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The Pursuit IS Happiness

Posted 3/6/2018 3:42pm by Shiloh Avery.

Purple makes life better

I am a lovestruck teenager.  Every pop song on the radio is suddenly speaking to me.  Or at least this is the impression I’m giving myself.  I saw yet another quotation that inspired me: “The pursuit is happiness.”  Cue the choir.

This is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi means (I think), at least partially, when he talks about “flow”.  It’s an appreciation of the process—of all the little mundane tasks that add up to the big picture—in the pursuit of mastery.  Cue the choir.

So I’ve been working toward reckless optimism, and now toward loving the process.  What I’ve learned is that this is so much easier when the sun is shining.  Sunday and Monday, I found myself loving every little everything about my job—from painting Mallory’s cabin bright purple (because I heard a cute old lady on the radio say that purple makes life better) to spreading stinky feathermeal.  “Flow” and “the pursuit is happiness” all made perfect sense. I felt like a language student who suddenly finds themselves speaking the language they’ve been working so hard to learn.  It seemed so easy!

Today, when it’s 36 degrees and drizzling, and my fingers are nearly frozen, it suddenly all seems so difficult.  What can I say? Heartbreak comes just as easily as love to that teenager. But the sun will come out tomorrow (sorry, I know that’s stuck in your head now—but I couldn’t resist).


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