Happiness Part V: We Know Too Much

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Day in and day out, we are being bombarded with information.  Some of it will be correct and some of it will prove to be incorrect yet, we will absorb it all as though through osmosis.  Whether we are truly paying attention or we’re subliminally and subconsciously picking it up, we have most of that info, rumbling around in our brains somewhere and it’s acting upon us like a slow release pill, coming out in dribs and drabs. It’s likely that we don’t even recognize that info is there or that we’re utilizing it in one way or another.  Our brains are wonderous machines with a filing system that makes computers look like toys.  Reality is, we know far more than we need to know and it’s causing us both stress and distress.  It’s a road block to being happy.

Remember back a few entries ago when the scenario of children being happy was the centre point of that piece?  If not, you can review it here.  Part of the reason that children are generally happy is that they don’t know enough to be un-happy.  Not only have the brains of children not developed enough but, they don’t know enough to be upset, stressed, worried or any of the adult things that we, as adults, have come to learn to do.  They live in moment because they can’t really foresee much trouble in the future.  Ignorance is sometimes, bliss.

Let me give a scenario here that may help demonstrate that point better.

Two men are in a car, stuck on railway tracks.  They cannot move back nor forward.  The elder gentleman in the car has a form of dementia and is busily reminiscing about days gone by that he remembers with fondness.  The younger gentleman, fully able to compute the dangers of what is happening, is trying not to frighten the older man while trying to start the car again with no success.  Off in the distance, he sees the faint lights of an oncoming train and keeps trying to start the car, filled with panic now.  The elder man is completely unaware of what is happening and continues on his trip down memory lane with pure joy and delight, laughter and a smile while beads of sweat drip down the younger man’s forehead.  Finally, in vain, as the train approaches rapidly, the younger man exits the car, opens the door of the passenger’s side and drags the old man out of the car to safety.  The train soon demolishes the car into a tangled heap of metal before coming to a stop.  The young man tries to catch his breath while the elder gentleman simply says, “why did you stop me?  I wasn’t finished my story.”  Both men experienced the same situation.  The difference in their reactions were simply that the younger man knew what was going to happen while the elder man was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking down the tracks.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be aware of dangers or ignorant of facts nor, uneducated.  What it is saying is that we are overloaded with information that oftentimes, is false, misleading and most importantly, un-needed.  We can’t be child-like because we now know too much.  As a matter of fact, we know more than we really need to know and that, in and of itself, causes stress, distress and un-happiness.  We are now incapable of simply living in the moment and being amused with simple things like the taste of our coffee, the smell of freshly cut grass, the clouds that are floating past us above, the purr of our cat, the sound of a stream, a song that we love or many other of the most soothing and amusing things in Life.  Instead, we are analyzing everything silly, thinking about what lays ahead, how much damage it’s doing to us and the world, some study that proves that the caffeine in our wonderful tasting coffee can kill us or how the water in our bottle of water might pollute the earth or be polluted by the chemicals in the plastic bottle or wax that lines the paper take-out cup is toxic.  We’re usually reading or listening to the news which is filled with doom and gloom as that is what sells air/paper time and we’re using technology devices such as our cell phones to look up more crazy-making information.  The list is endless as to how information is slowly not only taking away our happiness and ability to be happy but, is potentially causing us stress that will or could kill us sooner or later.

How many shootings do we need to hear about before we can say, “there’s a lot of kids, killing others with guns”?  How many studies have we all heard, read or talked about that eventually get reversed or at the least, changed because newer studies have proven differently and yet, we’ve given up that great tasting coffee or bread or eggs and, it’s now not only ok to have them but, we find out we should have been having them all along as they’re beneficial to us?  How many car accidents do we need to see on the news at night with people we never met, don’t know and never will know before we get the idea that driving a car in today’s world and in traffic or driving distracted or impaired, can kill us? Do we really need 24/7 news stations that cover a story live and have “experts” on panel to discuss every nuance of the situation?

The bottom line is that we have far too much information floating around in our heads that not only don’t serve us beyond simply having a fact/knowledge but, are harming us in one way or another.  It’s all certainly a stumbling block towards being happy.

