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Excess or Happiness

It Is No Bad Thing to Celebrate a Simple Life

I find it ironic that this line was used to describe Bilbo. He did not have a simple life. He was considered odd by his neighbors even before he helped a troupe of dwarves hunt down a dragon. He was uncommonly rich and known to be eccentric.

This line, however, holds much truth.

From childhood we are told two things: shoot for the stars and do what you love. What if those two things conflict?

I have never aspired to greatness. I don’t see the point of sparkles and excess. Why have more than you need? What is the point? If you can live comfortably, shouldn’t that be enough?

We are conditioned from the womb to want more and be better. One bike is fine but Jimmy has two and that’s better. TJ starts on two volleyball teams you only play on one.

With this comes an inherent flaw.

Can you see it?

Comparison.

By being told we must be better it is immediately assumed that we must be better than others. This leads to constant discontent. Someone else will always have more or be better at nearly everything.

What if we just want to be better than we were yesterday? What if we want comfort and simplicity? Why do we damn such ambitions?

I was unusually self-aware as a child. I remember my parents going to great lengths to make me a teepee in our yard when I was about twelve. I told them not to bother, that my obsession with all things Native American would putter out in several months, like every other thing I’d gotten obsessed with. It was because of this self-awareness that I knew I didn’t want great. I wanted comfortable contentment as an adult.

To this day my dream day doesn’t include anything extravagant. It starts with waking up to the man I love, a good cup of coffee, loving pups, work I enjoy, good food, and a good book. That’s it. No pearls, no helicopters, and no excess.

When you really think about, I mean put all assumptions aside think about it, what do you want from life?

Is it excess?

Or is it happiness?


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