A Christmas gift to myself was a journal I purchased from Barnes and Noble’s bookstore. The book is called “3000 Questions About Me.” As a writer, I thought it would be a worthwhile purchase to help me whenever I fall into writer’s block. Then, I felt a little deeper and figured why not make each question a blog? So, I’m going to attempt to write daily via the questions asked in this book. The first question is, “What is my idea of perfect happiness?” Well, here it goes.
My idea of perfect happiness is not impossible. Perfect happiness to me is to have every bill under $100.00. That’s happiness. Happiness is waking up in the morning and not have to go to work. Oh, let me back up. I enjoy my job as a high school English teacher, and it would be even more enjoyable if teaching weren’t attached to extra duties and extra paperwork for the school district and state school personnel. If I could go to school, teach my students some great literature, and how to write without all of the “red tapes,” then I would consider that perfect happiness.
However, “perfect happiness” is such a cliche phrase. I am a happy person, except for extra work at school or when I catch a virus from my students. I remember one of the happiest moments in my life was when I traveled to Italy and visited Capri in the Sorrento region. The Mediterranean Ocean was just that blue; the sky was clear; the village was quaint and old with cobblestone roads. The beauty of the island, the warm air, a wedding in the town, made it seem like I was in paradise…far away from everything! Capri was the type of location that you’ve seen in movies or in a magazine.
Yet, perfect happiness is not generally a place or a thing…it’s within. Nothing can make me happy unless I am at peace with myself. When I am satisfied with who I am and what I have done, I find that I have done my best to achieve perfect happiness in an imperfect world. Maybe it’s an illusion, but what is ideal for me is not accurate to others. Perfection is an expansive word and is narrowed down to completeness. Therefore, what is complete happiness? We are happy when everything goes our way – everyone agrees with us. When we hear “yes” to everything, and we have money, that is how we consider perfection.
A senior at the high school where I teach came in one morning and told me that she experienced something along the lines of perfection. She said, “it” was the best thing in her entire high school career. I was excited to hear what this thing was about. She said it was a Cinnabon cinnamon cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.
I had to laugh.
But, that was not nice of me to laugh! It was her happiness to eat something so delectable that it brought her joy! Satisfaction in a cheesecake? Why not? My 10-year-old nephew finds happiness in playing video games! Why should I look down upon his happiness?
But there’s more to perfect happiness…it was something my parents taught me – the love of God. I will tell you this – if I am unhappy for any reason, it does not last too long. I can invoke the love that is so deeply rooted within me and lavishes in the promises of God! The love I feel from God is perfect – in my weakness and sadness, in my imperfections and my disappointments – I am loved.
Being loved and loving people brings me happiness. Sharing my life with friends and family brings me joy.
So, my idea of perfect happiness? It begins with the heart. It starts from within.