If you want to feel a bit happier,

  • Turn off the news or put down that newspaper
  • Quit Googling or Binging or whatever search engine you use for a bit
  • Turn off your cell phone or use it to actually CALL a friend or relative and enjoy talking to them instead of texting or ignoring them.
  • Stop taking every study too seriously because it will eventually turn out to be changed or reversed by another that will follow.
  • Either turn up your favourite music and sing or dance with it or, listen to the birds chirping, the stream sounds or your cat purring for a change
  • Watch a comedy or inspirational movie instead of a horror, police or crime show
  • Read a book or story with an inspirational message behind it
  • Buy yourself an adult colouring book and colour for a change.  Heck, get out the crayons and colour a child’s colouring book.
  • Ditch the “Know-It-Alls” who are walking encyclopedias but, are as negative as hell
  • Limit time with or eliminate those people who are bringing you nothing but headaches or demands for you doing something for them
  • Spend more time with people who make you feel good and most of all, make you laugh
  • Get silly. Roll down a hill, play with toys, splash around in a local pool just for the fun of being in water and weightless or buy yourself a teddy bear.  Seriously.
  • Stay out of your head and thinking for even an hour a day.  Just pay attention to things around you that are soothing and relaxing.  If you can’t find that, find them in your memory bank.  They’re there, believe it or not.
  • Be thankful for what you have right now even if it’s not your dream situation
  • Set aside a worry time of 20 minutes where you write your worries out into a dollar store notebook then shut the journal and tell yourself worry time is over until your next planned session then, get on with something light, silly and funny

These are just a few ideas.  There are plenty more.  If you’re going to Google anything, search for ways to have fun.

Stay light, stay laughing, stay away from people or information that brings you down to a stressed out level as much as possible.  Just be.  Be in the moment and enjoy the little things in Life.  Be happy!

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life to yours.

 

Why Do Vegans Proselytize

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I’ve had it up past my ear lobes with Vegans lately, trying to turn Society into Apostles of Veganism.  Do they not realize that it’s akin to having a religious cult coming to us and trying to get us to convert to their religion?  It’s annoying to say the least. To say it as it is, I’m ready to strangle the next Vegan who tries to spout off how superior they are for their menu choices.

By all means, if strawberries, almond milk and quinoa are your thing, eat it until you look like one or many of them.  I won’t stop you.  I honestly don’t care what you eat or don’t eat.  That’s your choice.  Remember that point.  It’s not mine.  Get it….it’s not my eating choices.  It’s yours.

Yes, I know you’re going to spout off in great detail as to how inhumanely animals are raised and slaughtered.  Don’t bother bringing out the Power Point presentation as I’ve heard it all before.  Really…I have.

Hormones and chemicals secreted in meats and dairy products especially, just before slaughter?  Oh, snap…no!  I’ve never heard that before.  I don’t have Google and don’t know how to look things up.  Gosh, I must learn how to do that.  Maybe, I haven’t eaten enough Acai?

I’m not about to get into the entire debate about eating whatever and the arguments one can bring out on both sides of the coin. However, I do know a few people who have put their cats on a Vegan/Vegetarian diet (obligate carnivores for their systems) and the cats died.  Wonder why?  I also know people who have put their small children, babies and toddlers onto Vegan/Vegetarian eating patterns and not supplied the necessary supplements as they grew so, the children have health issues now.  Again…wonder why?  To add one further point, I know Vegans/Vegetarians who will go to great lengths to spew out how we are saving animals, they love animals etc. but, will not have a cat, dog, fish, bird or any other form of animal nor, take them into their care because “they make messes in their homes”.  Just “WOW” is all that I can say when they get to that point.

Let me say this as simply as I can.

I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU EAT.  I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DON’T EAT.  I DON’T CARE IF YOU EAT LIKE A RABBIT.  YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TURN ME INTO A VEGAN UNLESS I SUDDENLY DECIDE THAT IT’S WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ME.  

There, I’ve said it.  I’m sure that I’m not alone in saying what millions of meat eaters want to say but, fear getting into a debate over.

Whether you’ve chosen to be a Vegan, Vegetarian or you’re an Omnivore, you have the right to do what you wish.  It’s your choice but, respect the fact that I have mine and I really and truly do not want you in my face about your eating patterns.  If I want to know about your eating patterns, I will ask you.  You don’t need to ram it down my throat, ok?

Ok.  Enough said.  Point across.

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life.

(Addition Jan. 25, 2017:  Dear Readers, I will no longer be reading, approving or responding to comments on this blog post.  Thank you.)  

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness Part IV: Change A Thought

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There was once a time on a trip where I started to feel “odd”.  I told my husband and fellow travellers that I was feeling strange but, couldn’t peg what it was that was feeling off.  My husband, in all of his wisdom, asked if my stomach was upset, headache, toothache, ear ache, body pain and the list went on almost endlessly until I finally realized something.

“NOTHING is wrong,” I shrieked out with delight. “I’m feeling great!”

