Friday, February 03, 2012
"So what you're saying is that if nothing changed for the better or for the worse for the rest of your life you would be happy just the way you are?"
I thought for a minute and then nodded my head. "Yeah, I believe I would be. I mean, I am sure there are things I would like to see, places I would like to go and people I would like to meet, but my happiness isn't contingent about all that happening."
"Well what about money? Don't you want more money?" I thought about that for a few minutes, staring down at the table in the restaurant.
"I want to be secure." I said. "I don't necessarily want to be wealthy, but I'd like to be secure."
So the conversation went. Larry and I were having our weekly lunch meeting. Larry's about 23 years younger than I am and quite naturally his perspective and his goals and objectives are different. Larry is raising two daughters, my children are already grown. A matter of perspective, if you will.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't some sort of rant against wealth. I don't begrudge anyone earning as much money as they feel compelled to earn. It is just that I am at a point in my life were wealth doesn't define success. So as I drove home I thought a lot about the conversation Larry and I had. If I'm not happy to begin with how can I be "happier?" If I don't feel I'm wealthy right now, how can I be "wealthier?" Yeah, it is a matter of perspective. My thoughts turned into a revelation of sorts. Maybe I've been approaching things backward for most of my life. Maybe, I should work on the now, the today, and tomorrow will become a natural byproduct. I am at a point in my life where downsizing is a positive term. Joan and I talk about moving into a smaller place, maybe a condominium, maybe in a climate where the weather is warmer. We talk about the uncertainty of retirement and wonder if it'll ever be a reality for us. Despite all the changes that have occurred in the landscape over the past five years I still have to count myself, baggage and all, as being relatively happy person. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. In this world that seems to be brimming over with drama, when all is said and done I am relatively happy. Somewhere, somehow we developed the notion that if you're not moving forward, your statement. Maybe, just maybe, it may be that you have stopped to inhale the scenery around you.
So when I looked across the table at Larry with somewhat of a cockeyed grin for the first time in a few days I felt fairly confident saying "Yeah, I'm happy just the way I am."