The secret to happiness

Reading and I grew up together—and we’ve never parted ways!
As a girl and as a young woman, reading was my only interest. I never participated in sports and hated gym classes. I had no interest or talent in art or music.
My only interests were reading, writing, and speaking.
Although I loved my activities, I became very envious of my multi-talented friends in college.
They were in choir, took choir tours around the country, and played the piano. And I couldn’t even sing.
They took art classes and could whip up a gift in no time at all while I had to buy mine.
As a result, I wanted to follow my talented friends and learn their skills.
A few years later, when my children were young, I was a stay-at-home mom and had the time to test my talents.
I bought fun piano books and played every day. I took pottery classes, bought watercolours, took up leather tooling, and began knitting complicated sweaters.
But somehow, hard as I worked, my efforts weren’t very satisfying.
My pottery had thick walls, my watercolours became scrap paper, my leather tooling looked like the work of a second grader, and I never played the piano when anyone was around.
Yet I still kept trying.
The last straw was a laborious Canadian outerwear wool sweater I had knitted as a gift for my husband. The sleeves were too long and uneven in length, and the whole sweater was too large and baggy.
My husband thanked me for the gift and promptly hid it in his closet.
By that time, I was approaching 50 years of age and decided it was time to take stock.
What was the point of trying to be somebody else? Why not follow my own talents and dreams?
I gave all my knitting needles and wool enough for six or seven sweaters to a friend. We gave our piano to our daughter, and the music went to the economy shop.
My pottery is so high in the kitchen cupboards that it takes a stepstool to reach it.
Now I’m back to reading! But the world has changed. Now I mostly read e-books.
Some people like the feel of holding a book in their hands while they sit in an easy chair. I, on the other hand, spend many hours at my computer and love reading there.
By now, I have an excellent library of e-books. In addition, there are many free e-books and articles on the Internet.
Kathy Gates is a well-known writer on the “web” and often writes about happiness. In her article, “The Secret of Happiness,” Gates asks the question, “What does happiness mean to you?”
She says happiness means something different to every person.
“Happiness starts by believing you have control over your life; and grows by making choices that will give you a sense of well being, satisfaction.
“Because the secret is that happiness is simply a by-product of creating and living a life that works for you, a life that you enjoy–whatever that is.”
Think about it. Are you living the life you want to live? And if you aren’t, why not?
Remember, life is what you make it. Be true to yourself.
Pursue your passions, develop the talents that are truly yours, and happiness will follow.

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