For the first time in years, I had no aches, pains, headaches, not even my allergies were acting up.  As a matter of fact, I was feeling darned fabulous.  So, what was my problem?  Why did I think I was feeling so poorly?  The answer was simple.  I wasn’t used to feeling no pain, angst, anxiety or even allergies.  I was used to feeling miserable in one way or another.  Feeling wonderful was a foreign feeling to me so, I thought something was wrong with me.  How sad is that?

Our reality, our happiness, is what we allow ourselves to become used to feeling.  If we feel miserable 90% of the time, the feeling of being miserable is what we’ve become used to and therefore, anything outside of that misery, feels foreign to us.  We measure our wellbeing and happiness, according to how we usually feel and want to get back to that familiar feeling even if we hate it.  It’s what’s familiar to us.  It’s what we see as our “normal” in spite of our blood pressure being through the roof or our stomach in knots almost every day, if not every day.  That’s our gauge.

In my last segment on happiness, I requested that you take note of the thoughts that ran through your head for a couple of days and jot some of them down.  If you weren’t able to do that yet, stop reading here and do it then, come back and continue reading.  It will help you to see where we tend to go wrong in our days with our thinking patterns.  Remember that our thoughts can create our emotions so, if we change our thoughts, we can change our emotions.

I journaled my thoughts over the past couple of days.  My thoughts went something like this:

  • The cat threw up 3 times in one week. She must have a stomach tumour. She’s going to die.
  • I have 3 doctor’s appointments in one day coming up.  How could I be so stupid to book in all of those appointments in one day?  I’m not going to get to them all.  Traffic will be bad and if it’s not, how am I going to fill in the time between appointments?  I’m not going to get through this day.  I’ll be exhausted.
  • The vacuum just quit.  Now, I’m going to have to buy a new vacuum and I can’t afford it.  In the meantime, my allergies are going to go nuts with all of this fur and dander.  I’m going to feel like I have a cold 24/7.  I’m sure getting this fixed will cost as much as a new vacuum.  I’m sunk.
  • My brother is in trouble, mentally, emotionally and physically but, my sister-in-law  doesn’t like me.  I have no money to give him and he won’t call me to talk or come to see me.  I can’t help my brother and he’s going to end up in a psychiatric facility or a hospital.
  • It’s been over a year since I last saw or talked to my daughter.  She’s taken off with a drug-riddled, demented jerk and I will never see her again.  I’m cutting her out of my Will.  I never should have had a child.  I shouldn’t have put all of my energy into raising her to make her happy.  Now I have nothing to show for all of those years.  I’ve wasted 34 years of my life.

That’s only a few of my thoughts these past few days.  Can you spot a pattern in my thinking?  Does your stomach sink while reading my thoughts?  Aren’t those thoughts alone, enough to have you wanting to curl up into a ball even if this is my life, not yours?

In practically all of my thoughts, I can see a pattern that emerges and know that I do it to myself.  I can see that most of my thoughts are not only negative but, they’re catastrophic thoughts and they are fortune-telling with a doom and gloom or worst case scenario style ending.  Instead of simply recognizing that the cat threw up 3 times in the week and assessing her other daily habits (eating, playing, purring etc.), I leapt to the conclusion that she had a tumour and was dying.  In actual fact, she threw up a hairball a day or 2 later.  Rather than seeing that my brother and my daughter’s choices were not within my power to rectify unless they wanted me to help them (which I would gladly do), I jumped to some pretty horrific conclusions about them both.  As for my vacuum, my neighbour had an extra vacuum which she gave to me the next day and can keep until I can afford another one.  The 3 doctor’s appointments in one day, I’ve yet to experience but, I’m sure that I will get through them even if I see it as the world about to cave in on me.  None of them are life threatening appointments and are, for all intents and purposes, preventative rather than appointments that need to go to but, I can’t and won’t cancel them. I simply know now that I should check my planner and space these things a little better in the future.  Lesson learned and there’s nothing catastrophic about going to have a coffee in between if I’m early for one or another of them.

However, I’m sure that I’m not alone in how I think.  Even if your patterns don’t match mine or, you’re nowhere near as bad as I am with my thinking patterns, we can all learn that our thoughts can have great impact in how we’re feeling at any given time.  Our happiness or, in my case, lack of it, depends upon how we think.  We have power over our thoughts no matter how deeply ingrained they may be.  We can learn how to think differently.

There’s more to being happy than our thinking patterns but, that’s for another entry and it’s coming.  If you haven’t checked your own thinking patterns thus far, give it a try.  Even writing them on a napkin or a scrap piece of paper will suffice.  See if you can find a pattern to your thinking.  Let me know what you find by leaving me a comment.

