Pursue Happiness

Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Resolute  :  1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion. 2. characterized by firmness and determination, as in temper, spirit, actions, etc.

The tradition of New Year's resolutions dates back to ancient Rome. Romans acknowledged the god Janus at the beginning of a new year. Janus had two faces: one on the front of his head looking into the future and one on the back of his head looking into the past. Resolutions were born out of the Romans' desire to acknowledge the past year and resolve to not make the same mistakes the next year.

I've thought long and hard about my resolution for 2012. There were a few years where I didn't make resolutions because I feel they are cliche. People establish lofty goals and then...for instance...stop going to the gym by February 28th.

2011 realized a simple resolution for me: add to the family. I wanted to adopt a playmate for Violet (cat) and found Lily (another cat) at the local animal shelter. She is a lovely addition and was such a comfort to me during difficult and depressing times this year. Lily is a lover and rarely stops purring.

In 2010, my resolution, which I did not remember (not a good sign), was RAC (Rebel Against Consumerism). The idea was to be happy without stock piling costly things. How many things do we have that just take up space? I take items to the thrift store several times a year and it reminds me that I spend money on stuff, at a rapid pace, for no good reason.

In 2009, I remembered and followed my goal as much as possible throughout the year. It centered around the idea of ELM (Enjoy Life More). I conjured up ELM many times over 2009 and it helped in the moment. Overall, I felt more relaxed and remembered to laugh at most small disappointments.

In 2012, I plan to pursue happiness. I'm thankful to be young(ish), strong and smart with the freedom to run after my goals and dreams. Pursuing happiness sounds a bit silly to the pragmatic (I fall into that category) but perhaps that's why it is important. I'm not one to sit around pondering happiness or any feeling for that matter. I spend time thinking about accomplishments, achievements, how others perceive me, areas in which I've failed and the speed at which I check goals off of a list.

A successful and fast-paced professional life is fulfilling to the extent that you don't have time to think about anything else. Now I have some time to consider my personal life and I don't want to look back in 10 years and wish that I did more to tend to it.

Pursing personal happiness will not be easy for me because I first need to recognize what it is exactly that makes me happy. It is time to consider my needs. For the past 11 years I was happy when I nailed a live shot, completed an in-depth report that my colleagues commented on favorably or received an award for fighting for media rights. Now, in a new career arena, I have immense professional and intellectual challenges but they occupy a different sort of space.

This time in my life could be comparable to a mediocre artist sitting down to paint. The canvas has been primed and stretched. All of the needed tools are within reach but there is no confidence on how the colors should begin to touch the surface. In the analogy, I see paint being brushed on under the light of self awareness. Why not pursue my happiness rather than someone else's? Does that make me selfish?

I used to think those who went after their own joy and listened to their heart over their head were unwise. In the last few years, I've changed my mind. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, only today. I would be wasting the miracle of existence to pursue anything but joyful living because I believe if we capture happiness, we can exude positive energy to those around us. Wouldn't that be a wonderful contribution to the New Year?

Let's explore happiness together in 2012. Whether it be learning to play an instrument, starting a journal, planning a trip, or spending one meaningful night a week with family, we should choose something that makes us happy and cling to it. Now I have to figure out what that is for me. xo

1 comment

Jessica Collins said...

That's exactly what I resolved this year! I even journaled my "resolutions for happiness": http://www.boun-see.blogspot.com/2012/01/boun-sing-ideas-resolutions-for.html

Sounds like the pursuit of knowledge is one thing that makes you happy:)