I Made the Wrong Decision to Become Happy...Someday

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cure for Mondays

Tree and Night. Acrylic on canvass by Cole Beldia, 2015 (He painted this for his favorite man in the world for his 40th birthday.)

Perfection is a distant planet; a concept far beyond the reach of earthlings; an idea trapped inside a writer's head. My existence is a reflection of choices. These are choices I have made as a woman, as a partner, as a mother and as a friend.

So, is my life perfect? I'm flattered I was asked recently, but heck, no. I don't even know what perfection means. I don't have to deal with everyday traffic, too much pollution and diabolic bosses, and the why is the answer to the how in this question. I am aware that I have made decisions that are not popular and even risky, as they call it, but these choices define my life now. When people ask me how I do what I do, the answer is simple, really. I made the challenging decision as an effect of a wrong decision I made earlier in my life. I decided to become happy... someday.

I didn't just suddenly make a wrong turn at some point in my life. I am a product of a traditional checklist: go to school, get a degree, get a job, stay in that job, get married, retire, live life. So I went to school, got a degree that I managed to finish in seven years, got a job {this one I did early on since I stared working when I was 18}, and stayed in that {kind of} job somehow. I did not get married, but I'm in an impressively long engagement and we intend to stay legally unbound because we don't want to hit the wall at the dead end. I am now a semi-retiree at the age of 39 and have been living my life, and in the now, for many years now. 

That's not how my parents wanted things to be. In their book, the perfect life for me would have been to get a degree and on time, become either a banker or a nurse, walk down the aisle with some man, become a God-given wife, retire when I'm 60, then maybe do whatever I want to do like travel. Or knit. All that does not sound so bad, and I have, to a certain degree, tried to follow the "good" path, and failed miserably. While the path was good, it was tailored for somebody else, not me.  The plan and me were not two peas in a pod. 

And then, I got older. It was at this point when I asked myself this question: "So when does happiness come?" 

Lake Caliraya 2015

I have read this story called "The Fisherman and the Businessman". I love this short story so much that it's a struggle not to share it with you right here, right now. It's a very short one and really worth reading, I promise. 

The Fisherman and the Businessman

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.

As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Now I think you're getting why I think this story has played a pivotal role in my life. People have told me to do things to become happy someday by way of financial freedom, career security, successful marriage and later a proper retirement. The way to make this possible was to work my ass off an eight-hour job, especially that I was paid peanuts {a term I'm just borrowing from an intelligent, hardworking, highly-artistic friend who complains about the peanuts she gets or what is also known as her pay}. But as most of us have realized, we could burn our asses all we want and still not get the assurance that someday it will be happy. This is when I started disliking the word "someday". Like most people, I panicked at the thought of failing at present because that would put my someday at risk.

And then I realized, why the heck do I need to wait for someday?  I need to be happy now. Here and now. It's okay to be concerned about tomorrow, but I don't know how tomorrow wants to present itself, so I'll let it worry about itself. 

As Corrie Ten Boom puts it, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” I know this line so well because I wrote that down in my journal a few years back to keep reminding me that it's the present time that matters. 

I got to this realization while looking at my son one day. He was eight years old then and he was brimming with life. His peace and joy were so contagious that I didn't want to recover from it. So I decided not to. There's nothing more important than choosing what matters the most and being with people who matter. And they are in the now. 

I'm a homeschooling, stay-at-home, obsessed with cleanliness mom with my half-screams and nameless tears, I live to be happy...now. 

Cambodia 2015

CURE FOR MONDAYS IS A WOMEN'S BLOG, BEST HOMESCHOOL WEBSITE, FAMILY ISSUES BLOG, HOMESCHOOL PROBLEMS, SOCIALIZATION, INSPIRATION, MANILA MOMMY BLOGGER, SAHM, ASIAN HOMESCHOOLER, the fisherman and the businessman, tips to become happy, caliraya lake, cambodia temples, career success, financial freedom, happy marriage, filipino child artist

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