More to come.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness Part III: Can Our Thoughts Create Un-Happiness?

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As adults, we’ve become trained as well as training ourselves, into believing that we are responsible for all that happens in our lives and if we are parents, in our children’s or even spouse’s lives.  That means that we often place the burdens of making everyone happy and taking everyone’s happiness, well-being and other needs onto our own shoulders.

We’ve also learned that “bad things” can happen and often do.  We listen to the news every night which is geared towards only the catastrophic, death, war, politics and we are seeing loved ones, friends and others we cared about, dying.  We have lost that innocence that we possessed as children where the world is magical and besides a scraped knee or a fight with a friend (which usually lasts a whole day or two before playing again with one another), we don’t know that the world can be a hard, cold and harsh place.

If you have been reading my series on being happy, in Part II, I talked briefly about children, our childhoods and generally, most of us were fairly happy.  We found wonder and magic in practically everything that we did.  Of course, there are exceptions to that rule in families that were dysfunctional and children were fearful of every day and what it would bring.  On the whole though, as children, most children are happier than adults for some fairly simple reasons, the least of which is that our brains haven’t been trained or formed enough yet to see that life and this world can be a harsh place to be.

I’m not a neuroscientist nor, do I understand the mechanics of the human psyche or brain.  What I do know is that the way that we think is what affects our moods.  We cannot have an emotion, without having a thought.

Let’s take the example of a husband and wife coming home from work.  Both have put in full days so, they agree that making dinner shouldn’t be left up to one or the other but, should be done together.  There’s equal responsibility happening in this case and dinner is put onto the table.  The husband sits down, looking at what he sees and feels is a delicious looking meal to be eaten with his wife.  His feelings are those of joy and happiness.  The wife, on the other hand, sees the same dinner table, same food yet her feelings are anything but happy or joyful.  As a matter of fact, she has a knot in the pit of her stomach.

They are both facing the same table, same home, same meal, both did the work and both will clean up afterwards.  There’s seemingly no difference, is there?  However, there’s a difference in their feelings.  Why?  What is it that makes two people, facing the exact same situation and circumstances, same responsibilities, feel so differently?  And, no…it’s not because men are from Mars.

The difference is their thoughts.

Husband is thinking thoughts like:

  • “Look at my wife.  I’m so lucky to be able to share this dinner with her tonight.”
  • “Aren’t we lucky to have that slow cooker?  That pork roast looks so delicious.”
  • “After dinner, I’m going to stretch out on the couch and watch the ball game.  I’ve been looking forward to that all day.”
  • “This smells so good and I’m really hungry tonight.  I can’t wait to dive into this dinner.”

Wife is thinking these thoughts:

  • “I should have made just a salad.  Look at the calories in this dinner and the potatoes are carbs galore.  I’ve ruined an entire day’s worth of eating healthy.  There goes my diet.”
  • “I really should put away that slow cooker.  It’s too easy to throw in a roast and add quick side dishes.  I’m getting lazy now with cooking. I’ve been lazy with everything lately.  I’m really a bad person and wife! What is wrong with me?”
  • “After dinner, I’m going to have to get onto that treadmill and work out to burn off some of these calories.  Oh, wait, I can’t.  I told Clara that I’d call her to work out the plans for our bridge get together next week.  Why did I think I should play bridge?”
  • “Now, I’ve lost my appetite.”

Two people with extremes in thinking.  That’s the only difference between the shared experience with one feeling joy and happiness and the other, feeling like they’re having a panic attack.

Happiness is a complex emotion and involves many different mechanisms.  Women cannot think like men necessarily as women have hormones and all sorts of brain wirings (again, I’m not a neurologist or scientist) that men don’t.  Women can be thinking 20 thoughts at once while men are really only focusing on the task at hand for the most part.  That’s not to say that men don’t worry or can’t become obsessive over things too but, it’s to say that the thinking patterns in men and women are different therefore, what a man finds as happiness, a woman may not.  A lot of that will have to do with a difference in thinking patterns and thoughts.  We also can’t include people who have a true mental/emotional disorder or brain chemical imbalance in this but, by and large, most who can’t find happiness, are searching for it when much like The Wizard of Oz, the answer was right there all along, under their noses.  Their thinking patterns.

Change a thought and you change the emotion.

