Happiness as a Means

    Happiness as a means to success
    Success as the way to happiness

    Did a double take when I read that. Actually I had to go back a few paragraphs, find the words, extrapolate (as they weren’t quite together). It was as if a magic highlighter started with Happiness, ended with Happiness and the middle made sense. The tumblers fell into place. The stars aligned. The moonstone turned just the right way to catch the moonbeam inside. Take your pick of expressions (or make up your own). Bottom line: Clarity. An ah-ha moment!

    I, like many, was reared with (indoctrinated with?) the belief success was quantifiable. Success consisted of many zeros in one’s bank account, massive stock portfolios and ownership of marketable commodities. (Real estate included.) Have those and you’ll be happy. That’s what life’s all about.

    Or is it?

    By the above definition of “success” I am a failure. Buying into that definition had me believing my unhappiness was deserved. After all, failures don’t deserve happiness.


    when I read (and reread) those statements, they resonated. Something clicked. Deep inside. A huge load — a heavy load I’d been dragging around for longer than I remember — lightened. Considerably! (Parts even dissipated.) Turned out I, aka Yours Truly, could be happy. Not only did I have a right to be happy, I deserved happy. The kicker was … [drum roll please!] … I WAS happy! Who knew? Certainly not I. There I was, actually happy, and didn’t have a clue. (Talk about being oblivious! lol)

    Having absorbed a single definition of happiness, one based on a quantifiable success — a definition of success I hadn’t (and probably won’t achieve) — I was backed into a corner of self-loathing and couldn’t see a way out. Suddenly, with those few words, my whole perspective changed. (Realigned with my core?) Of import was realizing I was free to be happy. I could be happy. I was happy. Said happy being my own personal happy. Not another’s. That which makes me happy won’t necessarily do it for anyone else. But this is my happiness. It’s right it should be very personal. It consists of the many Good Things and Little Happies which abound in my life. A few come to mind.


    ~The joy of living on s/v Doodlebug. Will I become a bone fide cruiser? Simply live aboard in an anchorage (or anchorages)? Travel the world or stay put? Doesn’t matter. I love living on this boat. Watching the comings and goings of other boats. Delighting in the weather-scapes, sunrises, sunsets, frolicking dolphins, flying Manta rays, boats slipping and sliding as they attempt to set anchor in a soft-bottom anchorage. I love puttering in it and on it.

    ~Can’t imagine words doing justice in describing the amazing and profound relationship I have with the Love of My Life. We have love between us, yes. (Of the unconditional sort.) We also have respect. Trust. Confidence. We have fun together. Like being together. We can talk about anything and everything. We’re free to disagree without fear of retribution. We freely partake of the joys (and benefits) which come with being in a committed, intimate and loving relationship.

    FERMENTABLES ~ What began as simple stories the Love of My Life told of cruising into anchorages with the smell of fresh sourdough bread baking, has morphed into major fun of the edible (and drinkable) sort. The myriad of fermentables I’m exploring continues to grow.

    ^Fermented Vegies. A carrot, sweet onion & cilantro mixture was a recent hit. Ditto Kimchi.

    ^Fermented Tea (a.k.a. Kombucha). At present I have citrus rinds flavoring my latest batch. Fun flavors to date have included peaches & black pepper and apple & ginger. Coming soon will be pina colada (pineapple & coconut) and chai (cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper, clove & possibly bay leaf).

    ^Fermented Dairy. Buttermilk-ish has been going pretty well for close to a year now. Sour cream-ish is still being fine tuned. (Flavor’s good. Consistency a bit too runny.) Have also dabbled in simple white cheeses of the curds and whey sort.

    ^Fermented Dough. Let’s give a loud and resounding “Hip, Hip, Horray!” for sourdough.
    Bread? check.
    English muffins? check
    Cinnamon raisin bread? check
    Mini pita pockets? check


    ^Doodles. The hours of joy doodling has given me are many. The joy continues, as does the doodling.

    ^Photographs, Doodle-togs & Booklets. I love taking photographs, sorting through, picking those to keep. Playing with Photoshop. Using some in booklets chronicling our seafaring adventures. Doodle-togging others. Some doodle-togs go into booklets. Others Instagram. Many contribute to the multitude of unorganized digital files. (The Love of My Life put a lot of time and effort into sorting and organizing my digital files. Alas, his way didn’t work for me so he abandoned the project.)

    BLOGGING. Now that I’m doing it on my terms, as in “I’m in the mood” and “I feel like posting/sharing” it’s a fun and happy. It was much harder when I viewed it as a SNOG. A way to … I’m not quite sure what. Become “known.” Become a “web sensation.” “Market myself.” I admired two women who counseled me back in the day. Each had certain goals and each was achieving them. I wanted to emulate them. Problem was, their goals weren’t mine. (Took me a long time to realize this.) While I still clap and cheer for them, I no longer feel the need to emulate. With this new outlook towards blogging it’s now a happy … when I’m in the mood. *smiles*

    For years I understood the concept of inside-out versus outside-in as it pertains to matters of import. Even had a wisp of a whisper happiness flourished in that manner. It took my life leading up to the one particular moment where I extrapolated two sentences (from a paragraph of an author’s interview) for the reality to fully coalesce. Happiness originates inside and emanates outward.

    Because of this, I have added to my list of Good Things and Little Happies a lighter spirit. Life looks a little brighter. Is a little clearer. A bit. Enough to add to the joy. Enough to understand Happiness is an internal strength doing a magnificent job of putting Life’s challenges in perspective. It’s giving me the ability to focus on doing what I can, without worrying about what I can’t. IMHO, that’s success. Do I hear a “Woo-hoo!” and “Yippee!”?

    This is wonderful! The catalyst well worth repeating. Here it is, yet again.

    Happiness as a means to success
    Success as a way to happiness

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    Star - April 19, 2017 - 6:28 pm

    Hurray for sailboats.
    Hurray for doodles and blogs.
    Hurray for sourdough.
    Hurray for happiness…and some contentment thrown in for good measure.

    Tana Bevan - May 4, 2017 - 11:12 pm

    Love your horrays! Would have gotten back to you sooner but notification of your comment didn’t come through. Technology! Grrr!