18 January 2005

What makes me happy?

What makes me happy? Beginnings of years often bring up such questions. And, although effectively meaningless, cycles--years, anniversaries, birthdays--are beneficial for just that purpose. Examine, reassess, revel, or stew. Here are my pros and cons of life (in no particular order):

Good Stuff

  • The wife - Not to be unduly sappy, but I'm a pretty solitary person and being with someone I can connect to is very nice.
  • Recycling - I'm liberal but not a fanatic. However, I'm almost giddy when we take a carload of garbage to be recycled every two weeks. The amount from just two people is staggering--I would almost agree to a constitutional amendment to force people to recycle! OK, apparently I'm a fanatic when it comes to recycling.
  • Flossing and listerine - It's the simple things in life. Like seeing a whole popcorn kernel fly out from between your teeth and then burning the residue away with listerine. Ahh. And I know I'm not the only one, so don't call me obsessive!
  • Cleaning house - Similar but different. Just having a clean desk calms me--especially when I'm under pressure. The chaos of a schedule shouldn't manifest itself onto my desk. It's sortof like biofeedback [Wikipedia]: by changing the aspects of the environment that I have control over, maybe I can begin to affect those aspects I don't. Or something like that.
  • Finishing a song/painting - For any Artwork, the initial idea leaves a deep impression. Feeling that is nice, but seeing it materialize as a work is really something to live for.
  • Finishing a software project - Similar but different. The primary joy is that you're molding the world into how you think it should work. You're making it work correctly.
  • Smart people - I love that "wow" when I read something that just blows me away. How did they figure that out?!? Thank you, Smart People, for keeping the world surprising.

Bad Stuff

  • Other people - I won't throw out the Sarte quote, but many of the difficulties in life can be avoided by isolation. Unfortunately, many of the the good stuff is avoided too. I'm getting better.
  • Conversations - Ah, now we're getting to the real problem. It's not other people, it's that I'm a poor conversationalist around other people. I'm trying to get better.
  • Piano skills - It was nice to hear my piano tuner say that he purchased a player piano. He once played in jazz combos and is certainly adept. However, few musicians know enough songs to be able to entertain a group of people. People want a juke box, so I always feel kinda deficient when I can't just sit down and play anything. And we all know that girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.
  • Drawing skills - I'm always practicing piano and coding: who has time to draw?
  • Creationists - I'm OK if you believe it, but geez don't try to tell me it's science.
  • My own intolerance - These things aren't that important: fix what you can and get over it!
[ posted by sstrader on 18 January 2005 at 12:39:49 PM in Misc ]