Sunday, September 18, 2011

Satisfaction and Happiness

Happiness.   I find that thoughts on happiness are a recurrent theme as I think about my retirement. Sometimes I try to understand why I am so bloody happy. Have I always been happy?  No.  I can recall times that I let stresses get to me.  I have a beginning of a list of things to make one happy. Lack of stress. Hmmm. Not sure that flies. Because, even now, I have self-induced stresses – like my appointed hour each weekday that I practice the hammered dulcimer. Or my arrival time at the gym. Sometimes these result in other things being put off, or they mean I have to push to get where I need to be. Stress.

Perhaps lack of bad, or destructive stress is what I should emphasize?

But, the happiness biggie for me is the concept of satisfaction.

OK – so, satisfaction – I have a friend who loves to find “steals” that would be worth “big bucks” if he resold them. But he doesn’t, so his house and his lady friend’s house are filling up with steals. And he is genuinely not a happy person. Hasn’t managed to buy happiness. Hmmm – a point here?

Enough digression (earth to Stephen – get to the point): My thought this A.M. (the result of a discussion with my 19 year-old work out bud Michael yesterday) is that satisfaction requires doing. See, you can’t be satisfied unless you have done something to be satisfied with.  I find my reason for getting up each morning is the knowledge that I will be doing things that bring me satisfaction – playing the dulcimer, working out, restoring an antique cabinet to hold cameras and lenses…  Heck, this morning I cleaned up several spots on the carpet where our cats have decided it was appropriate to deposit fur balls – each time I walk by those spots for the next week or so I will get a warm glow knowing I did something good.

Happiness – satisfaction – two recurring themes for this blog.  One based on the other, and both based on doing things.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

  2. You are welcome - I am glad that you feel my posts have value. If my ideas can help a few people to live better, and approach retirement with a better attitude I will have met my goal.