Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ups and Downs

Why it is so I will likely never know, but I find my life goes in cycles, discernible seasons of ups and downs. The pattern mystifies me because on ground level there isn't a great deal of difference in my life one day from another. Mine is very much the life of a working stiff who, to have the things that life has to offer, is obliged to put on the harness five days a week. My evenings, on a good day, consist of a bicycle ride, an improving book and dinner. We seldom escape to the orchestra or theatre for diversion. Our weekends are spent quietly wandering about our immediate universe discovering new places for lunch, hopefully by the water. It would of course be unimaginable that our fortunes would be always favourable, but by and large we haven't much to complain about.

Occasionally I regret that I haven't undertaken a project to save the world. How convenient it would be to have such a credential on one's c.v. And yet what time I have to myself is absorbed in doing what I already do, so I can't see that my agenda currently permits such altruism.

So there you have it! That's my life in a nutshell, as they say. But to get back to the matter of recurring themes it is nonetheless true that some days are better than others. I say this not in a breezy way for the differences are so significant as to cause me amazement at times. You would think that for someone like me whose life is so uneventful and even monotonous there couldn't possibly be such distinguishable highs and lows, and yet it is true.

It may be possible to write the recipe for happiness. I suspect the job isn't as difficult as one might at first be inclined to imagine. After all, happiness is fairly elemental, involving things like good health, an occupation and friends. Anything else is only by way of refinement I would think. Nonetheless this business of happiness is a bit of a tight rope walk requiring the balancing of some significant features. Those three components I suggested must be nourished, and often delicately so. Even if one disputes the prescription, however it is defined commands more than mere determination. One cannot merely charge ahead. It requires some thought. Ah, but as has been observed by the Bard himself, there's the rub! Thinking can be a dangerous exercise! This affliction appears to be the domain of humans alone. I have never heard of a cat which was plagued by needling thoughts.

In pursuit of the answer to the conundrum of daily happiness, it is not uncommon to find spiritualism of one sort or another making its way into the riddle. While there are some who swear by their faith, I am personally less than convinced of the precise medium by which to communicate with such powers. As a result, in all but exceptional circumstances, I tend to rely upon my own resources to sustain me.

One has to wonder whether chemical imbalances have anything to do with happiness. After all our housing is a combination of both mind and matter. Uncovering what connects the synapses is truly beyond comprehension, even if the medical people speculate upon the subject. As a result I am content to rely upon a good night's sleep and a nourishing meal as the preferred armoury.

As the sun is about to rise upon another day and we contemplate our upcoming adventures, I can with satisfaction report that today is one of the good ones, as much as the reasons for it confound me.

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