As a busy working nurse, mother and wife my plate is always overfull. I have so many plans and goals in life, but sometimes I ask myself how much happiness does a person really need? I have noticed that when I make less money or more money it seems that we survive either way. People adapt no matter what to survive. The more money we have the more stuff we want until we reach the point that we feel nothing is enough.
The Holidays are supposed to be times to relax and celebrate the joy of life and togetherness. Instead, they end up becoming an overwhelming event for all of us with all the shopping and decorating to do for the so called “Holiday Spirit.” Each year I always want to buy everybody a little token in the spirit of giving, but this year my husband and I decided to minimize the gift buying and chose to gather all our closest friends and family for a simple get together delight to catch up, because for us it seems most satisfying to spend time with those we care about rather than buying them a bunch of stuff.
The truth is that happiness and life’s satisfactions are really not measured by material things. Each of us has our own set of rules that we use to determine what makes us happy and satisfied. For me, security is important. For most of my adult life my rule for feeling secure was to amass enough money to accumulate all the stuff to not only survive but elevate my sense of significance and status. However, over time I have realized that kind of happiness is short lived compared to time spent with loved ones and significant people around us.
Tonight, while writing this article I am at home sitting and drinking my tea. I could have been working- making the big overtime bucks, but instead I volunteered to go home and spend time at home so that my husband could sleep late instead of him waking up so early to pick me up from work. For me a little deed like this is far more important than bringing in millions of dollars that vanish so quickly and give us a short-lived pleasure. The gratification from those things we own is not the answer to our long term happiness.
The satisfaction that I feel from doing sincere things for others gives me more long lasting gratification than receiving and accumulating all the stuffs of the world. Some people ask me why we don’t buy a new car instead of using our eight years old Jeep Liberty. I just answer them our car is not our status it’s how we make use of what resources we have. Why shell out a large payment every month when we already have reliable transportation that is paid off?
I work so hard to survive and become able to achieve our goal of helping others when the time is right. Honestly, based on my life’s experience, when I get what I want I feel the instant satisfactions. After a while though, I tend to forget. I don’t notice it at all anymore. Giving and helping others creates lasting satisfaction for me. In fact, I feel disappointed if I am unable to help deserving individuals. My husband and I share a goal to fill up our cup until it overflows and then help others that are willing to work hard to help themselves.
How much happiness shall I need? I find the answers to it by being grateful for what I am capable of and for what blessings I have. I surely do appreciate my husband, my family, sincere coworkers and friends for contributing to the happiness I have inside. I am happy indeed, despite the world’s situations. Nothing shall derail me until I derail myself and allow it to happen by giving up.