So I took a happiness quiz this morning. I passed with flying colors. I am HAPPY!
Okay, it was a stupid test. Consider that all of the questions had two possible responses and tended to border on the extremes. Since this morning I decided it was healthier to be a glass half-full kind of person I generally went with the happy answer "A". Here's a sample question: Do you have personal goals for yourself, and live a life that reflects your values and spiritual beliefs?
a) Yes, I live a very well-examined life. I have some general goals and try to live my life according to my personal and spiritual beliefs.
b)I know I'm not living my ideal life, and I don't have a clear strategy to better incorporate my personal and spiritual values into my every day life. I just do what I have to do to get through the day.
Always one for a little nuance, what I wanted to be able to answer was c) My life is semi-examined, and maybe if I had a few more brain cells that I could devote to the subject, it would be more-so. But honestly, probably not a lot more. Who really lives a very well-examined life? I do have general goals, and specific goals for that matter. And I am trying to live according to my personal and spiritual beliefs. I admit, I don't live an (or my) ideal life. I do what I have to do to get through the day. But honestly, sometimes that's enough and not so bad.
This answer obviously was not a choice.
The truth is, there is an "ideal" life. We dream about it. We think we see people who posses it, or at least, portions of it. But actually, that Ideal Life doesn't really exist and often it's based completely on destinations and never the journey. My real "ideal" life is different. It is almost all about the journey.
My real ideal says that it's okay for life to be hard. That it may not always be pleasant, but it's required for the growth I'm aiming for. My real ideal says that while I may not like or be comfortable putting myself out for other people, that when I do, I see it's been a good thing. My real ideal says that a lot of the standards I measure myself by are silly and to go throw them out the window. My real ideal has standards I'd like to meet but they do require a lot and a lifetime of work. My real ideal says it's okay if I don't always measure up to the worthwhile standards, but that I need to keep on trying, and that someday, I will. My real ideal says that there is joy in the small things, that I can do more than I think I can, that I should be willing to give myself and everyone else a break. And that God is over all.
True happiness is found in the small but important places of our lives. That quiz may have been completely silly and way too simplistic, but you know? It was right. I am happy.