Things That Matter

IMG_5303We had lived in our house for over 22 years.  Over time our needs and lifestyle changed and this house did not feel quite right anymore.  So, we went house hunting and eventually found a home that felt perfect for us.

Even though we had a preference for a new home, we were not dependent on having it for our happiness together as a couple. 

This is evident to us when we contrast what we wanted in our new home with a very primitive cabin in the mountains, which has been in my husband’s family for nearly 50  years.  Even though it clearly lacks the amenities and conveniences to which we are accustomed, we always enjoy our time together there, which often includes other family members and friends as well. When vacationing there, we depend on a wood-burning stove for heat and cooking, which requires splitting wood.  We lack modern plumbing which means a trip to the outhouse when nature calls.  Not always desirable when it is raining or pitch dark outside.  There is no television or radio or cell phone reception, no wireless internet connection, no dishwasher, and no washer and dryer.  Although, lacking in modern conveniences, life is peacefully simple there. We are always happy and quite content in that primitive home.

These experiences clearly demonstrate to us that the external things in life are not what make us happy together.  We may have preferences, but we needn’t have them to be happy.  Rather, our happiness as a comes in the moments of true human connection. Those moments when seeing someone as “other” melts into a moment of experiencing ourselves as we are, as one.  This happens in little ways, such as a moment when our eyes connect, or we share a joke, or enjoy a beautiful sunset together, or suddenly laugh at an argument in which we  had just been so passionately engaged.   We can connect wherever we are:  at a wedding or a funeral, inside or outside, surrounded by luxury or the bare essentials, in a crowd or totally alone, in pleasant weather or in a storm.  Clearly, our happiness does not depend on our surroundings.

If I find myself obsessing about the things I think I have to have to be happy, I will pause to reflect on all the things that really matter. 


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