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Be happy with what you have, instead of yearning for what you're missing.

In the wonderful book "One True Thing" by Anna Quindlen, a mother is dying of cancer. She's talking with her grown daughter who narrates the story. Her mother says:

"If I knew you would be happy, I could close my eyes now and rest." Her voice was beginning to sink and die, as thought it was going down the drain, rush of words to trickle of whisper. "It's so much easier."

"Being happy. It's so much easier, to learn to love what you have instead of yearning always for what you're missing, or what you imagine you're missing. It's so much more peaceful."

This resonates with me. I feel happy being single. Volunteering as a college mentor and hiking bring great joy to my life. This is our life, not a rehearsal.

Your thoughts?

LiterateHiker 9 Mar 9
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8 comments

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1

Definitely enjoy your life it's rewarding

bobwjr Level 10 Mar 10, 2022
3

I think true happiness stems from living life authentically being who you are. You're an example of this. So many others on this website too. It took me awhile to stop living according to the expectations of others, but I've gotten there. I wouldn't trade this feeling of contentment for anything!

1

🎢and if you can’t be with the one you love, honey,🎢 love the one your with🎢

If you are not happy when you are alone then you are in the wrong company.

3

I choose to be happy instead of focusing on what I don't have. My kids love and respect me, my grands are healthy and thriving. I have enough to pay my bills, some luxuries, and some savings. I have my hobbies and my circle of friends. Yes, my car is 15 years old, but it's paid for and running fine. No I don't have a huge flat screen TV, but I don't want one. I don't watch TV, and that might be why I am content. I think TV advertising is designed to make you want to spend money you don't have. I have a job where I am treated with respect and that pays pretty well. I have outlived my own mother by 19 years, and have now lived almost 50 years without her. She never met any of her grandchildren. I don't have a significant other, but I'm not sure how I would find time for one, although if the right person shows up I will seriously consider how to manage that. All things considered I am doing quite well.

In 1999 I sold my television and do not miss it.

@ASTRALMAX I still have mine. I have Netflix, Roku, and a DVD player πŸ™‚ When the grands are here sometimes I can be persuaded to find something for them to watch. And sometimes when I'm working on a handcraft I will turn on a movie while I work. I crocheted a blanket for the grandson and watched the TV series House while I worked on it. Right now I'd say the TV has not been on for a month.

@HippieChick58 Sometimes, when I visit friends I watch a movie with them on their TV. I prefer to spend some time chatting with friends online or research articles and listening to music or watching video clips on Youtube.

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3

Perhaps, but then I think that it's important to have dreams. I'm a fan of bhuddist and Kabat-zin's idea of accepting where you are, but I don't think that means we shouldn't strive for something better for ourselves or the world around us. Not as criticism because we are all similar, but even you, your behaviour is not that of someone who is not yearning for what you feel is missing as although you say you're happy being single, your continuous search for a partner is incongruent with that. Although you acknowledge happiness with one condition you search for better and act as if you may be happier in different circumstances. Isn't that conceptually the same as yearning towards what you feel is missing?
It's easy for someone who is dying to say, be happy with what you have, but maybe that is the first step to dying peacefully. I think I'd rather continue to yearn for better, and I think your behaviour shows you agree with me. 🀣

@Cyklone

Of course I set goals for myself.

Since the pandemic started, I stopped looking for a male partner.

I want an athletic, intelligent Democrat with a good sense of humor. Who enjoys laughter, conversation, sex and hiking. Who treats me with respect and kindness. A tall order.

I refuse to get married or live with a man again.

@LiterateHiker I agree with all of that (but the gender). I'm trekking The South Coast Track in Tasmania next month. ( I couldn't post a link so you'll have to google). Around 8 days with nothing but what's on your back and it'll be the 5th time I've done it. I meet a lot of different nationalities and wonderful people on some of these tracks because they're world heritage but I suspect your difficulty in meeting a nice american man is because all the good ones have left 🀣🀣🀣

2

This is a perfect example of one of the core tenets of Stoicism: Amor Fati.

Well stated.

@Mitch07102

It's also Buddhist.

5

I'm not sure if the following proverb originated in ancient China: "The more you want the less you understand. The more you understand the less you want." From my observations I have seen little evidence that caused me to think that the ultra rich are happy or content with their lives.

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