February 7th, 2011

Happiness is….

I think I figured out what my problem is.

This morning, as I walked through the parking lot, thinking of all the meetings I have today, all the work I need to get done, all the videos I need to make—not to mention everything we have going on at home—having a baby, trying to buy a house, trying to get a handle on the laundry and the bills—I saw a car parked near the building. It was probably a Volvo, maybe a Saab.

It had a little plastic decorative border around the license plate that said:

Happiness is being Swedish.

That’s it, I thought. That’s my problem. I’m not Swedish. Of northern European decent, sure, but definitely not Swedish. But perhaps, if I could find a way to be Swedish, all my problems would be solved, all my prayers would be answered, and I would find happiness.

But the sudden realization that I could never be Swedish—barring actually giving up my citizenship and moving to Sweden (which I’d never do)—made me sad. Not only did I have a lot of work to do at home and at work, but now I was excluded from what I thought was some kind of inalienable right: Happiness, or at least the pursuit of it. But if happiness is unattainable due to my not being Swedish, then wouldn’t the pursuit of it just be a pointless exercise? A complete waste of time? Wow, that’s heavy burden, especially for a Monday.

But then I remembered two things:

1. When I was 14 years old, I learned how to screen print, and I started my own t-shirt business in the basement of my parents’ house. I sold shirts to kids at school and also made shirts for myself. You could say I had a custom, small batch print shop. Anyway, one of the shirts I made for myself said: Happiness is not a goal—it’s a by-product.

I’ll say it again: Happiness is not a goal—it’s a by-product.

And:

2. It’s Plastic-Free February at here Rodale, which means I can safely ignore the Swedish Happiness equation—it was just a stupid piece of plastic around a license plate!

And so it goes…

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.






OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image