Money makes me happy. It does. I hate to admit it, but knowing the car insurance the government forces me to buy is paid for makes me happy. I have to bust it sometimes to make that payment, but I seem to make it. It shows up somehow. It's touch and go more often than not and the stress of worrying certainly interferes with happy.

Recent studies show that money does buy happiness, up to a point. Depending on your needs and wants and number of dependents, anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 will make most people happy. That amount will pay the basic bills and provide a sense of security that allows happy to exist. Some people I'm sure could use less. I know others (with college aged and/or special needs kids or parents) could use more. Insurance companies are based on the premise that the group pays into the pool and takes out as needed. Many will need more, but more will (hopefully) need less. It's communism in its most basic form. Demanding that capitalist for-profit corporations are the only ones who should engage in communism is the ultimate irony. Oh, except for the part where they don't pay for the sick, they cut them off, leave them to die. So, now why was it we thought communism was so bad?

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