And I don’t know why. Perhaps I need to change the name of my blog from “How to Life” to something like “I’m Amazed I Got Here Alive and I Wonder How That Happened” but that would be too long for a web address.
I have had my share of drama and traumatic events framing my life, more or less than anyone else. I know that I have carried lots of strange baggage, beliefs, fears, limiting hang ups, whether directly and unavoidably imposed on me, or mostly self-perpetuated and exaggerated to critical mass. I imagine everyone has had this experience and one day you wake up and wonder, “how did I get exactly here?” But does any of that matter?
As I survey my whole life, I am actually baffled. It is possibly the case that I should be dead or possibly be in a catatonic state sitting in an institution, or living outwardly-appearing normally, while really just waiting for rigor mortis to set in. But here I am today actually happy. No I'm actually VERY happy … and I don’t know why. My life has just happened and I’ve landed, somehow, on my feet. I don’t know why … but I do wonder.
This blog isn’t really about how to "LIVE." My stories and observations have to do with how it just happened to me. I just sort of “LIFED” my way here.
I don’t believe in magic. I don’t believe that “everything happens for a reason.” I don’t believe that anything happens for a reason. I don’t believe that “finding oneself” has any purpose or value. What does that mean anyway? I do not believe that a system of philosophy holds any practical secret to “inner peace” or “the meaning of life.” Nor do I believe that Love is what really makes a Subaru a Subaru; but I drive one because it’s a safe affordable car with all-wheel drive and it holds all my stuff for things I like to do. (I live in snow country).
I DO BELIEVE that we can do more of what we want and like. I believe that all of how I LIFED up to today, experiences and events (good and bad), input and influence from others (good or bad) and maybe some basic genetic inclinations, formed wired patterns of thoughts, reactions, beliefs among the billions-times-billions of synaptic brain connections that process everything we think, feel and do. Some of these built-in forces push toward the positive. Many thwart me from what I want and like to do and have in my life.
I can’t redo my Life and I wouldn’t. I just want to choose a little more of what I may be thinking, feeling and doing.
These built-in forces creep in questioning my likes and desires. Sometimes the forces are others criticizing my wants and desires and questioning the validity of what it is I want to do. Other times, the force is just my own voice in my head questioning whether what I want is valuable enough to count.
Sometimes the forces tell me I am supposed to give “meaning” to what I’ve done or want to do. I find that giving “meaning” doesn’t make a lot of sense, and does me no good. The fact is I just like doing certain things and because I like doing them, I find the time to do them. And, maybe I get good at some of those things and then I like to do them more.
I now have things in my life which might be called “accomplishments.” Someone wanting to romanticize might say my accomplishments are “fulfilling” or “give meaning” to my life. I get that, kind of. But what do the words “fulfillment” and “meaning” have to do with what I’m going to do tomorrow?
TODAY’S HOW TO
Maybe happiness will come to you if you hold to a philosophical system; maybe not. Maybe if you believe in magic, you’ll be happy; maybe not. Maybe you’ll find love if you buy a particular car; maybe not. Regardless of what it is, do you have some LIFED forces that stop you from doing what you want and like to do? Some people like to ski and surf (me!) Some people like to cook dinner for their families. Some people like to travel. Some people like to stay home. Some people like to read by the beach. Some people like to climb tall mountains. Some people like to watch TV. What do you LIKE to do?