A lot of people think that I’m a negative person, which I’ve embraced over the years. I can be, but I also don’t believe that being negative is by definition bad. A lot of research can be found that shows negative people are indeed happier because they don’t delude themselves the way self-professed ‘happy’ people do. They accept the world as it is.
The fact of the matter is I have a blessed life, and I envy no one. I’m not the smartest person. I’m not the best looking person. I’m not the greatest writer, nor am I the wisest human being to ever walk the face of the planet. But I love who I am, and I love the life that Keith and I have built together. Sometimes I pinch myself. Keith had the foresight when we were in our 20s to buy property. I was stupid, and fought him on it. Luckily he won the argument. But think of it. We live in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Toronto with a spectacular view of the north of the city. How could I be disappointed with how my life has turned out!?
But that’s not all. When we want, we hop in the car and drive two hours north to a little bungalow on the lake. It’s heaven. Absolute heaven to be surrounded by those trees, the calming nature of water, the solitude of that silence. I’m well aware how unique my life is compared to others.
I am a true believer in the simple pleasures of life. I don’t think many people truly appreciate how lucky they are to wake up, and breathe another day. How magical that is.
I rise early, around 6:00 a.m. every morning with a great sense of possibility. The truth is I can’t wait to wake up. The first thing I do is make coffee and a banana, blueberry, strawberry, protein smoothie. I put away the dishes in the dishwasher from the night previous. I clean the kitchen, the toilets, the bathtubs and I vacuum and then I mop. I make the bed. For me making a bed is the most important part of the day, for it sets the tone. Then I shower and dress. After that I go for a long walk. This morning, I walked all the way to College Park and then home again. Around 10:00 a.m. I go to the gym, run 5 kilometers and when I return to the apartment I do a load of laundry. In the summer, when I run outside, I complete 10 kilometers. It’s my belief that as I get older, I have to work hard to keep in shape.
These little tasks sound mundane, but I love them. They make me happy. I always take time in the day to read a chapter of a book. At the moment I’m reading two books, well one short story and a book. The first is I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith (still not done) and the second is The Dead by James Joyce. Then I’ll read several articles from publications from all sides of the political spectrum. My goal is to challenge myself. That includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Sun, even Breitbart, among many others.
Lately I’ve been considering painting.
Then as many of you know, I will write. I use Facebook as a canvas for my ideas, which are never fully complete. They are thoughts I have, based on what I read and experience, that are far from final. Then I try to purify them on my blog. My goal is to never limit myself in what I can think and say, and to not care what others think of me, or how they are going to perceive me. Real friends will support me, the ones who think that my views need to align with theirs for us to get along, are not real friends.
But that’s the most important part of life, to not give a shit what others think of you. To be perfectly frank, it’s none of my business anyway. I can’t control it.
When I started my career in 2006 I remember being surrounded by really limited, and restricted people. They had created a life based on other people’s ideas of normal and appropriate and that still didn’t make them happy. They were consumed with this idea of owning shit, even though they couldn’t afford it. They thought for some reason their value and self-worth was determined by their occupation. I was never like this, I never thought like these people.
To justify the choices they made, choices they were clearly insecure about, they attempted to shame others into making similar choices. I was always keenly aware of how miserable they were and determined never to follow that path. I would come home and talk at length to Keith about it. Morons bragging that they worked 12 hours a day.
I remember once an supervisor taking me aside and saying that I was not to leave at 5:00 p.m. every day because the culture of the organization was such that employees were encouraged to work until 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. every day. I pushed back, naturally, and said, “well my contract says 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and if you could provide me with evidence how working within those confines has resulted in poor job performance, I’d be happy to hear it.” She couldn’t. But I added something that I could tell really irked her, I said, “I like my life, and I would like to get back to it as quickly as I can.” In this, she knew, that I knew, that she was not a happy woman.
Keith and I enjoy freedom that most people only dream about, and we do within our own means, we don’t live outside of them. And yet, somehow, we have more than anyone I know. We have the things they dream of having. And again, I’m not only referring to materials. How did we do this? By not conforming. By not caring what others thought our lives should look like. By being happy with the small, simple pleasures that life had to offer. Can’t afford to go out for a dinner that day, okay, well, let’s go skating for free on the lake!
So I could be seen as being a negative person, but those who are really close to me know how positive I am, and how much verve I have for life.
Sometimes I feel a bit lonely because I find it harder to connect with people as I get older. They all seem to be concerned with matters that are unimportant, are ignorant to world affairs, and overly consumed with their own petty wants and needs.
But the greatest gift I was given, from God up above, and as my sister as attested to from the time I was little, is that I’ve always been perfectly content being by myself. There’s a line in a Jann Arden song, that reads, “No I will not lay down/ I will not live my life like a ghost in this town/ I am not lonely swear to God I’m just alone.”
I think I’ll leave it there. Have a lovely day everyone.