I'm sitting on a beach chair (we are still furnishing our house) watching Food Network thinking about happiness. When I was in high school having enough money in the bank to go see my favorite new wave/punk bands was happiness. In my late teens and early twenties, happiness was survival. As long as I had money to pay the rent and go out dancing when I wasn't waitressing, I was content. In my mid twenties, happiness was getting good grades in undergrad at UCR and later at USC Law. By then, my priorities had changed.
Post law school in my thirties, happiness was work. I know now that it shouldn't be the road to happiness, but back then, I bought into the fallacy that if you worked hard enough, or long enough, pouring out your sweat, blood and tears along with weekends and holidays, that it would pay off. After my dad died, it made me realize that the sacrifice was not worth it. I realized that time is the most valuable commodity. It is worth more than any paycheck. It is irreplaceable.
What is happiness to me now? Happiness is watching my husband sleep, legs splayed out, on a Saturday morning. And having time to cook dinner and walk the dogs three times a day. And traveling as much as we can.
Yet, still, I struggle with finding peace and contentment. A naturally ambitious person, I am always looking for the next challenge or project. Maybe that is a good thing or maybe it creates that bubble of anxiety I always have welling up in my throat.
My next goal, let's call this my forties' goal, is to be a writer for television. When you put your mind to something, the universe really does conspire to help you (See The Alchemist). That's not to say everything is achievable. You have to have talent and have done the work (which is another way of saying, it has to be meant to be). I feel as if all my life has led me to a place where I can imagine this into being. Will it happen? I don't know, but I am sure gonna try.