January 04, 2015

The Key to Happiness and Your Peace of Mind


This is a very important thing to me. I'm a control freak, and it has caused me and the people I love a lot of pain over my lifetime. I want to have things the way I want them, and sometimes that includes people. One of my biggest challenges to myself for this year is to let go of some control and accept things for what they are.

When I was growing up, I would get all upset over something and my daddy (yes, we still call our fathers this in the South) would say "Can you do anything about it?"  If the answer was no, he would say "Then don't worry about it."  I always thought he was crazy, but now I'm beginning to see the wisdom of those words.

So from now on, my first question when faced with any situation I find untenable will be "Can you do anything about it?"  If I can, I will. If not, I will just accept it as the way things are and try to live with it. This may mean changing my attitude instead of my latitude, or it may mean the opposite.

Take my house, for example. I wanted a house, not an apartment. I wanted a yard I could grow things in. I also couldn't afford the rents in the places I wanted to live, so I ended up, quite literally, in the 'hood. Now I don't mind living around mostly black people, and aside from some early misunderstandings, they have all been nice to me. The downsides are that it's very noisy here and my landlord is a jerk. I like the house fine, and its convenient to everything I need, but I have decided to leave for several reasons.

First, I don't like rap music, and there is always somebody blaring that at all hours of the day and night. I can't really use my front room or sit outside on my nice little patio because of all the noise; not just the music, but the people yelling all the time. Plus, it's depressing to see people living in wrecked houses who just sit around smoking pot all day and don't do anything to try to improve their situation. Then there is the landlord, who made me all sorts of promises but if I really want anything done, I have to threaten not to pay the rent or call the city code enforcement office.

I still can't afford to rent a house in the neighborhood I want to live in unless I get a roommate, and I don't want a roommate, so I will have to give up having a yard, most likely. Life sucks for me without a yard, so I'm thinking of changing my latitude and going back to SW Florida. I have 7 months to make up my mind, and it really depends on how much money I can save and if I can even find a suitable place to live where I want to go down there. Still, I can't stay here and maintain my peace of mind, and I CAN change the situation, so that's what I'm going to do.

This means I have to work harder and longer to save enough money -- money that I could be spending on furniture and such to fix up this house and yard. After this move, I will have moved three times in 2 years at the cost of thousands of dollars I could have spent on other things, but it's the cost of my peace of mind. 

How much is your happiness and peace of mind worth to you? Do you need to change your attitude or your latitude? It's up to you just what cost you would pay to be truly happy.

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