Wednesday, October 21, 2009
My husband and I don’t necessary have what one might call a conventional lifestyle. He makes his living playing rock and roll; I make mine telling people how to dress and behave. We don’t have children. His hair is longer than mine. We seem to prefer evenings at home rather than ones spent hitting the town. We don’t make a tremendous amount of money, but we have every material thing we need (a comfortable home, running vehicles, hair care products….), and we enjoy a few small luxuries along the way (dinners out, trips to the beach, and a lovely woman who – God bless her- comes to our house and cleans up after us every week). We don’t necessarily fit society’s suit, but that’s okay, because we’re blissfully and unapologetically happy.
The standard nine-to-five, make X amount of dollars, have X amount of children lifestyle never appealed to either of us. It’s a fantastic lifestyle for those who really want it, and I commend them for it. It takes an awful lot of drive, determination, and dedication to make it all happen. It’s not a fantastic lifestyle, though, for those who merely think they want it or think that it’s the right thing to do. They may be living it, but they’re missing the key factor: happiness.
I know people who have lots of stuff but are missing the happy factor. Somewhere along the way they got the idea that being normal was the only way to go. Now they’re stuck with mortgages that they don’t want, spouses they don’t really like, and children who are far more work than they ever imagined. Blame it on parents who told them what to do. Blame it on schools that encouraged them to move in a certain direction based on test scores (my test scores were so poor, my high school counselor had no clue what to tell me, and for that, I’m grateful). Blame it on television for making everything a competition these days. I don’t know whose fault it is, really; all I know is that too many folks are doing what they’re supposed to do and remain unhappy.
Perhaps if parents/schools/media promoted the try this method rather than the do this method, the definition of the word conventional would change. We just might see an explosion of people who are truly living rather than existing. We might finally learn that we cannot count on other people or outside factors to make us happy. It has to come from within. We simply must know ourselves and go from there in order to find joy and our passion. It’s a pretty unconventional idea, but why not give it a shot?