Stuff and Happiness

by Dan Doviddio

I was in Door County Wisconsin the week of July 4th. It’s my wife and I’s yearly ‘real’ vacation. I call it our real vacation because unlike our vacations where we travel to new destinations, we actually relax. You know, 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Hiking, biking, wine tastings, dining, plays and concerts. So we actually come back relaxed from our trip.

The best thing for me about a real vacation is being away from home. I like our home a lot. It’s very nice and comfortable. But your home is always screaming out for things to do. Its that little voice in your head (or that ‘Honey Do’ list) of things that need to be done. Things like, add mulch here, new plants there, fix the door latch, I mean, I can go on forever. So, you’re away from all that. You can’t feel a little guilty not doing things if you’re not there to do them, right. If you feel guilty because you’re away and not doing things around the house, well, I can’t help you there.

While I was in ‘the Door’ I re-visited and old site that I like to photograph. It’s a dilapidated farm that has been abandoned.

The thing is, there’s lots of stuff still there. Things at one time that were essential or made life nicer.

Like a Schwinn bike.

I remember as a kid wanting a Schwinn and getting a Montgomery Ward bike instead. But only because being a kid, I was careless and my Schwinn was stolen, hence, the Hawthorne as a replacement. But think about it, one time somebody was excited to have this bike shown above.

Or how about that new truck, all shiny and new. People are always excited about a new vehicle.
Front of truck copy
Of course, not this one anymore.

How about that new shed. A great place to store all those garden implements.

Or how about some new lawn furniture to sit outside and enjoy your favorite beverage.

It made me think how we want something in the hopes it will spur happiness. We see something we want and we can picture ourselves using the object of our desire in a happy way. Think about it, we don’t buy a new car thinking that it will depress us to drive it. Or a new book with the intention of being thoroughly disgusted as we read it. We in most circumstances have a positive intention about what we purchase.

Yet the things we purchase are only along for our ride through life. The life part is up to us. Being happy is our responsibility.

I say this because on a recent Sunday afternoon I was sitting in our screened in porch. It was a pretty pleasant day. My favorite background noise of summer insects and birds were present. I was having a nice glass of Syrah. Best of all, I was reading the new Lee Child book, 61 Hours.

I was basking! I felt great! For me, it doesn’t get any better than this. A great read, a great location, a great feeling. Summer is happening all over the place.

And I have nice stuff around me, but it’s just along for the ride. I dictate the feeling...and so do you.

Just think, one day all the stuff in the above picture will be junk. The chairs will break down, the lamp will deteriorate. But the stuff is just a prop in your life.

Later it started to rain. Another great feeling and sound!

Let’s face it, sometimes being happy takes a little work depending where you are on the emotional scale chart.

There’s a newer Abraham CD that has a way to work yourself into a better feeling place. Abraham talks about going through the alphabet and putting a good feeling word o each letter. For instance, A is Appreciate, B is Basking, C can be Comfort, D can be Divine. In other words look around where you are and go through the alphabet and use what you find with the letters.

Let’s look at the above picture on the porch. I really Appreciate having this porch and Enjoy summer. I’m Basking in the feeling of summer. The Comfort I feel is great inside the porch while it’s raining is Great. The wine is Divine (couldn’t help myself there). The Ease and Flow of a summer day is unparalleled. I’m Happy to read this novel. And so on until you feel it.

Did I say how much I like summer?

I love the mystery genre of books. Below I posted some of my recent and soon to be newest reads.