Happiness

I was asked how I define and achieve happiness.

Stability. I work harder on my family than anything else in my life: on my marriage and my relationship with my son.

Freedom. I used to buy the crap about "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose". After rejecting worldly attachments to people or posessions for a while I got over that. Now I believe freedom means having enough money to do what I want to do (not in that state in 2009). I truly believe money buys freedom. But devotion to money and status for their own sake has the opposite effect. So one needs money while renouncing it :) I'm not explaining this well but my wife and I are not into material wealth for its own sake but we are into growing our son and shaping our home, and food and travel and leisure, and empowering our poorer relatives, all of which need money.

Leisure. I've done the 70 hour weeks for someone else's benefit. That was stupid (though I had a lot of fun too). I hope my son doesn't make the same mistake, at least not for any longer than necessary. I'd rather struggle for the money I need (see above) and work for myself. If I'd been smarter younger I'd have my assets working for me - the very best arrangement. I take time now to be with Jack, to read, to play trains. Some people work when they don't need to: not me - if i could I'd alternate between travelling and playing trains for the rest of my life.

Acceptance. I can't fix it. The world, injustice, all that. I'm over it. And I'm gonna die soon (anything less than another two hundred years is "soon" for me). And that will be that. No use getting worked up over it.

Happier than I've ever been (admittedly from a low base) and happier every year... so far.