It’s this concept that makes a difference.  Children are generally happier because they don’t know enough to be worried, fretful, concerned, upset etc., at least not for long.  An adult has been trained to see the bad first and the good second.  A child will see almost every moment as an opportunity to find something to make them happy while an adult will usually find something in every moment to be concerned about.  That’s trained into us as we grow and our brains mature.  It’s also part of our experiences but, on the whole, adults tend to be far less happy than children because they’ve trained their thinking patterns into those of worry, fear, upset, self-belittling, catastrophes, blocking out most of the positives in life.  Life and other people teach us to think that way as we grow.  Teachers, bosses, peers, co-workers, media and so much more.  Even Facebook can make us feel like we’re losers because everyone else’s lives seem charmed when looking at their personal walls by comparison.  It’s not them who do it to us.  It’s us.  We know that no one’s lives are as perfect, joyful or seemingly wonderful as what is portrayed on Facebook yet, we still take it at face value on a subconscious basis.  Equally, or more one-dimensional, is the news where it’s filled with disasters, death, wars and creates things to fear.

More than anything, we learn as we grow to become “responsible” and we long since have given up on things that used to make us happy.  We can’t find the time any longer for such trivial things.

We have “too much to do and take care of,” we reason within ourselves. “There’s no time for laying back in the grass, relaxing, watching the clouds and I’d break bones if I rolled down a hill now.  Did I put sunscreen on?  I don’t want skin cancer!”

If you doubt what is being said here, take the time for the next day or two to make a list of the thoughts that run through your mind.  Don’t edit them.  Just write them out.  I’m going to be doing the same thing and, we’ll regather to see if we can see patterns, ok?

In the meanwhile, stay tuned for Part IV on being happy.  It’s coming.

 

Happiness Part II: Childhood Making It Easy

Happiness is not an eternal state of bliss or, walking around feeling totally content, singing out loud with a smile plastered on your face 24/7.  It also doesn’t mean that you are never going to feel down, grief, upset, anger or any of the negative emotions one can think of to insert into the equation.  Happiness is complex and yet simple at the same time.  It’s the state in which one feels that for the most part, one has freedom and a sense of control over one’s life even if only for part of your day.

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I remember summer days seeming eternally long and adventuresome as a child.  Every morning that I opened my eyes was a chance for something wonderful to happen, something magical.  I’d leap out of bed with both eagerness and joy to begin my day. I loved to play out in the sun or making blanket forts, climbing my grandparent’s tree or just laying back in the grass, looking up at the clouds, creating pictures in my mind as to what shapes they formed.  I also took pleasure in eating ice-cold popsicles from the freezer, ice cream cones or tumbling down a hill and the feeling of freedom as I rolled and rolled, seemingly endlessly.  Winter snowball fights were filled with laughs and giggles, unless one struck me on the face and hurt, in which case, I’d run into the house, crying until Mommy told me it was alright and back outside I went to play again.  Jumping in puddles, building snow forts, playing in mud and making mud-pies, splashing in water, letting waves at the beach wash up over my legs and back while I constructed sand castles.  Just about everything I did, made me feel happy back then.

Children have the easiest time being happy and feeling happy.  Part of that reason for that is that they don’t yet have the understanding that things can go wrong in life.  The other part of that reasoning is that children don’t yet have many responsibilities nor, the understanding of what it’s like to have to make decisions which can oftentimes, have serious consequences for themselves and, or others.

Have you ever noticed a child, playing with toys or, frolicking in water, carefree and seemingly amused by simple things in life?  The joy and even concentration that the child shows while participating in such activities can make an adult wonder, “what went wrong with me?  Why am I not happy like that with things anymore?”  The answer, of course, is that we grew up and have had to face the reality of both advanced abilities to think as well as responsibilities that have mounted onto our shoulders.  When was the last time that you saw a child, sitting, pensively worrying about how to pay bills, keep a roof over their heads, food on the table or clothes on their backs?  While we may see a younger person ask questions like, “what’s happening with Grandma?  Is she going to be able to play later on?” we rarely see them worry about it much beyond whatever answers we choose to give to them.  Answers like, “no, Grandma is sick…very sick.  She’s going to Heaven and won’t be here with us anymore soon,” will conjure up perhaps, a sad, curious look on the child’s face and maybe some tears but, neither that look nor the crying  will last long.  For the most part, the child will fairly quickly go back to playing or whatever they were doing previous to asking their question.  Once again, they feel either contented in doing what they are doing or, go back to singing and playing, seemingly happily.  They don’t know enough or haven’t yet trained their minds to worry, fear, feel or understand loss, responsibilities or imagine the consequences of their actions or choices much beyond the idea of “if I don’t go to bed or brush my teeth, Mommy/Daddy will be mad at me.”

