Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Your Happiness Is Your Job!

I recently was able to purchase a manufactured home in a small Oregon town heavy on farms, orchards, open space and light on traffic (and traffic lights!).  I had lived in an apartment since retiring from Safeco Life and Investments in 2003 and selling my mobile home in the Seattle Metro area and moving back to Oregon.  I didn’t fully realize until I was actually moved into my new home and began to get settled how totally happy I was.  I suppose much of the feeling came simply from a new environment and new experiences.  However, the longer I am here, the more I realize how many factors there are in one’s life that lead to happiness or the lack of it.

Primarily, of course, our happiness depends on our attitude about life.  Our attitude can be influenced by many things:  friends, relatives, social interaction, money, power, culture, ideals, spiritual activity, environment, and on and on.  What influences we accept as contributing factors in how we live most certainly results in the quality of life we have.  I believe that due to our inherent social nature we enjoy sharing our lives with others who are important to us in some way.  When we feel good and enjoy life, we like to share those feelings with friends and family.  Conversely, when we are in the dumps we may tend to share those feelings with others as well.  If we are lucky, our friends and family may rise to the occasion to be supportive and help us through the current challenges.  Sometimes, not so much!

One of the things I have always done when I was not clear about what I should do about some issue, I rearrange my furniture.  Many times I rearranged the furniture in the office where I was working if there was a particularly difficult issue that needed to be resolved.  I have done the same in my home from time to time.  It just seemed that rearranging the way things were outwardly gave me a new arrangement in my thinking and feeling that would lead to resolving the concern.

It is a major rearrangement when we make a physical move from one home to another.  I won’t go into the potentials of moves that constitute a “running from” some situation.  That is another story for another time.  What I am interested in is a move that truly comes about because one has begun an inner rearrangement of priorities and interests.  I had been feeling the urge to make a move, literally, for about a year.  I dabbled at looking at manufactured homes.  It was interesting that I never actually went in any!  Driving by was my way of flirting with the notion of a move.  I shared my process with only one other person.

Then I received a notice of a rent increase coming up at my apartment.  The rent on my storage locker had already gone up.  That was the catalyst that produced a serious consideration of the pros/cons of purchasing a home.  I had seen a listing of a home in Dallas, Oregon and decided to drive down for a look.  To make a long story short, I turned out to be looking at the wrong listing.  The mobile park was large and consisted of two separate, but connected parts.  As I was driving through the adjacent park, thinking the one I was originally looking for was not what I wanted, I stopped to pick up a flyer for one of the homes.  As I was getting ready to get back in my truck, I saw a lady come up the street waving her hands.  She said, “Do you want to look inside?”  I paused in surprise, then, said, “Yes. I would.”  It was exactly the home I wanted.

I quickly contacted the sales agent and arranged for a meeting.  I offered considerably less than the seller was asking, even after it had been reduced in price.  I also was asking the seller to take half the offer in a note for three years. The agent’s jaw dropped when I told him what my offer was, but he dutifully submitted it to the seller, who now lives in Arizona.  A few days later I got the word, “Start packing.  Your offer was accepted.”  Not even a counter offer.

There were many “co-incidental” factors to the whole process, but to mention one is the fact that I had been living in Greenway Square Apartments.  This home was located in Greenway Mobile Park.  The similarity was not lost on me.

Now, to get to the “Your Happiness is Your Job” part, I wanted to share my good fortune with others.  The result from others was varied, primarily supportive from the ones joining in my happiness.  One person in particular found it necessary to dump on my choice of making such a move.  Seems an inter-personal issue made the person think my action was somehow directed at offending him.  Go figure!  I was taken aback and frankly, it took me awhile to determine not to let any dissenter decide my happiness.  Some folks just can’t stand to see others happy when they are not.

I have had more happiness and interest in life in the last six weeks than I have had in the last five years!  In response to the dissent, I am reminded of the words of Edwin Markham:

He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In!

From the poem " Outwitted”

To fully enjoy my happiness, it is necessary for me to express the ability to include others in a loving embrace.  What the other person does with that love is up to him/her.

1 comment:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This was some amazing introspection here Dan. Well-said sir. Well-said...