Wow, think about it, folks. The Trifecta of existence, whether for only a moment or even longer for some of us more fortunate Humans.
Being contended, happy and satisfied at a single point in your life. Or just maybe, experiencing this explosion of euphoric bliss every single day.
Either for a day or a lifetime, what in the world could be better than that? When I stop to think about it, I don’t remember a time when I’ve experienced all three at the same time.
Of course, there have been times I’ve been satisfied.
Like that time I complained to the city because my water bill was too high. The answer the city provided satisfied me, but it sure as heck didn’t make me contented or happy about paying the bill.
Or the fact that I’m satisfied with the miles per gallon I’m getting with my truck, but I’m certainly not contented or happy with a sixty dollar fill-up.
Then, as takes place almost every year, there are the times I’m content following a great Thanksgiving lunch. It’s incredible how one can feel after obtaining a full belly, a perceived, sleepy tryptophan overdose, and a couple of beers or glasses of wine.
But, as happens most times, I’m not happy when the entire family suddenly disappears like a turkey belch in the wind and leaves me and my honey with all the cleanup chores. I’m certainly not satisfied or content with that particular outcome by any means.
With artists like you and me, these attempts to hit the emotional lotto are compounded exponentially.
Think about it. Usually, we produce some of our best work when we’re unhappy, uncontented, and less than satisfied with ourselves and our surroundings.
Some might even say we’re a miserable lot, and we draw from those experiences to produce our work.
Okay, I might be the only one saying we’re a miserable lot. You can bust my chops in the comment section, but you get what I’m saying here, right?
Most times, we’re never satisfied, content or happy with our work. Why? Because we are continually striving for that perfect piece. We’re always looking to score that classic song, that magnificent sculpture or painting, that great manifesto.
As far as we’re concerned, we’re only as good as our last creation. And our perception is either we were truly happy with it or we thought it stunk to high heaven and needed a ton of improvement.
Surely nobody expects us to be happy when we create a horrid mess. How can anybody expect us to be satisfied with that kind of work? How in the world can someone ever expect us to be contented when we’re putting out crappy stuff?
News flash. We’re not.
I suppose it’s not as bad as I’m picturing it (yes it is). And I would venture a semi-educated guess we artists draw our inspiration from a lot of unhappy, uncontented, unsatisfying places.
Sometimes, I do.
But in our defense, we also draw from places of awe-inspiring inspiration as well, the beauty of a landscape, the awesome power of nature, the quirky human side in all of us.
And again, sometimes I do that as well.
But where we get our inspiration to create isn’t the point.
The question is how we, as artists and card-carrying members of the Human, can achieve emotional Nirvana. How we all, artists or not, chase happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. The problem is, very few of us have been able to achieve all three at the same time. And for those that have, I doubt they were able to maintain the state for very long.
This kind of mindfulness is a fleeting little beast.
So, it’s challenging to have all three at the same time. We get it. Does that mean we should stop trying to hit the mark?
It’s when we quit trying to be happy, satisfied, or content that we achieve the contrary. We become miserable, agitated, hot messes, and sink to morbid depths that surprise even us.
Someone much smarter than me said it’s not the destination; it’s the journey.
We should all continue with the journey toward happiness, satisfaction, and contentment. Each day, we need to seek out those tiny little aphrodisiacs, whatever they may be, wherever we can find them.
Maybe we can be happy with a poem we wrote. Okay, we’re happy, perhaps not for long, but at least we’re in the moment and pretty darned pleased with ourselves.
Or we can crank out a from the heart/head observational piece, and at the end of the initial draft and subsequent edits, we read it and are satisfied enough to hit the publish button.
Just maybe, we will look at our stats one day and sit back and be contented with them regardless of how great or terrible we think they are.
There’s an old saying around here, “Ya ain’t going to win the lotto if you don’t play.”
There’s a ton of truth in this about our constant journey toward happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. We have to keep putting ourselves out there in the search for whatever works to obtain emotional well-being.
Maybe we won’t hit all three at the same time, and I don’t know about you folks, but I’ll be okay if I can catch one of the three, no matter how small, routinely.
A little daily injection of happiness, or contentment, or even satisfaction goes a long way in getting us through the day, the week or even the month. We need these moments, and for a lot of us, they are almost impossible to come by with any type of regularity.
There is only so long we want or need to attempt living beneath the oppressive weight of this thing we call life. There’s only so much living in Downerville we can endure. So we need to keep searching for the fulfillment happiness, satisfaction, and contentment brings us just like hunting for those Easter eggs with the special candy inside.
We have to keep looking for them.
They’re out there, and we know they’re out there because at some time in our lives we’ve experienced one or two, heck maybe even all three at the same time.
And we remember what those moments were like.
Wouldn’t it be cool to wake up tomorrow and in a single day, experience all three emotions all day long? We won’t know unless we try and I, for one, am looking forward to giving it a go
If push comes to shove, I bet you are as well.
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© P.G. Barnett, 2019. All Rights Reserved.