As adults, we’ve learned that every choice and decision that we make, has a consequence attached.  Furthermore, we’ve learned that we have responsibilities towards not only ourselves but, to others in this world as well.  One way or another, we are no longer the centre of our universe and there’s no one else who is going to shoulder those choices, responsibilities etc., for us.  That’s where fear comes into play especially, when we doubt ourselves.  We also fear that others will dislike or even hate us if we don’t live up to either their expectations or our own.

A child will feel loved for the most part.  He/she will have faith that someone, somewhere, somehow, loves them for who they are, as they are.  Whether that be Mommy and Daddy or Mommy and Mommy or Daddy and Daddy, a child usually feels loved.  Feeling loved is an important part of feeling happy.  Whether Grandma goes to Heaven or not, is of not much importance as long as Mommy and Daddy love him/her and will be there for him/her.  That’s what’s lacking in most adults.  We don’t feel certain of love nor, our worthiness of being loved.  We tend to doubt it within ourselves to some level or another and that’s where we get into trouble.  We start depending upon other people to mirror back to us what they are feeling towards us in order to know one way or another.  We stop simply feeling worthy of being loved and start relying upon others to let us know if we are worthy of love or not.

In Part I, I mention that relying upon other people or possessions to make us feel happy, is a potential disaster, waiting to happen because at any given time, it can all be taken away from us or, simply disappear and leave us without that safety net or reassurance.  Everything can become an unhealthy dependency.  That’s not to say that we shouldn’t love other people or be able to rely upon them.  Not at all.  What it is saying is that when we base our happiness solely upon other people and our possessions, we are setting ourselves up for a great likelihood of some or all of that being removed from our lives and therefore, we can be left feeling uncertain, helpless, hopeless, far less than worthy as well as unhappy.  In this type of scenario, where we base all of our happiness on other people and, or possessions, we are handing over our own power of being happy to others or things.  We are giving it away but, we need to hold some of that within ourselves and for our own wellbeing.  Happiness comes from within, not others or things.

Back to our child scenario.  As children, we have to depend upon others for our wellbeing.  We cannot cook, do our laundry or tell ourselves what’s dangerous for us to be doing or not doing.  We do have to rely upon others for those types of things as we don’t know enough to be able to function on our own.  Our teddy bears or dolls or blankets that we carry around have become “security” items as well for us and soothe us.  We rely upon possessions for our happiness as well.  There is no choice in the matter but, we don’t know the difference yet.  We don’t know that these things can be taken away from us or us, from them.  We rely upon faith and lack of knowledge that they can leave or be taken away.  Childhood is a magical time where though we have fears, cry, become frustrated, irritated, angry etc., for the most part, we are happy.

How do we find happiness again as adults?  Can it exist?  Is it possible?

Part III coming up soon.

 

 

 

Why Happiness Does Not Come From Other People Or Possessions Part I

If there’s anything that I’ve learned, it’s that happiness does not come in the form of other human beings or possessions.  Both can leave or be taken away in a moment’s notice.

~J.Wilson-Hull~

For years, I had a huge family, friends and while not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, often having to scrounge to pay off bills, I had what I needed for the most part.  I thought I was happy.  Of course, everyone grumbles about something or other, no matter how much we have in our lives but, in all reality, I was secure in my little world.

As the years went on, those in my life whom I had relied upon most, began dying, one by one.  Some passed on at ripe old ages and were expected but, a good majority of them, left this planet at younger ages than one would hope, want or expect.  That included 2, possibly 3, suicides that left those of us left behind in shock, grief and feeling guilt and regret, complicating the grieving process more.  There was scarcely time to recoup from one death before another would hit until eventually, almost everyone I had that made up my secure little world, had gone, vanished to some other realm or perhaps, nothing.

Those who were left, started to become disconnected from one another for the most part.  Sadly, it seemed that if we weren’t attending to our own mourning processes, we simply had nothing left in common with the few who remained.  In other words, the “glue” that had held us all together, had dissolved and left us with pieces that could not be put back together again in the way that we had been accustomed.

It’s ironic how people will find things out about others that we didn’t know once the glitter and lights have been stripped away.  It’s even more baffling as to what we find out about ourselves when we are left with nothing but ourselves to face.  We realize how much of a distraction other people and possessions had created for us not to have to face ourselves, our vulnerabilities and our innermost thoughts, feelings, flaws, warts and all.

More key is the fact that we are forced to face our deepest fears because we are no longer having much else to concentrate on except for ourselves.  We often use others and their needs as an excuse for not looking into ourselves and dealing with the troubling aspects that we might have or might not have known existed within us, let alone dealing with them.  That’s when harsh, cold reality sets in.

