My only Plan to Happiness


It’s 15:52 – I find it a lot more convenient nowadays to tell time in that format – and the apartment looks all sort of homely for a writer. I don’t really mean it in a very nice way. I mean it like how you appreciate going home to your dirty room. But referring to the current situation, everything’s fine. It’s a quiet afternoon, rather lazy; the apartment is clean; no radios; and the television is turned off. Everything appears yellowish and warm because of the yellow curtains covering the window; I always keep them down. With the apartment always closed when I’m alone and my habit of going out at sundown, my neighbors have all the reason to suspect that I’m a vampire. But no, we don’t have vampires here in the Philippines. The closest equivalent for one will be the aswang. If you are by any chance unfamiliar with it, I’m leaving the research work to you. But still I’m not one. But I will allow you to call me weird. It’s a truth I’ve learned to accept.

I’ve just gone back to reading after a stressful month of bidding for this certain contract from a bank. No we still haven’t got any news on the winner of the contract but things are a lot better now. I could go back to sleeping six to seven hours before getting up for work. Yes, sleeping is a luxury when you’re living an hour and a half to two hours away from your office. I’ve also returned to watching some shows on the television and quite started to watch whatever routine I have to keep myself happy and satisfied. No I’m not going to sell the healthy living and good life drama but you can say that I’m changing my lifestyle for the better.

I cannot be perfectly organized, that’s what I have learned. I could be a really good planner when I have to and that is undeniably good in the workplace but I just could not and should not plan my life the same way. I could only plan events to a certain detail else I’d get tied up to my own plans; I’d be keeping watch of a list every single day; executing the plan will be a must; failure to accomplish everything listed will be painful; and there will be a great chance of missing the side treats. In short, planning getting a life to the tiniest detail will be like not getting a life at all but merely following a series of steps or worse a routine, which is ironic ’cause that’s the thing you tried to avoid in the first place.

Okay, having a detailed plan could work for some of us. I could understand that. But since my goal is to make myself happy with my life, I’d like to start with things I really like to do. And having a detailed plan of action is definitely not part of it. So what’s my high level plan?

My plan can be simply stated as do whatever it is that will make you happy but always be aware of consequences. Yes, that could be a real problem to some if happiness for them comes with robbing a bank. But I’m a simple man who finds happiness in simple things so I think there will be less thinking of awful consequences. Corny as it may seem, that could help me embrace what life has to offer and enjoy it. That’s a lot better than choosing to be an expert on things and quite forcing myself to work hard thinking that’s where I’d get the satisfaction. That’s what I used to do.

I’m not saying that I’m setting my career aside. What I’m saying is you could always try to achieve something good but there’s a thin line between working hard and working too hard for something that will surely come in time. Work can get me well, working, but it surely should not dictate the things I should do with the rest of my life. Let’s say that I’m planning to enjoy the view from the side line for now as opposed to being in the ring with the other fighters competing to be the best. I’ll just do whatever I can, whenever I can if that’s what pleases me. Maybe then I could listen to Billy Joel’s Vienna without getting too depressed. So what is it that I want to do in the days to come?

I want to explore places and things. I want to go out more at daytime – yes, “daytime” should eliminate the idea that I’m planning party-rocking. I want to be more active in things that don’t necessarily involve the industry I’m working on; things that are really enjoyable where you can choose not to be dead serious. And on top of it all, I want to do it without a list and without forcing myself. Happiness is freedom and freedom certainly has nothing to do with forcing oneself. I just want to be open to all the opportunities that will come. Opportunities that I used to turn down before for being overly practical or too worried of how things will turn out or just being me whose life revolves around work and doing it great.

So now I’m going out for a short walk and maybe treat myself with a cup of coffee afterwards; maybe continue reading a book tonight or plan a painting so that canvas I bought won’t stay blank any longer.

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