Sunday, August 8, 2010

Be happy

Some people wait until the economy is just right to be happy. They think when they get the big promotion at work, the big house, the fancy new car, lose 20 pounds, adopt the Siberian tiger for a pet -- then they'll be happy.

Happiness, though, is not a destination. It's a way of life. If Teri and I waited for things to be just perfect before we got married, we might wait forever. We live 90 miles apart. The gas price has risen to $3.05 a gallon. The economy is in the toilet. The house market is reeling. No matter. As Abraham Lincoln said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." And as elaborate surveys say, above the poverty level, happiness is not dependent on more money.

Of course, we'd love a big house, all paid for, that we could live in together. But because we are contrarians we can enjoy the challenges thrust upon us. Even after we get married, on 9-10-11, we may be forced to live a nontraditional life. We will make the best of each day. We will know that each problem implies a solution.

Both of us survived layoffs from great jobs, and landed on our feet, me through moving 2,000 miles from a dream house in Wisconsin back to our beloved Oregon, Teri from going back to school and retraining to become a graphic designer, a job she loves. Both of us survived devastating losses of family members -- my dad, her mom. Both of us survived health crises.

We know that no matter what life throws at us, we can survive and thrive. Everything happens for a reason, and that is to make us stronger. If we step through whatever windows of opportunity open, we will be fine.

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