What’s added to that is that while we were once focused on so many people or possessions that we didn’t take the time to face ourselves, we also didn’t see other people for who they were or perhaps, that side of them came out afterwards?  It’s kind of like the age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Only hindsight might tell us but even then, it may be masked because others were doing what you were doing, focusing on others and possessions.

A few things have become clearer to me as I am slowly waking up to reality.

People take care of Number One…Themselves so, you need to take care of you first too.

As selfish as that may sound, the concept is much like the idea of putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping someone else put on theirs.  The idea behind that is that if you can’t function, it’s impossible for you to help anyone else.  If you’re constantly running around, trying to help/fix everyone else’s problems, you’re going to wear out and will eventually burn out.  If others have learned that simple concept of taking care of self first, you may find that you’re left behind the 8 ball with no help when you are at your lowest.  Take care of you first, then you can help others but, be careful in  how much help you give others.

Just as we can become dependent upon others for their help and security, others can become dependent upon us.  We all must learn to stand on our own two feet too. 

It’s always nice to have someone or several someones that we can rely upon when we truly need help.  Not many of us are so totally independent that we’re not in need of other people.  However, we also must remember that by relying upon others all of the time for our help or, in causing them to become reliant upon us for their lives, we run the risk of losing that help for one reason or another.  Death is not the only cause.  Moves, fights, illnesses, estrangements, retirements etc., can also be ways in which we lose other’s help and their security.  It’s paramount that we all learn that we have power within ourselves and when we can’t do something for ourselves, there are other people in this world who can help us as well.  There’s no shame in asking for help but, when we become reliant upon certain other people for our wellbeing and lives, we are letting ourselves down.  We may find ourselves incapable of moving forward on our own should those people leave our lives for any reason.  That includes family and friends alike as no one is a sure thing in our lives and, no one is 100% reliable or infallible.

Our happiness and security doesn’t come from others or possessions but rather, it comes from within ourselves.  

Some may have learned this far earlier than I have recognized this fact.  Kudos to those who have done so already.  I have been learning this slowly over time and with losses of both people and possessions that I had built upon as my “happiness”.

Upon the deaths and estrangements once the “glue” was gone in other people, I have learned that reliance upon anyone other than ourselves and our own means for our happiness is bound to be a failing endeavour at some point or another.  People and possessions are not permanent fixtures in our lives, even if it may seem as though they are at the current moment.  People “break” as do possessions and oftentimes, they can’t be fixed nor, replaced.  Relying upon them for our happiness is like relying upon thin ice to hold us up on its surface.  We have to learn that happiness is within us and, other people as well as possessions are simply aids to that happiness not the crux of it.

There’s a good introduction to the topic but, there’s a lot more that I’ve learned along my travels through life that I will share in Part II.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Who Is Rory’s Baby Daddy On Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life?

It’s been since November 25th, 2016 that we’ve been handed 4 brand new episodes of Gilmore Girls thanks to Netflix being brave enough to have revived it from the ashes like the phoenix.  We are forever grateful to the Powers That Be at Netflix, Warner Bros., the cast of Gilmore Girls and, of course, writers and producers Amy Sherman-Pallidino and hubby, Dan Palladino.  However, enough is enough so, if you haven’t watched these 4 movie-length episodes and don’t know the final 4 words yet, you’re out of luck because even the title of this piece has spoiled it for you.  Now, we need to know who the father of Rory’s baby is, how Rory and Lorelai deal with this baby and so much more.  There’s millions of Gilmore Girls Fans out here, waiting for more Gilmore Girls to be born from ASP and DP’s brilliant minds and Netflix can be the god who makes that happen for us all.  Hint, hint, Netflix.

Netflix has posted what may be a teaser tweet recently that has the millions of Gilmore Girls fans leaping for joy that there could possibly be more Gilmore Girls to come.  Let’s all hope and pray to the television production gods that there are.

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Netflix tweeted this photo with a caption that read, “Where’s an eighth grade science fair when you need one? #GilmoreGirls”

Co-writer and producer, Dan Palladino stated in a recent interview that there were plenty of hints given as to who the father was though Rory seemed to want to go it alone after having visiting her father who wasn’t around for her own childhood much of the time.  She then reveals to her mother, final shot, final famous 4 words, “Mom”, “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant”, fade to black.

“I think a lot of clues are out there,” Dan Palladino said in an interview recently.  “I know with the time passage it wasn’t 100 percent clear, but we also didn’t have her engage with who she thought was the father. She felt like she was going ahead on this, deciding what to do and how to do it solo, that’s why we had her go to her father.”

So, who could the father be?

There were old boyfriends and a new boyfriend who showed up in the 4 episodes as well as a one night stand with a guy in a Wookie costume that we know of thus far.

Let’s look at Dean, (Jared Padalecki).  He was Rory’s first boyfriend in the show.  He showed up for an extremely quick, short scene, married and seemingly uninterested in Rory as anything more than an old friend from Stars Hollow.  Not much even hinted there.  Besides, Padalecki is quite busy starring in his own show, “Supernatural”.  It’s not likely to be him nor, was there any hint or room left for him to be Rory’s love interest, let alone baby daddy.

There was poor Paul, played by Jack Carpenter that no one could remember was ever there, including Rory.  She kept leaving him and having to go back for him.  Even Lorelai, Luke and Grandma Emily couldn’t remember ever having met him though Rory had allegedly been dating him for at least 2 years.  If Rory couldn’t remember him being there when he went to the bathroom, it’s likely that he wasn’t the father of her child.  It seems unlikely that she’d have unzipped her pants and remembered he was in the room, long enough for anything to happen between the 2 of them.  Let’s strike pathetic Paul out as simply the guy who filled a space.

Next candidate we have is Jess Mariano played by Milo Ventimiglia of “This Is Us” fame and now up for a Golden Globe Award for his part in that show.  That means that the show is likely to be going on for at least another season with NBC and Milo (Jess) will be locked into it.  His appearance on the revival 4 episodes was extremely limited and not too revealing as to there being anything between them that could have led to a romantic interlude where Rory would get caught up in a pregnancy.  I think it’s safe to rule Jess out as the sperm donor.

Last but, not least from Rory’s roster of old boyfriends, we have Logan, played by Matt Czuchry.  Logan was Rory’s longest and most deep love.  During the 4 episodes, Rory had been sneaking around to see and sleep with Logan while jet-setting it back and forth between Stars Hollow and London, England where Logan has taken residence to work for his father, in his father’s business and run it.  Uncharacteristically, Rory knows that Logan is engaged to be married to a wealthy woman, likely chosen by the Huntzberger family or his father yet, still sleeps with Logan whenever there, lying to her mother, Lorelai that she’s staying in England with a girl friend.  What is clear though is that while Czuchry was still embroiled in a role with “The Good Wife” at the time this was being filmed, the series is done and Czuchry is now out of work.  Does that mean that he’s Rory’s baby’s father?  It’s an interesting thought but, one has to wonder given that Rory and Logan had lived together during the original series and the plot line never had her pregnant, it’s likely that birth control was taken care of both then and now.  The only time that it could have happened, without warning would have been during Logan’s surprise but, final visit to see Rory in Stars Hollow where she bid him farewell, knowing that he was set to marry “Odette” and didn’t want to keep up the charade of a relationship any longer.  Though, it wouldn’t be Rory’s first indiscretion.  Rory lost her virginity to a married Dean and considered him, hers, not his wife’s.

There’s another possibility that was left in the show.  A one night stand with a “guy dressed in a Wookie costume” which was highly uncharacteristic of Rory to have done but, then again, not much that Rory did in these 4 episodes was characteristic of her character.  Even then, this Wookie character was nothing but a comedic rant for Rory to have given, unless it was Logan, dressed up as a Trekkie and meeting up with Rory as yet, another surprise visit from England?  Not likely but, Logan (Matt Czuchry) does know who the father is as Amy Sherman-Palladino left him with that knowledge.  He won’t reveal that news however, he does hint that there could be more episodes to come as it’s left a lot of unanswered questions and room for a future series to come.  Great timing since “The Good Wife” is ending for a spin-off series that he won’t be involved in apparently.

Finally, there was an outlandish guess by some fans that Rory was acting as a surrogate for Lorelai and Luke’s baby.  I, personally, will dismiss this idea because Luke was abhorred by the idea of anyone else having his child except for Lorelai.  The fact that Luke also considered Rory as his pseudo daughter, would make it far too creepy an idea.  I’m tossing that one out with my empty Diet Pepsi can as I type this right now.

In taking Dan Palladino’s hint that there are hints, though time may have lost them (meaning that they were held back in the original series which would require watching them all again in spite of many of us, having watched them more than 2 or 3 times each), we could let our imaginations run wild in figuring it out.  However, from my little corner of life, I think that there are millions of us out here who are chomping at the bit for there to be more Gilmore Girls and the series to re-start so that we can get more answers and start fresh again in 2017/2018 and beyond.

Netflix, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino…are you listening?  Our voices are screaming out for more Gilmore Girls.